Your real estate agent’s experience is more important than you know

by Dan Krell © 2013

Why your real estate agent’s experience is more important than you think:

Real Estate AgentsThe National Association of Realtors ( publishes an annual profile of home buyers and sellers that includes data and descriptions about how consumers go about choosing a real estate agent.  There are obviously many factors that are involved in the choice, but it is striking that an agent’s experience is not a major reason for their hire; it seems as if most buyers and sellers hire an agent who was referred by someone the consumer knew, and that many buyers and sellers did not talk to more than one agent.

Even though experience is not heavily weighted in agent choice, it may be one intangible that should be considered when you choose your real estate agent.  A recent research study by Bennie Waller and Ali Jubran (“The Impact of Agent Experience on the Real Estate Transaction.” Journal of Housing Research 21, no. 1 (2012): 67-82) highlights the intuitive notion that an experienced agent can yield a better result than an inexperienced agent.

They concluded that hiring a “veteran” agent will have a positive effect on your home sale.  The data indicates that “rookie” agents, those who have had their real estate license two years or less, sell homes for less, take longer to sell homes, and are less efficient during the process.  Data collected from their sample indicated that rookie agents sold homes for about 10% less than experienced agents, which according to their sample data yielded an average net difference of $18,000 (the average list price was $201,297).  Homes listed by “veteran” agents sell about 32% faster than inexperienced agents.  And, experienced agents are more likely to expedite the transaction to completion.

One possible explanation provided by the researchers is that the experienced agents are more likely to list higher quality property that typically sells faster and for more money.  Although they concede that they cannot substantiate this rationalization by this study, they suggest that veteran agents are more successful in obtaining luxury real estate and new home listings.

Real Estate AgentA more likely reason for differences between rookie and veteran agents is the mindset brought forward to the business of real estate.  The investigators discuss how those who consider selling real estate their career are more successful and have better outcomes for their clients than those who do not.  They also suggest that those who consider themselves as “part-time” agents are less likely to achieve as high of a result in their transaction as the full time counterpart; they contend that successful veteran agents are dedicated and devoted to their career.

Other possible reasons for their conclusions (but not discussed in the study) are that veteran real estate agents are more acquainted with the nuances of the housing market and have an increased ability to engage the parties in the transaction.  Full time agents are invested in being aware of listing and sale activity in their respective markets, and network with other agents to compare notes.  Additionally, experienced agents may have developed the ability to easily connect with home buyers and sellers; as well as have greater capacity to understand the specific needs of buyers and sellers – thus facilitating a smoother and successful transaction.

The business of real estate is increasingly complex and difficult.  Rapidly changing demands on home buyers and sellers can be challenging and frustrating for those in the market.  Your agent’s experience, both general and specialized, could make the difference in your success.

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This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published the week of April 8, 2013. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2013 Dan Krell.