With too few listings for everyone, Detroit metro realtors struggle to find wiggle room


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A booming residential real estate market is chilling some agents, who are suspending their licensing and marketing efforts as the area faces a shortage of new listings and a glut of competition for the limited number of homes available to sell. the sale.

In Southeast Michigan, there are approximately 18,000 real estate agents and approximately 9,700 single-family homes for sale in the first quarter of 2021, said Frank Tarala Jr., broker and owner of SIRE Realty Services in Rochester and former president of the Greater Metropolitan Association. of Realtors, an industry association based in Southfield. “There just isn’t enough cheese for all the mice right now,” Tarala said. “Everything people hear and see says real estate is hot. That is, if you’re the seller. If you’re a buyer or an agent, it’s in a recession. Strong agents who use that as a career to put food on the table is struggling. ”

The picture across the United States is similar. The National Association of Realtors said there were 1.04 million homes for sale in January, down 26% from the same period in 2020. At the same time, NAR had 1.45 million number of members, up 4.8% from the previous year.

NAR also reports that 65% of real estate agents are licensed as sales agents, and the typical real estate agent is a 55-year-old white woman who has attended college and owns a home. The median real estate experience is nine years and most real estate agents worked 36 hours per week in 2019, NAR said. The median number of transactions per residential real estate agent was 12. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists real estate agents as making an average of $ 48,930 per year as of May 2019, the most recent data available.

The coronavirus pandemic and associated quarantines that interrupted real estate presentations and slowed sales in mid-2020 caused Agent Greta Guest to take time off as an agent last year.

“The pandemic made the lawsuit very difficult for everyone in the company. As I had a full-time job that allowed me to work remotely, I decided to mainly suspend my real estate work until I ‘it feels safer to be around people,’ said Guest, a Detroit metro reporter and communications manager at the University of Michigan.

Guest obtained his real estate license in 2008 and has worked part time as an agent for the past two years. The former Detroit Free Press real estate reporter said her mother was a real estate agent. She said she hopes to return to real estate in a few years when she retires.

Real estate agents have a two-sided challenge, said current GMAR president Katie Weaver. On the one hand, the public equates real estate agents with used car salesmen due to the number of practitioners right now. In fact, Weaver said, of Michigan’s 34,000 agents, a third do not use their license, while others complete less than five transactions per year. She estimates that 20 percent of Michigan real estate agents do 80 percent of the residential real estate business each year.

On the flip side, Weaver said, home buyers and sellers need real estate agents for their negotiating skills, especially in hot markets like now.

“We are helping our clients make the costliest decision of their lives,” said Weaver. “You have to choose wisely. Just because you can pass the (real estate license) test doesn’t mean you can be a good real estate agent. … Some people think it’s an improvised profession and a lot of money. It’s unfair to us who stick around and hold on during downtime. ”

Real estate agent Dino Ricci has said he is advertising his 25 years of real estate experience so clients know he has the experience to work in this current market, where he recently helped a buyer to buy a house on sight. Ricci, who mentors young agents in his Sine & Monaghan Realtors office at Grosse Pointe Farms, said he felt sorry for those newbies joining the industry.

“Everyone’s business is going to take a hit because there are fewer pieces of the pie. We’re all fighting for it. Experienced and proven agents who have notoriety will get the pieces of the pie,” Ricci mentioned. “I’m about to repeat the benchmark business. I’ll give you my honest opinion, and you may or may not like it. But you’ll know I’m working for you.”

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