Why real estate brokers charge the fees that they do

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Photos courtesy of Minas Styponias


Real estate agents have always been scrutinized and lambasted for the often large sums of money they collect in transaction fees, whether it’s a rental transaction or a sales transaction.

The common public sees the amount received and always seems to utter the same uninformed responses. “For what?” or “What did he/she even do?” or the ever-popular “Just for doing that?” Those are but brief examples of the type of disdain and scrutiny that a real estate agent must often put up with when performing their duties.

The fact of the matter is, however, that those paydays often come after grueling weeks of late-night telephone calls, numerous hours in front of a computer screen doing research and advertising, and hours of individual communications with tons of prospective renters, sellers or buyers.

The true real estate professional commits themselves to their chosen career and puts in the necessary man hours and intellectual effort to be good at what they do. We sacrifice time, energy and our personal finances all in the hopes that we can obtain a small percentage of the enormously large pie that we have staked ourselves to. The additional factors of loss of personal time and finances make the collection of a transaction fee rewarding and appreciated in those sporadic instances when it is achieved.

Each opportunity is a mini relationship. And just like any relationship there are times where you consummate the relationship and times when you get dumped. The emotions and intellectual roller coasters are often enough in and of themselves to merit some sympathy from the public, but the reality is that most people seem to think that real estate agents are nothing more than overpaid tour guides.

For those of us who dedicate their lives and stake their reputations on our efforts, our fees are but frosting on the proverbial cake that is our life’s work. So before condemning the entire profession after the experience you may have had with a few, please consider that for every fee my peers and I earn we have often had to deal with untold rejections leading up to it. We strain. We struggle. We hurt. And through it all we provide the services that we are expected to regardless of the outcome.

Minas Styponias is a licensed real estate broker for BuySell Real Estate in Astoria, where he was born and raised. He has had a career as a luxury rental property manager in New Jersey and Manhattan. Styponias speaks English, and is conversational in Greek and Spanish.

Minas Styponias