People in Britain don’t trust Estate Agents. I’m a Texas Estate Agent, so don’t take my word for it – check out the chart from the market research company Ipsos.
My own personal experience of the estate agent industry in the UK has been varied. I’ve purchased over 30 properties for myself and investors over the years (not as an estate agent), and it really depends on the firm. I’ve had great experiences with some very service-oriented individuals, and some less than stellar ones. I certainly don’t trust an estate agent’s opinion, and many seem more motivated to give customer service as a pure means to an end to get a commission.
There is some regulation in the UK, and a few schemes which agents belong to, but in general, there’s no smoke without fire. There’s a reason people don’t trust estate agents – even if most people only ever deal with a few throughout the course of their lives.
It’s somewhat different in Texas in terms of regulation. To get a licence (in American – a license) to become an agent here there are courses to be taken, exams to be passed, and background checks.
There are 180 hours of classroom education, fingerprints are taken – and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) has the ability to fine and suspend agents for bad behaviour. You can even check an agent’s tenure and qualifications with TREC’s online license checker, though sometimes I find that the TREC firewall prevents access from overseas internet traffic – you might need to use a VPN if you are researching agents from the UK.
So the million dollar question is – do regulation and licensing requirement in Texas make agents any better?
According to the 2017 report from the Texas Realtor Association, it looks like people love their estate agents over here. 4.91 out of 5 sounds remarkably high, but who are we to query their research methodology. There are over 120,000 Realtors in Texas – over 1% of the adult population not in education – they can’t all be winners.
My own experience of purchasing and selling homes in Texas for myself, (not as a Realtor) has been pretty positive compared to the UK. The agents have been more responsive and pro-active in general, and despite there being multiple parties involved in a real estate transaction, I’ve found the integration between them more connected.
The stakes and rewards for a real estate agent in Texas are a higher proportion of the sales price of a home, and if nothing else, that seems to make them more motivated than their UK counterparts.
If you delve into the above report, you’ll see that referrals from clients account for over three in ten transactions here in Texas. So like the legion of people in the food service industry giving better customer attention over here, I find Texas Realtors work hard for repeat business. And no, you don’t need to tip them.
Sherlock Homes Frisco has British born agents who can help you buy or sell a home in the Dallas and Frisco area of Texas – get in touch to find if we’re a good match.