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David Dorman

I work with many different agents, and each of them handles their business in many different ways. There has been a trend over the last several years, in particular with certain brands, that work with “teams,” meaning they have multiple persons managing the transaction. This can work when done correctly, but I have yet to see it be an enjoyable transaction process as it tends to be more like the telephone game that we used to play.

Messages are passed around, turned around; also, clients are “passed along” and no one is really satisfied, and in some cases are harmed. In case you could not tell, I am not a fan of teams. I prefer to interact with my clients. Yes, I have a person who helps me maintain timelines, but I don’t pass the buck and transfer my clients once we are under contract. Teams, from an agent point of view are simply a pain in the rear.

Let me give you a recent example of how things get lost in a team effort. A team breakdown usually has at least 4 or more people, each designated to a different phase of a transaction. I recently did a deal where I represented a seller. The buyer’s agent showed the home, while another team member prepared the offer for the agent and then submitted it. Once the contract was negotiated, I had little to no contact with the buyer agent, but instead, they turned it over to an Unlicensed associate. This associate prepared addendums for repairs to the house and sent them to seller and me for review, but never confirmed that they were signed by the seller and let the contingency timeline pass. So what exactly does that mean? Well, the roof needed a couple of repairs. The repair addendum was for an AS-IS contract. In this case, repairs are not mandatory. The buyers may request them if they wish, but all repairs must be agreed to in writing before the end of the inspection period. By passing things along to an inexperienced assistant, the timeline passed without signatures. Luckily for the buyers, the seller was still willing to make the repairs, although not contractually obligated to do so. Can you imagine the conversation with the buyer and their agent if the seller said no? As a consumer, we rely on agents to represent our bests interest and put our trust that they will. With these big teams, things fall through the cracks. I have barely spoken a word to the agent that negotiated the deal. She passed the buck and is now waiting for a paycheck, That’s also a significant problem with teams. They rely on volume. With so many hands in the deal, it’s hard to find motivated people to work on them, as they get a fraction of what they would make if they did the transaction themselves. The head agent takes a majority of the paid commission and gives the remaining to the people who actually did the work. The same agent also takes credit in the MLS for the Sale, even though they have never met the client or touched the file that they, via online sales statistics, have now received “Agent Ranking” credit. What you end up with is an agent that is a figurehead, with artificially inflated sales numbers, that farms out the work. Let me clear something up. On average, a hard working agent can do about 70-80 deals a year. If you see an agent saying they did 100- 200 sales or more, they are not doing it alone. They are working the numbers to get your business, only to pass it off to an inexperienced agent. Ask yourself, why would a high-quality agent take a position where they make 50% of what they should? The truth is that they don’t. The turn over on teams is high, which can result in poor quality deals. Some folks don’t know the difference a good agent can make in not only service but actual savings inside the sales deal. A solid agent will have a coupe goto assistants, but you will always hear from the real agent. Buying or selling a home is a huge deal, and should not be left to the hands of a person who doesn’t have your back and considers you a paycheck.


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