Sunday, December 18, 2005

WaPo: Agents Aplenty

by Bill McBride on 12/18/2005 01:58:00 AM

From the Washington Post: Agents Aplenty Career-Jumpers Looking For Easy Commissions Made a Low-Percentage Play

The story is interesting, especially these facts:

Seduced by the housing boom and its promise of ever-higher prices with ever-bigger sales commissions for agents, the number of licensees in Maryland, Virginia and the District has just about doubled in the past six years, according to local licensing agencies, with the Northern Virginia real estate association adding about 300 new agents a month. Nationally, the number of licensees was at a record high of more than 2.5 million at the end of 2004.
The previous post showed the increase in agents for California. It appears the D.C. area had a similar increase. But now that the market appears to be slowing:
... a slowing of the market could have big consequences. When the housing market slumped the last time, about 20,000 salespeople and brokers in Maryland jumped ship from 1990 to 2000, regulators said.

Craig Cheatham, chief executive of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, said, "I think by now that, with the number of people who are out there in real estate, there are a lot of people who are not making money."

But the NAR says its surveys show that real estate never has been "something you get rich quick in," said spokesman Walter Molony. In its latest survey, in August, those in the business for two years or less earned only $12,850. However, for those with more experience, the past two years were very good. Those with six to 10 years' experience earned a median $58,700, up 18.6 percent from 2002. Those who had at least 26 years earned $92,600, up 37.2 percent.