Ask Eli: Too Many Real Estate Agents?

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’m a bit overwhelmed by the number of real estate agents claiming to be “Arlington experts.” How many real estate agents worked in Arlington last year?

Answer: The residential real estate profession has one of the lowest barriers to entry of any industry. While there are a lot of great agents out there, dedicated to their profession and delivering real value to their clients, it’s easy for just about anybody with a couple of months to study and a couple thousand dollars to represent you in a real estate transaction.

That’s why it’s important to ask your agent if they’re full-time or part-time, how they conduct business and about their professional background.

The Data

In every transaction there are generally two agents — one representing the buyer and one representing the seller. Below is a breakdown of how many agents were involved in Arlington transactions in 2018:

  • 1,669 different agents represented buyers and 1,452 different agents represented sellers in 3,095 transactions representing just over $2B in sales volume
  • 71% of those agents represented one Arlington buyer and 65% represented one Arlington seller in 2018
  • 85 agents represented 10+ transactions in Arlington in 2018 and 18 agents represented 20+ transactions in Arlington
  • Buy-side agents worked for 260 different brokerages (offices) and sell-side agents worked for 284 different brokerages
  • Congratulations to Keller Williams Realty for being the top brokerage by transaction and dollar volume for both buyers (378, $250M+) and sellers (428, $281M+) in 2018 and congratulations to the Keri Shull Team of Optime Realty for being the top agent/team by transaction and dollar volume for both buyers (129, $79M) and sellers (83, $57M+)

An agent’s volume in Arlington isn’t the whole story. There are many great agents on this list who do most of their work outside of Arlington and there are quite a few agents who transact simply for their own investments.

What Do You Think? 

Most studies suggest that consumers are less concerned with measures like sales volume and more focused on the strength of communication and trustworthiness of the agent they’re working with. I’d love to hear whether you, as a consumer, consider transactions or sales volume a top three factor when choosing an agent.

Interestingly enough, I often find that most people want to make sure their agent isn’t doing too much business and being spread too thin.

While some may see the low barrier to entry and high volume of agents as a negative, it also means that you have a lot of choices as a consumer and, with some effort, can make sure that you’re working with somebody who will provide the type and style of service you’re looking for.

It’s completely reasonable to interview multiple agents and the more you can express what you want from an agent, the better chances you’ll have at working with the right person.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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