What is the Consumer Objective?
The consumer objective is to procure an agent who provides a compelling value proposition. One who has the requisite skill and experience to achieve the consumer’s desired outcome while producing the highest qualitative and quantitative benefits. Qualitative benefit is derived from elements like protecting a client’s best interests and providing superior customer service. In the case of a seller, quantitative benefit includes selling at top dollar, in the fewest days possible and negotiating low contingency risk. Essentially, the consumer objective is to procure the agent who achieves optimal selling conditions and level of service at the lowest failure risk and fairest commission possible. Every agent’s objective should be to deliver clients that preferred experience.
What is a Real Estate Commission?
If you hire an agent to help you buy or sell a home or real estate, the agent gets paid through a commission – typically a percentage of the transaction price upon a successful sale. Rather than earning an hourly wage or annual salary like most bi-weekly paid employees, most real estate agents are business owners who earn a commission only when a transaction goes to settlement. The commission paid by the Seller is split between the Listing Broker (Listing Agent) and the Cooperating Broker (Buyer Agent). Each agent then further splits the commission with their respective brokerages based on their individual business agreements. Agents can invest several months of work with a client on business development, advisory services and transaction activities only to receive payment on that single settlement day.
#1 – My Commission is Negotiable
Despite what some agents may tell you, my view is commissions are always negotiable. Several aspects of a home sale are negotiable like price, deposit, type of financing, settlement date, or possible repairs resulting from a home inspection – it’s only fair that commission is also negotiable. My broker doesn’t determine commission, nor is it regulated by any federal or state agency. Commission can only be determined by me and the consumer.
#2 – My Commission is Transparent
Transparency is the key to trust. My commission and how I’m compensated for my work are transparent to my client. Nothing is ever hidden or undisclosed. When selling a home, I outline the total commission a Seller pays to the Listing Broker (me) and how much is shared with the Cooperating Broker (buyer agent) – usually half. This is clearly shown in the excerpt below from my Listing Agreement. The mechanics of how I’m compensated when representing a buyer operate a little differently, but this same level of transparency is in writing.
#3 – My Commission is Competitive
Competition arises when at least two agents strive to acquire a client who cannot be shared. I realize I’m not the only agent in town. Consumers are smart, educated and will always find their optimal value proposition. I work like I’m always in competition, regardless if the client comes to me as a friend, from a coveted referral, through my various marketing efforts or from a simple internet search. I treat all customer acquisitions the same and my approach never wavers. My compelling value proposition is one that combines a competitive commission with superlative service – no other agent will deliver a stronger value proposition in the sale of your home than me – the combination of commission, marketing, home selling price, days on market, contingency risk, level of service, contract protections and agent capability of maximizing seller gains and preventing losses.
#4 – My Commission is Equitable
I do not have a one commission fits all approach. Unlike other businesses, I don’t sell a product that I produced which sits on a shelf at a store waiting for a customer. If I controlled the production process and costs, then I would exactly know my price and could publicize it to consumers. The real estate you would like my help to sell or buy is my de facto product. However, I don’t control the product – and the factors involved with trading the product between buyer and seller can be different in every situation. Factors like residential or commercial markets, transaction type, condition, price point, sub-market liquidity and velocity, transaction risk and my ultimate level of effort all play a part in determining a fair and equitable commission. For example, I may not apply an equal commission to the sale of an investment property exiting a rental market with possible condition issues as I would to a primary resident’s home that has been upgraded, improved and received impeccable care.
Commission can be the single most challenging topic for an agent and consumer to address as they build a relationship. Agents typically don’t publicize their commission for some of the good reasons outlined above. If an agent lacks clarity and explanation when the topic arises, this can be fodder for a breakdown with a potential client. If not handled properly, it can be the reason an agent misses the opportunity to work with their next fantastic client or the reason a consumer possibly misses the opportunity to work with an agent who can produce exceptional results. Commission is an important part of a consumer finding optimal value and it should always be part of an open dialogue.
“It is with much enthusiasm that we share with you our thoughts about Tim Trainum. He his the most knowledgeable and informed real estate agent with whom we have ever dealt. Over the last 45 years we have bought and sold a combination of 26 homes, condos, and multi-family apartment buildings in Fairfax, Arlington and other parts of the country. Tim is without a doubt the complete package. He did everything we asked him to do. He gave us great information and advice and kept us informed as to his progress day by day. We highly recommend him.” – Dean and Mary Simonds
I am a high-value agent who delivers demonstrably useful results to my clients. I operate my business with relationship-focused interaction that aligns client goals with beneficial outcomes. I have an unyielding commitment to being an open and honest advocate, ensuring my clients reach their desired outcome efficiently and with the most equity. My overarching passion in real estate is to join your buying and selling journey and help improve your quality of life.
I am a full-time, licensed Realtor® who has established deep roots and knows the region. I was born and raised in the Northern Virginia area, graduating from Chantilly High School and then James Madison University with degrees in Economics and Finance. I live in Fairfax with my wife Liz and our seven year old son Robby. I’m a homeowner myself and understand the important decisions my clients face when they’re buying or selling a home. In addition, I’m an owner of investment property, including a multi-family apartment buildings. I have a penchant for helping people having taught adult education courses in investing and personal finance, and helped numerous clients, friends and colleagues in creating a path to wealth creation. I also serve as the trustee for a private charitable memorial fund.
I have been working in the real estate industry helping clients for over 25 years. As a Listing Agent, the value I create for my sellers is to help them elevate and showcase home condition. I use multiple valuation techniques to pinpoint market value for my sellers. I use cutting-edge marketing strategies to promote widespread buyer awareness and produce the maximum selling price in the fewest days possible, while protecting my seller’s best interests throughout the complete selling and settlement process. As a Buyer’s Agent, I help my buyers locate the home that changes their life. I guide my buyers in structuring the most compelling offer that can win seller acceptance, while retaining the most value and equity possible for buyer benefit and in a manner that protects their best interests throughout the complete buying and settlement process. I have worked with clients in the purchase of investment property, helping them to prospect property as well as evaluate all the financial metrics important to making the investment. My real estate experience includes working in the development, construction and operation of real estate infrastructure projects, closing over $500 million, as well as supporting several commercial real estate clients in the pursuit of reaching their objectives. My experience spans across consulting with clients on remodeling and home improvement projects to negotiating land purchase agreements and easements, to negotiating residential and commercial leases. There are few areas of real estate that I haven’t touched and it continually has been with a mind-set of delivering exceptional outcomes.