Starting a new career, especially one in real estate, is an exhilarating moment. The rush of excitement one gets when experiencing something new is a feeling that’s hard to put into words.
Many first-time agents experience this feeling on day one. They want to put their newfound passion for real estate into action as soon as they get their license. This excitement usually revolves around making the first sale. While closing on a real estate deal right away is the ultimate goal, it may require more patience than you’d think.
If you follow the AceableAgent blog, then you may remember this account of surviving the first year as a real estate agent. While this agent’s first sales experience happened in a flash, for the vast majority of agents, closing the first transaction isn’t nearly as quick or easy.
So, how long does it take on average for a new real estate agent to close their first deal?
Closing Time by the Numbers
Every agent is going to have their own first close story, and the timeline is rarely ever the same. Technically, if you get an accepted deal on day one, the first closing should take at least 50 days, which is the average time it takes to go from contract to close.
If you have a listing, you can go ahead and tack on another four weeks (the national average time on the market before a listing goes under contract). On average, buyers tour 10 houses before they find the one they want to call home. It’s a process that takes 10-12 weeks for the average homebuyer.
All things considered, an agent who’s brand new to the real estate game shouldn’t expect a commission for the first few months. And that’s if you get a home under contract in the first week or two - an anomaly that’s almost as rare as catching a glimpse of Sasquatch.
There are just too many variables that come into play to put an average on the time it takes for the first close. Consider all of the factors that could influence the time it takes for your first close:
Cash vs. Credit
Cash deals dramatically shorten the time it takes to close. But that may not always be an option for a buyer. When buyers will require a loan to purchase a house, the home buying process can slow down a bit. To help speed this up, buyers can get a mortgage pre-approval letter that will prove to the seller that they’re ready to buy.
Sometimes there will be factors that are out of your control, like the time of year, for example. When it comes to home sales, the summer season is much busier compared to winter. If you happen to get your license in the wintertime, you can most likely expect a very slow start. This could be a good situation, however, if you’re the type of person who wants to get their feet wet instead of diving right in.
The broker you work with may offer more or less lead generation opportunities. Some brokerages may even offer education opportunities so you can continue to grow your skill set and prepare yourself for your first sale. This also goes hand in hand with finding a good mentor to work with. A mentor is someone who will be able to guide you, encourage you, and answer any questions throughout the beginning stages of your career.
If you’re looking for a few quick bucks, then real estate may not be the career for you. It may take a while for you to make your first commission, but once you do, you’ll understand the importance of each step and have a new appreciation for the entire process.
Things You Can Do To Speed Up Your First Close
Antsy to get the first close on the books? We don’t blame you. But long story short, you can’t wait for someone to call you or you’ll be waiting forever. You can speed up the process to get to your first sale by making lead generation a top priority. Here are a few ways you can market yourself and make connections with potential clients:
- As soon as you pass your licensing exam, let your family, friends, acquaintances, former co-workers and basically everyone else know you can help them buy or sell a home. Now is not the time to be shy; putting yourself out there is the first step to gaining new leads and ultimately obtaining clients.
- Get high-quality business cards made and hand them out whenever you can. Potential clients are more likely to remember you if you make a professional first impression.
- Hold open houses for other real estate agents at your brokerage. It pays to be a team player! You’re not only being helpful to a fellow agent, but you’re also putting yourself in a situation where you could meet potential homebuyers and sellers.
- Take advantage of opportunities to work the phones at your office. Never say no to a learning opportunity, even if it appears to be unrelated to what you really want to do. Working the phones is an excellent way to brush up on your communication skills and real estate knowledge.
- Go door-to-door around your neighborhood and hand out your card or flyer. What better way to meet homeowners than by personally introducing yourself to your neighbors? This circles back to putting yourself out there. Self-promotion may feel incredibly awkward at first, but it’s something you’ll have to get used to as a real estate agent.
It may take some time to get to your first closing, but rest assured, as long as you keep working towards it you’ll get there. When you do, you’ll realize what all the studying, exam preparation and slogging away was for. Because you not only get a nice commission check, you get the fulfillment of helping another person further their own financial future. Does it get any better than that? Now, go out there and make your first sale. You’ve got this!
Photo credits in order of appearance: Unsplash