There are lots of misperceptions about what it’s like to be a real estate agent. People often mistakenly picture agents working a few hours a day, showing some houses, and raking in tons of money. While most agents love what they do and wouldn’t trade it for the world, it’s definitely not as easy as that!
But it’s easy to see why people would have a skewed view of an agent’s life when you look at it through the lens of stock photos. Some of them paint a pretty funny picture that’d have you believing agents do certain things more than they actually do!
Let’s take a look at 9 things agents do in stock photos way more than they do in real life:
Whether it’s into the open palm of a buyer at a closing table, or just in the middle of the air with nobody around them, agents are often shown dangling a key (or two) on a ring. It’s not that agents don’t hand keys over to clients, but it rarely looks like that!
More often than not agents are giving people a handful of random keys the seller left behind in a small box, and nobody knows what they even open anymore.
Dealing with skeleton keys
Stock photos make it seem like agents are selling historic homes built in the 1800’s all the time considering how many times they depict them handing over a skeleton key!
Even if there is a skeleton key for a door in the house, chances are it’s not for the main door to get in, and it’s not the key a buyer’s going to be handed at closing. If it is, they may want to call a locksmith on their way home.
No, not actually kissing clients. (OK, maybe a polite peck on the cheek of someone they know well.) But seeing happy clients kiss each other in a moment of joy is way overblown in stock photos.
Agents witness a lot of joyful moments, but it’s not that common for clients to dramatically embrace and swap spit in front of them.
Holding random house props
Stock photos would have you believe that agents go on appointments with random real estate props that look like their middle schooler made a kindergarten craft they kept to whip out at just the right real estate moments.
Can you even imagine your real estate agent holding up a cut-out of a house during your public display of affection? Talk about a mood killer…
Having tiny houses on their desks
Offices would be pretty bland without some decoration, so there’s a good chance you’ll see some real estate related artwork hanging on the wall or on a shelf.
But while agents may show some pretty tiny houses to clients, they don’t have a tiny wooden house on their desk as often as photographers depict!
Using big old-school calculators
Math comes with the territory as an agent, so thank goodness for calculators!
However, most agents have a handy calculator app on their phone, not a huge one circa 1988 like they show in so many stock photos. (As you can see by this picture, those things are so big they don’t leave enough room for the tiny wooden houses, and an agent has to hold it in their hand when adding some numbers.)
Getting handed stacks of cash
Some buyers have enough liquid assets to make a cash offer, but rarely does an agent get handed a stack of Benjamins even if they do!
It’s not like clients come in with actual cash and say, “If you’ll kindly move your ridiculously big calculator and tiny house to the side, I’ll slide this cash your way for safe keeping…” The “cash” is usually in their bank account and delivered as a wire transfer or by check and then deposited into an escrow account, not the agent’s pocket.
Buying generic for sale signs at the hardware store
Some people think selling a house is as easy as sticking a for sale sign in the front yard and then picking one of the many offers that come in. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)
There’s a lot of different types of marketing agents do in order to get their clients the highest price they can for their home, and a professional looking yard sign is one of them. You’d be hard pressed to find an agent who grabs a sign from aisle 32 of Home Depot to stick in front of their listing. (The poor guy in this photo obviously forgot to bring a Sharpie so he could write his contact info in the blank space!)
Using magnifying glasses
Whether it’s to look over market data reports, a contract, or the details of a home, agents in stock photos are often shown using a magnifying glass. (And of course to occasionally get a closer look at the details of the tiny house on their desk…)
There’s certainly a lot of fine print agents need to read through and review with their clients, but rarely is the print so fine that they need to whip out a magnifying glass.
Want a more accurate depiction of what it’s like being a real estate agent? Read this: 14 Moments When Being a Real Estate Agent Is Like Starring in a Horror Movie