Real Estate Career – What Expenses Can You Expect?

Real Estate Career Expenses

real estate expenses

I am a licensed real estate agent selling homes in the Ft Benning and Columbus GA area. After my 33 year career, selling with a major chemical oil company , I decided to transition into my professional real estate career. While with the chemical/oil company they provided a new vehicle (annually) and paid all T& E (travel & expenses) all paid. I was always able to eat well, entertain customers, clients and always stay in a nice hotel. I decided to venture out into real estate. This blog will focus on expected real estate expenses in your new real estate career. I never would have believed there would be so many expenses involved with real estate Columbus GA and Phenix City AL. Our city is a major military installation, Ft Benning ,where thousands of military personnel and their family PCS, (Permanent Change of Station),or move for you civilians out there.

  • Pre-licensing expenses: You can study on line or class room setting. In retrospect, I would recommend that you participate in a classroom setting instead of the online approach.
  • CE-Continuing education. I spent $1500/year for 3 years to earn the GRI-designation (graduate real estate institute). Only about 5% of all realtors earn this coveted designation. It is well worth the expense to gain this knowledge.
  • Annual State licensing fees: varies by state
  • Regional/national fees.(if with a major firm):I am with RE/MAX-Executive Group and pay $400/year to the national franchise.
  • Monthly office fees: This is dependent on your agreement with your broker/owner of the firm where you post your license. You could be on a 70/30, (70% of commission split to agent & 30% to broker/firm). I currently am on the 95/5 split. Under this plan I pay $1200/month to the office to participate in this program. Since I am a seasoned seller with 37 years sales experience, I had the confidence to select this commission program
  • Columbus GA whitewater rafting MLS fees: Included in my monthly office fees
  • State MLS:$40/month, provides expanded coverage for listings
  • Zillow leads: I currently pay $275/month
  • Vehicle expenses:$200-300 fuel expenses,$400/month vehicle payment
  • Smart phone cell expenses: Currently $200/month
  • Marketing expenses:
    • Web site: Initial setup $500 plus maintenance fees for updates
    •  SEO site maintenance: My webmaster also shoots my videos & listing photos. He performs web site maintenance, consulting. Can be $150-$300/month.
    • You tube videos: Lots more informative versus a silly slide show.
    • Listing photos: My webmaster takes my photos and videos
    • Radio: Affordable and it can definitely reach lots of potential customers/clients.
    • Vehicle wrap: Mine cost $2300 put have had a 100 fold ROI (return on investment).

In closing, Columbus GA realtors are the best in the world and we have a real estate learning page on our website. In most selling sectors 80% of the sales are produced by 20% of the sellers involved. The bottom line is to do this real estate career “full time” or not at all!

Let us help you take the stress out home buying process by calling or visiting Paul Tommey today to find your dream home at 762 822-6411.

*Disclaimer: The comments of this article are my own views. They are not intended to cover all situations. Certainly contact “The Full Service Realtor” to assist you when buying or selling your next home, or investment property. In special situations, it may be in your best interest to contact a real estate attorney.

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Home Buying Without Stress

Home Buying Without Stress

home buying without stress

Buying a home in Columbus GA or Phenix City AL should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips are for making the process as peaceful as possible

  • Find a real estate agent who you connect with which makes this process easier. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the realtor you choose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personaliity.
  • Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision buying a home in Phenix City or city of Columbus GA.
  • Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your topp priorities and focus in on things that are most important to ou. Let the minor ones go.
  • Read lots of real estate information. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to win b getting an extra low price or by refusing to buudge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
  • Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself like room size, kitchen, etc. You might forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life in Columbus GA and Phenix City AL.
  • Plan ahead and don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
  • Factor in  real estate expenses and repair costs in your post home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  • Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home especially for the first time is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Dont lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
  • Choose a home in Columbus GA because you love it and then think about appreciation. While prices have increased about 5.4% annually from 1988 to 2002, it mostly serves as a safe place to live.

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Real Estate Tutorials

Real Estate 101

real estate tutorials

Having sold many homes in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL and Harris County GA for the last few years, I’m giving a short overview post of my perspective to the essential ingredients for a successful real estate career. These are my own opinions and your success will vary like the estimated fuel consumption on the new car window sticker. If you speed you not only get a ticket but poor fuel mileage as well. Real estate is immensely rewarding, but is a lot of long hours and hard work.


I aggressively jumped right in and annually took the GRI (Graduate Real Estate Institute ) training offered in our state. This cost roughly $1500/year for 3 years by taking on site training for 6 days per year. I gained a vastly deeper understanding to the real estate principles, laws, contracts as well as making dozens of contacts around the southeast. Please don’t just take your test, get a license and experience the “school of hard knocks”. This is serious business and you could “go to jail” if involved in unscrupulous business dealings. Think about it, you have the privilege to be able to help people make one of the “most important financial decisions of their lives”.

Financial Reserves

I feel fortunate that I was already receiving my chemical career retirement and our house was paid for. This was a huge blessing/benefit. Bottom line was if I did not sell a house Columbus GA, I did not have to worry about the mortgage or food. In your case I recommend “reserve funds for 6-12 months minimum funds” to insure that you can transition into your real estate career.


Transition Into Your Real Estate Career – What Expenses Can You Expect?. Use your God given talents, count your blessing, having a mentor is critical. In the early months, I had homes for sale in Columbus GA in a new subdivision and got “lots of qualified buyers. I sold 9 houses in that neighborhood. I transitioned in real estate after a 33 year sales career in chemical sales to heavy industry. I wore old 31 cars in 33 years, so I was truly a “road warrior”. Our son said he wanted to go to law school, so I made a quick decision to offer him $0.50 on the dollar to wherever he want to attend. He was accepted to 11 law schools and he got a “student loan” for the other $0.50 on the dollar that he needed. Bottom line was that “Dad had made a promise” & now had to deliver on my word. I started selling homes in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL and Harris County GA and am now approaching 2 sales per month and have just hired a “virtual assistant” to help with the paperwork load.

Some realtors limit themselves to being a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. That is your decision. I choose to do the following:

  • Buyer’s agent: best source for your first sales
  • Seller’s agent for listings: Generally, sellers want an experienced agent to market their property to get top dollar.
  • Design and build new home are my passion, even though it may take 5-12 months to complete a property. This time line will vary with the following factors: lot selection /soil samples for rural septic systems, plan selection, builder selection, building permit application, pre-approval for mortgage lender. It took me several years to get a few builder sto allow me to list/market their new listings.
  • Property management: Many agents shy away from this role, revenue stream. I like it for the following reasons: tenants become buyers later and property owners later become sellers. I am now approach 25 rental properties that I manage for others. These funds generally cover the bulk of my fees and expenses.

Home buying without stress means having professional selling skills, then now is the time to invest in your future. Professionally trained sellers can sell anything from pencils, homes in Phenix City AL and Columbus GA, even yacht’s. Always be honest and ethical. Promise less & deliver most in all cases. I like the “Tiger Blood” expression because I never wanted to be average in school, sports, military service or professional career. So, I don’t know if you have ever been divorced, survived cancer, lost a job, or been in a “head on car crash”. I have experienced/survived all the above. It’s not about what happens to you in life it’s about how you respond to what happens to you in life. I feel like I am “living the dream” and try to jump out of bed each day to seize the day. Count your blessings, get to know your maker.

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