PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team

Kyle Hiscock
Published on June 27, 2017

PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team

Should I Work With An Individual Realtor Or A Realtor Team?

PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team

PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team

One of the most popular trends over the past couple years in the real estate industry has been the emergence of real estate teams.  Real estate teams are being formed it seems like on a daily basis and can range from a couple agents joining forces to several dozen agents coming together to form a team.

In many cases, real estate teams are being formed as a method to boost the sales numbers up for an agent.  Forming a team to inflate sales numbers in order to obtain more business is not the right reason to form a real estate team.  Forming a real estate team in order to improve the customer service is a great reason to form a real estate team.

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home, it’s extremely important that you understand who you’re hiring to assist with your real estate needs.  Regardless if you’re interviewing a Realtor to sell a home or assist with buying a home, one of the questions that you must ask is whether the real estate agent is a solo agent or works with a team.

There are PROs and CONs to both working with  solo real estate agents and working with a team of agents.  In this article we’re going to discuss the benefits and drawbacks to both options.  In order to make an educated decision as to which option is better you need to have a strong understanding of the following PROs and CONs.

What Is A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team Of Agents?

Before we dive into the PROs and CONs of working with a solo real estate agent or a team of agents, we need to discuss what the difference between the two are.  Below is an overview of what a solo real estate agent is and what a team of agents can potentially look like.

Solo Real Estate Agent

A solo real estate agent is pretty self explanatory.  A solo agent is one who works directly with a buyer or a seller from start to finish.

If it’s a solo listing agent, this means you should expect this agent to be present at an initial consultation, review of the comparative market analysis, photo shoot, and throughout the entire process of selling a home.

If it’s a solo buyers agent, you can expect the agent will be in charge of scheduling private tours of possible homes, preparing and explaining the purchase offer, attending inspections, and making sure the home buying process is staying on schedule.

Many solo agents will use a CRM, also known as a customer relationship management, which allows them to setup appointments, reminders, and alerts for important contract deadlines such as a written mortgage commitment due date.

Real Estate Teams

A real estate team can get pretty complex and have a lot of different people involved.  A real estate team can be made up of a couple agents or can be made up of a couple dozen agents along with administrative staff.  It’s not uncommon to see real estate teams consist of listing agents, buyers agents, listing coordinators, administrative assistants, and marketing directors.

If you’re hiring a team of agents, whether you’re buying or selling a home, what to expect will depend solely on how each team is run.  It’s critical that you understand how a real estate team works with clients, before hiring them.

For example, if you’re buying a home the last thing that you want to have happen is to find out after hiring an agent that you actually won’t be working with that person because they’re not the buyer specialist with their team.

What Are The PROs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent?

What Are The PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent-

What Are The PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent-

Building A Relationship

Buying or selling a home can be a very emotional and stressful experience.  It’s vital to the success of a real estate transaction that you’re comfortable with the professional representing your best interests.

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a solo real estate agent is that you can build a relationship with one person and one person only.  Since buying or selling a home often includes discussing financial information, it’s important that a relationship is built and that you feel that you can trust your Realtor and feel comfortable discussing this type of information.

Solo Real Estate Agents Have Full Responsibility

When you hire a solo real estate agent to help buy or sell a home, you can expect the agent to take full responsibility for the transaction.  There are certain things to expect from a real estate agent when selling a home or buying a home, one of the most important being that they’re responsible for protecting your best interests.

For example, if you hire a solo real estate agent and it’s later found out that an important document wasn’t circulated in a timely fashion which creates a delay in the house closing, the solo agent doesn’t have the option to pass the blame onto someone.

What Are The CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent?

Availability Can Be Limited

Since a solo real estate agent cannot possibly be in two places at once, their availability can be limited.  Limited availability is one of the potential drawbacks of hiring a solo agent to buy or sell a home.

For example, if you’re buying a home in a hot sellers market, it’s extremely important that if a new home is listed for sale that you’re interested in that an appointment be scheduled as soon as possible.  If a solo agent is booked with appointments in the coming days, it can be a challenge coordinating a time that works for all parties.

One of the best ways to avoid running into an issue with a solo agents availability is to ask prospective agents about the number of clients they work with at a given time.  An efficient and successful solo real estate agent can work with 15-20 clients at one time, if they have the proper systems in place.

What Are The PROs Of Hiring A Team Of Real Estate Agents?

What Are The PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Real Estate Team

What Are The PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Real Estate Team

Multiple Professionals For The Same Price

One of the biggest PROs of working with a real estate team is that it doesn’t cost any additional money and you get extra professionals.  Depending on the makeup of a real estate team, you can potentially have access to a closing coordinator, marketing professional, listing specialist, buyer specialist, and other professionals for the same cost as having a solo real estate agent.

Tasks Can Be Delegated

Since real estate teams often have systems in place, specific tasks are likely to be delegated.  This means that if you’re selling a home with a team who has a marketing professional on staff, you should feel confident they’ll know what marketing strategies are used to sell homes.

What Are The CONs Of Hiring A Team Of Real Estate Agents?

Potential Breakdown In Communication

Have you heard the saying, “too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth?”  One of the biggest drawbacks of hiring a team of real estate agents is that the potential for communication breakdowns increases significantly, as the team gets larger.

There are many moving parts in the home buying and home selling process and communication is key!  A breakdown in communication can be disastrous to a real estate transaction and is actually one of the most common reasons a real estate deal falls apart.

The Team Leader Disappears

One of the most popular reasons why real estate teams sometimes get a bad reputation is because the team leader disappears or is very hard to get a hold of, after a contract is secured.  Yes, this really does happen!

Another potential negative of hiring a real estate team is the team leader performs their best impersonation of Harry Houdini.  You know, the magician who was famous for the disappearing act.

Tips To Help Decide Whether To Hire A Solo Real Estate Agent Or Team

The decision whether to hire a solo real estate agent or team of agents is an important one.  Hiring the wrong real estate agent can make the process of buying or selling a home impossible and downright miserable.  Below are some of the best tips to help you decide whether hiring a solo real estate agent or team is better for you!

Your Hiring An Agent…Not The Team Or Company!

One of the biggest real estate myths that exists is that the company or the team an agent is apart of should be weighed heavily.  This is completely false.

Agents that work for the same company or on the same team can have much different work ethics, marketing skills, negotiation tactics, and industry experience, so remember you’re hiring the agent, not the company or team.

The decision whether to hire a solo agent or team can be pretty easy if you find out that the agent you want to work with doesn’t work with buyers but instead a different agent on their team does and you’re buying a home.  In this scenario, unless the agent can make an exception to the team rules, you’d want to explore other options.

For Sellers, How Will Your Home Be Marketed?

There are many rock star solo real estate agents across the world who flat out can market homes for sale!  In fact, there are many solo agents who blow away the marketing of real estate teams who have dozens of members.

The bottom line when deciding whether to hire a solo real estate agent or a team to sell your home is to find out how your home will be marketed.  Asking the right questions about marketing is key when selecting between a solo agent or a team.

Understand How The Lines Of Communication Will Work

When deciding between a solo real estate agent or a team, you must understand how communication will work.  If you’re interviewing a team, who do you contact to schedule an appointment to view a home?  Who do you contact with questions pertaining to the closing date?

When hiring a solo agent, understanding how the lines of communication will work is simple.  If you have a question, you have one person to turn to.

If you’re comfortable with how communication will work with a team, then hiring a team to assist with your real estate needs could be a good fit.  If you’re confused with how the communication will work with a team before signing the contract, you may want to consider sticking to a solo real estate agent.  Again, communication is key in a real estate transaction!

Final Thoughts

Being involved in a real estate transaction, whether it’s as a buyer or a seller, it’s important to realize the person or team who you hire to represent your best interests can be the difference between a pleasurable experience or not.

The above PROs and CONs to both hiring a solo agent and hiring a team should be evaluated before signing a contract.  Failing to understand the possible benefits and drawbacks of a solo real estate agent and a real estate team can lead to unnecessary surprises once a real estate transaction is underway.

Other Helpful Resources Related To Hiring A Real Estate Agent


Are you going to be buying or selling a home in Rochester NY in the near future?  If so, real estate teams are currently very popular in the Greater Rochester area.  Before deciding whether to work with a solo real estate agent or a team, you need to consider all of the potential positives and negatives for both!  If you’re like to have a no obligation discussion about your home buying or selling needs, feel free to contact me.  I’d love to share my expertise and see if there would be a mutual benefit to working together!

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About the authors: The above article “PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2017, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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PROs & CONs Of Hiring A Solo Real Estate Agent Versus A Team
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