How Much Does a Showing Cost?

Showing a home doesn’t cost money, does it?

It does if you’re a Realtor.

My cost accounting expertise — such as it was — is long gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a rough sense of how much each showing costs me.

Whereas listing agents — representing Sellers — typically spend more out-of-pocket (for things like staging, photography, ads, etc.), Buyer’s agents mostly invest time.

I don’t know about other Realtors . . . but my time is pretty valuable.

Here’s how I break down what goes into an individual showing:

A. Time

–Actual showing: 1 hour
–Travel time, to and from: 20 minutes
–Time to screen active listings, run by client (or screen client suggestions): 15 minutes
–Time to set up showing; prep for client, i.e., photocopies of MLS listing, run Mapquest for directions (if applicable); give feedback afterwards: 30 minutes

Total time: approximately 2 hours

B. Out-of-Pocket

–Gas: $5 (1/8 of tank); Photocopies: $.5

C. Overhead

–% of my annual state license; monthly Edina Realty fee (for my Web site, ProKit, desk fee); annual Realtor fee and continuing education; car expenses (lease payment, depreciation, etc.); monthly Realtor access key payment; etc.

Call it $30.

Not all Realtors put a dollar amount on their time, but I do: $100 per hour (and a bargain at that: as an attorney/CPA, I billed out at $175 an hour — almost 20 years ago!).

Grand total for all the above: well over $200 per showing.

No wonder Realtors try to be efficient establishing their clients’ wants and needs, zeroing in on the listings that are the closest match.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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