What does my REALTOR® really do for me?
What Does a Real Estate Agent Do For Buyers and Sellers
Your real estate agent will be a:
Skilled Negotiator and Trusted Advisor
- A realtor will act Acts as your trusted advisor and project manager throughout the entire home buying/selling process.
- A realtor is a skilled negotiator to get the best price for your home. This comes with experience, knowledge and superior internet marketing skills.
Local Market Expert
A top REALTOR® will:
- Be a local expert in the real estate market in order to assess your competition and help you price your home to sell.
- Have first hand knowledge of recent sales that will help avoid common myths of home pricing.
- Know how long it takes to sell comparable homes (very important).
- Prepare professional listing presentations.
- Have knowledge of all the construction projects projected to be built in town or currently under construction and knowledge of new companies moving to the area that will require new housing.
- Research property history, flood zones, deed type, lot size, mortgage payoff information, land use and deed restrictions, HOA fees, property management companies, land use and zoning.
Home Staging Expert
A listing agent must be an expert at staging your home and get your home ready for a smooth sale. They will advise you on home repairs, renovations, and how to de-clutter. They can help you highlight your home’s strengths and appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers.
Home staging advice must include landscape design and outdoor living spaces. This can sometimes be neglected. Don’t neglect the garage!
Transaction Coordinator and Paperwork
A REALTOR® will do the following on your behalf:
- Confirm paperwork and verify deposits.
- Follow loan procedures from beginning to end to make sure all paperwork needed has been submitted to underwriter to ensure timely closing.
- Act as a project manager to handle all the transaction, paperwork and parties involved.
- Make sure the mortgage loan officer has everything they need as well as the seller’s attorney to keep the sale on track to close on time without a hitch.
- Dual and designated agency is very important to understand. Your REALTOR® will explain and help you understand who represents your best interests.
Paperwork can be a nightmare. You and your agent can be fined for not preparing the paperwork needed to complete your real estate deal. If a buyer or seller is not represented, you must disclose this, and paperwork must be signed.
Real Estate Project Management
There are many players in a real estate transaction. You have the seller’s real estate agent, buyer’s real estate agent, buyer’s attorney, seller’s attorney, mortgage loan officer, transaction coordinators, paralegals, buyer, seller, home inspector, septic & well inspectors, termite and pest inspectors, laboratories, brokers, contractors etc.
Everyone is responsible for a different piece of the sale. Professional REALTORS® will make sure everyone is on task, has the paperwork they need, and follow up and address issues as they arise.
Screening Buyers and Tenants – What does my REALTOR Really Do for me?
Your REALTOR® will screen prospective buyers or tenants to make sure they are qualified to purchase and not waste your time. Screening qualified buyers protects you against curiosity seekers. Buyer’s should have a pre-approval letter from a lender as the first step of home buying. There is a difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved.
REALTOR® will help with scheduling appointments with:
- Home Inspectors
- Septic & Well Inspectors
- Plumbers etc.
Your REALTOR® will schedule and attend open houses. Follow up with buyers or their agent to provide feedback for sellers. The will make sure home is staged for the open house and secured when leaving.
Marketing – Graphics, Print and Social Media
Expert at social media marketing to highlight your home to prospective buyers. Most of the buyers today come from the internet and a homeowner will need access to all the websites and social media sites to market the home.
There are special times to post on different social media platforms to get the most eyes on the property. There are different size graphics for each site needed.
You can’t just put a post on a Facebook account with 200 followers and expect the home to be exposed to the masses. Your agent needs to have a large sphere of influence to reach prospective buyers on multiple social media accounts.
Print and mail market should be high quality brochures especially for marketing luxury homes.
Your agent will run analytics on social media advertisement and provide feedback to how many potential buyers have seen your property and have interest in viewing it.
Real Estate Photography
Your Realtor will either hire a professional photographer to take professional photos and make graphics that stand out on social media. There are critical steps to prepare your home for real estate photoshoot. You want your home to outshine the competition and bring in buyers.
Psychology and Emotions of Real Estate Transaction:
A good REALTOR® should be able to keep all parties calm and focused. Many buyers have “buyers’ remorse” after an offer is accepted.
Your realtor will counsel you that this is a normal reaction when you are about to make one of the biggest financial investments of your life. Your should be heard when you have fear and apprehension and be guided through the process without drama.
When sellers leave a family home and downsizing they will need guidance and understanding. It is a very emotional time to leave a home where there are so many memories. A REALTOR® will help you through through the letting go process and look to a brighter new beginning. Downsizing does not have to be painful if you handle it right. Your agent should review the pros and cons of downsizing with you so it can be a smooth transition.
Home Inspections and Required Repairs – Credits and Receipts
Obtain receipts and get them to all parties including the attorney ASAP. Do not wait till closing to do this. You cannot have credits for repairs, only for closing costs and pre-paids. All dollars must be accounted for on the HUD1 and pre-approved by the mortgage lender. No checks at the closing table!
Make sure there is evidence of payment for homeowners insurance.
Attend home inspection and counsel seller on issues that arise. Have list of trustworthy professional licensed contractors handy to fix the home repairs necessary to move forward. It is very important that you get your home ready for a smooth sale.
Not all requests from the buyer may be reasonable and the listing agent must provide advice as to how to respond to such requests.
Financing – What does my REALTOR® really do for me?
Before listing your home make sure your agent helps you with a detailed list of repairs you should make before putting your home on the market. Some buyers that are financing with CHFA, FHA, or VA loans will require the seller to fix certain things before they will be able to get financing. Your realtor will help you understand the difference between FHA and Conventional Loans.
The FHA handbook is over 1,000 pages. Everything is included from underwriting guidelines to property requirements, etc. The major items that will be verified will be…
- Utilities on and functioning…gas, heat, water, etc.
- No chipping/peeling paint both inside and out
- Roof in good condition with at least 3 years of economic life remaining
- Electrical in good working order including GFCI outlets within specified distance of water sources
There are various other items the appraiser will verify but those are typically the major pieces.
The ability to make a great real estate deal depends heavily on good negotiation skills. Buyers and sellers should have a clear understanding of their end game and make it clear to their agent. In turn, the agent will advise you how to get it. Do you want a fast closing? How much stress are you willing to tolerate to get what you want? What is your urgency and timeline to buy or sell? Can you compromise on repair negotiations?
Of course, market conditions will tell you have much leverage you have. A top real estate agent will know the local market and provide you with a comparable market analysis.
A realtor will help with:
- Initial contract negotiation
- Understanding the appraisal
- Work through home inspection issues
- Negotiate inspection issues
- Negotiate Hubbard Clause
- Negotiate contract Contingencies and dates
- Deposit Money -what is reasonable to offer or accept
Provide Documents to the Attorney
REALTOR® will make sure the attorney has the following documents:
- Real Estate Contract
- Property disclosures
- Inclusion-Exclusion form
- Lead Disclosures
- Mold Disclosure
- Concrete Foundation disclosure (not mandatory in CT)
- Convents & restrictions
- Assessor’s card
- Copy of deed
- Name of lender or broker and contact information
- Name of other attorney and contact information
- Legal Documents
REALTORS® will obtain copies of the following:
- Assessor card
- Power of Attorney paperwork
- Trust paperwork
- Probate Court Appointment
- Attorney Review Contract
- Plot Plan
- Copy of deed
- Manage Buyers/Sellers Expectations
Never assume that the buyers want your leftover tiles, paints, compost pile, swing set, shelves, extra doors, pictures on the wall. Some buyers expect wall repairs if you remove shelves and pictures. Realtors will manage these items before closing so they don’t become an issue and hold up closing. Realtors will NOT be furniture brokers.
Attend Pre-closing walk thru:
A REALTOR® must attend the pre-closing walk thru and alert the buyers attorney of any problems asap. Make sure the keys, remotes, and any last minute information is available before the close. Remind client of about utility transfers.
A REALTOR® will make sure extensions for inspections, closing, mortgage commitment etc. are done in writing with a signed agreement, given enough time, and must have contract termination language in place.
Scheduling of Closing:
REALTORS® will make you aware closing times and dates. I the closing is even 1-2 days earlier of mid or end of month can make a difference in movers, timing of closing, getting figures earlier to clients, etc.
Discussing with clients, especially out of state, about what a closing date means and doesn’t mean in CT.
Property Disclosure Statement:
REALTORS® will know who is exempt from filling out the property disclosures. Some examples may be trustees,veterans, elderly, and deed in lieu of foreclosure. The seller must fill out the form in most cases but with no aid from a REALTOR®.
Manage Contract Contingencies:
REALTORS® stay on top of all the contract contingencies and dates which are of the utmost importance to securing your deposit money.
Challenges of Short Sales or Foreclosures:
REALTORS® will always check the judicial website to see if the property is a short sale or foreclosure before listing it. There are ways to avoid foreclosure through a short sale or loan modification.
Knowledge of Property Management:
Buyers need to know who manages the property and in the case of condo’s what do the HOA fees cover. What is the homeowner responsible for and what is the condo association responsible for? REALTORS® must know what restrictions there are for the development IE no boats, pets, etc. market the property.
Want to sell your home “For Sale by Owner”?
So, you think you can go it alone and sell your home for sale by owner. It is never a good idea to sell your own home. It is very common for homeowners to sabotage the sale of their home. Even professional realtors are known to hire other REALTORS® to sell their own homes.
If a REALTOR® has a buyer that wants to buy a for sale by owner then the REALTOR® has do all the work for both sides providing the FSBO is offering a commission for one side of the transaction. Double the work and liability for half the pay.
There are laws and code of ethics that a realtor must adhere to, legal contracts and paperwork needed for this transaction. A professional full-time realtor will know what is needed. If a homeowner chooses to sell for sale by owner and does not handle the transaction properly, this liability can be on you. Be sure to get information on the pros and cons of FSBO before heading down this path.
You must have time to be available for all the showings be able to hear the feedback without getting insulted. Purchasing a home is a huge financial investment and emotions can run high.
This can be difficult to do and having a real estate agent can be a buffer to negative feelings and help keep the sale moving forward for all parties.
So there you have…the answers to “What does my REALTOR® really do for me?”
Additional Information provided by:
Linda Meyers and Luke Skar.
Difference between Realtors, Real Estate agents, and brokers by Bill Gassett
What a Buyers Agent can do for You by Kevin Vitalti
8 Things a REALTOR does Behind your Back by Lynn Pineda
Why Hire a Buyers Agent by David Martin
At the ♥ of the Sale!
About the author: The about Real Estate information WHAT DOES MY REALTOR REALLY DO FOR ME was provided by Eileen Anderson, a recognized leader in her field. Eileen can be reached via email at Eileen@eileenandersonrealtor.com or by phone at 860-966-2112. Eileen has helped people move in and out of many Connecticut towns since 2000.
If you are thinking of selling your home or looking for your forever home contact me and I will guide you though the process. My sales and marketing background will make sure your home outshines the competition. I love Real Estate and sharing my real estate knowledge to benefit buyers and sellers.
I service Real Estate sales in the Hartford and Litchfield Connecticut counties including but not limited to: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, East Granby, Granby, Hartland, New Hartford, North Granby, Farmington, Simsbury, Suffield, Litchfield and West Hartford CT.