What does a REALTOR® do for you?
If you have bought or sold a home in the past, you are aware of the basics steps it takes from beginning to end. In fact, you might even pare down the steps of selling real estate to these six:
- Decide to sell
- Make repairs and stage the home for listing
- Have the listing agent coordinate showings
- Evaluate offers and counter-offer accordingly
- Accept an offer and sign the paperwork
- Pack-up your family so you can create memories in your new home
At first glance, it seems so simple. Listing your home should be no big deal, right? If only life was this easy! If only this was a real estate reality show where everything is neatly wrapped-up in 30 minutes or less.
So how many steps does it actually take to sell a home? This may surprise you: the process of buying or selling a home may take nearly 200 steps to accomplish. A good majority of these steps are completed by the REALTOR® hired to represent the buyer or the seller. The flip side involves taking these tasks on yourself, but we guess that you’re (wisely) starting to dismiss that idea.
The many responsibilities of your REALTOR®
A REALTOR® begins with a series of pre-listing activities that includes a lot of research: the property’s ownership, public record details, legal description, zoning, etc. They then walk through the home and property and make suggestions to the seller to best dress it up to appeal to potential buyers.
Next is educating the seller on current market conditions, offering a pricing strategy for the seller’s home, and discussing their master marketing plan. These steps are key. REALTORS® buy and sell real estate every day. They understand what’s going on with the local market, and can offer valuable insight.
Once the property is under listing agreement, the REALTOR® goes to work on the details, reviewing and verifying property and utility information, securing inspections and reports, and installing a lockbox.
Loading details into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database, and marketing items are next. The REALTOR® must create a variety of media for advertising: print ads, online ads, flyers, mailers, etc., all the while watching the market for changes that will affect this home.
When an offer comes in and a contract is set in motion, qualifications must be checked, negotiations made, more inspections, and buyer financing support is provided if needed. The REALTOR® will track the loan process to ensure it is on track, and manage any issues which may arise.
The duties continue through the sale’s closing with document reviews, title, tax and utility research and support, coordinate seller’s next purchase if applicable, and close out the home’s listing status.
You may think the REALTOR®s job is done when the sale is finalized, but it’s not! They continue after the closing to answer questions and resolve any conflicts regarding terms that may not be satisfactory.
As you can see, that is a lengthy list of activities, but is still only a snapshot of what a REALTOR® does for you! For a detailed list of the typical actions that are provided by a full service real estate brokerage, see the website section titled The Critical Role of the REALTOR®.