Yesterday I was asked by someone if I sold houses. I replied, "Yes. I am a REALTOR®"
"Oh, so you do mortgages and stuff?"
"No, I am not a mortgage broker. I prefer to wear one hat only and do it really well."
"So then what does a REALTOR® do?"
I was surprised to hear the question, as it seems the whole world knows what REALTORS® do: we make obscene amounts of money for selling houses (that is sarcasm people. Don't call me on it).
I started to provide an answer when we were interrupted. So, Alexandra, if you're reading, this is what a REALTOR® does:
Educates her buyers about the home buying process and what it entails.
Makes sure the buyer's financing is in place before he starts looking so he stays within his price range and is ready to rock and roll when the right home is found.
Scours the MLS database (where all the homes being sold by real estate agents are) for the right match for her buyers.
Sets up appointments and sees homes with her buyers.
Once the right home is found, makes sure you don't offer more than it is worth.
Structures an offer that is beneficial to you, yet attractive to the seller and his REALTOR®.
Negotiates on your behalf should the offer not be accepted as is.
Refers you to competent individuals who can provide financing, title work, legal representation, home inspections, appraisal services, homeowners insurance, and more.
Makes sure the deal is moving along the way it should. If a deadline on the contract is looming, your REALTOR® is on top of it!
If a wrench gets thrown into the works, as it often will in this very detailed process of buying a home, your REALTOR® will be there to try and straighten things out with the experience necessary to do so.
Although not required to do so, most REALTORS® will attend the closing with you, where they can explain things you may not understand about the closing process.
Adheres to a strict Code of Ethics while engaging in every part of this business.
99% of the time, the buyer pays absolutely nothing for the above services!
For sellers a REALTOR® serves equally well:
Will enter into a listing contract to sell your house.
Will do a thorough evaluation to determine the correct price to sell the house for.
Will place the house, it's features and pictures into the MLS database.
Will market the house in various ways to gain maximum exposure (the extent of this varies by individual so ask for specifics!) A lot of the ways utilized are not available to the general public and can be quite costly if available. Again, ask for specifics about the marketing plan.
The bottom line is a REALTOR® will look for a buyer for your house.
Once a buyer is found, negotiates on your behalf so you don't sell the house for less than it is worth.
The work continues after a buyer is found. As with buyers, makes sure the deal is moving along and tries to fix things if it's not. This is where many pitfalls can be avoided by using the services of a REALTOR®.