Understanding Your REALTOR’s Role When Buying or Selling Real Estate

No question about it. There is a lot of confusion over what exactly your real estate agent should be doing for you when you are purchasing or selling property. So if I may…

Regular House Agent’s Role

A regular house agent’s role is different than an investment property agent’s role. Today we will talk about the “regular” house agent. And before we get started you need to know that all real estate agents are independent contractors. They have a lot of freedom (within their brokerage’s framework) in how they run their businesses. So while these are my guidelines that I think you should consider, you may find an agent who works differently.

What a buyer’s agent does do:

  • sift through homes for you that meet your needs.
  • preview homes for you to save your time.
  • help you to narrow the field to two or three homes.
  • learn as much as she can regarding seller’s motivation.
  • advise as to negotiation tactics and offer opinions.
  • keep lines of communication open at all times during negotiations.
  • recommend quality inspectors and title company.
  • keep you on track to satisfy contract demands.
  • follow up with seller’s agent to make sure seller is following contract demands.
  • review Settlement Statement for compliance and/or errors.
  • give you the keys to the house.

What a seller’s agent does do:

  • show you accurate comps to your home.
  • help you set a price that will sell.
  • properly stage the home to maximize appeal.
  • market your home using today’s technologies.
  • remember that agent has a fiduciary duty to you and not throw you under the bus to “double side” the deal.
  • help you to understand and evaluate feedback.
  • help you to understand and evaluate offers.
  • advise as to how to respond to offers.
  • keep lines of communication open during entire process.
  • coordinate inspections with buyer’s agent and set stage for renegotiations.
  • work through inevitable renegotiations.
  • make sure buyer’s agent is keeping buyer on track for closing.
  • communicate with buyer’s loan officer at least once to make sure buyer is on track for closing.
  • review Settlement Statement for compliance and/or errors.
  • congratulate you on the next step of your life.

These lists are not all encompassing and many of the points should have several sub-points. There could also be a long list of what an agent does not do. Let me know if you think I should include something else.

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