By Alena KairysJul 22, 2022
Much of what real estate agents do gets reduced to putting a home on a listing site and getting a commission when it sells. You might think real estate agents have it easy, but they employ many skills to help people become homeowners. Read on as we shed some light on what real estate agents do and why they’re essential if you’re buying or selling a home.
Before the Sale
For sellers, the real estate agent is responsible for listing your home for sale. To price your home, they’ll conduct a comparative market analysis to see how much similar homes in your area have sold for. In addition to managing the listing, agents and their teams work hard to market your home. Their marketing strategies can include professional photography and staging services, social media posts, and flyers to attract people. Holding an open house is a time-tested, effective way to get interested buyers in the door, literally! Agents frequently spend their weekends showing off properties for a few hours.
For buyers in the initial phases of house hunting, the real estate agent is tasked with getting to know what you’re looking for in your future home. They’ll get to know your needs, likes, dislikes and budget to recommend properties you may like. In a way, real estate agents are like matchmakers for homes. If you find a house you’re interested in, the agent will arrange a time to show it to you. Agents also need to have a strong understanding of their local markets. When you’re exploring various communities, tap into your agent’s knowledge to get an idea of a neighborhood’s characteristics.
A real estate professional who represents the home seller is called a seller’s or listing agent, while agents working for the homebuyer is a buyer’s agent. The main difference between them is that they have a fiduciary obligation to serve your interests as a buyer or seller. Having an agent who has no conflict of interest with the other party will give you peace of mind when it’s time to work out a deal.
During the Sale
Once you’ve found a house you want to purchase, the buyer’s agent will help you submit a competitive offer. It’s important to craft an offer that appeases the sellers while also complying with state and local real estate laws. Should there be any dispute regarding the offer or other concerns, your agent is there to be an intermediary between you and the seller. With all the duties you have to juggle when buying a home, the last thing you should involve yourself in is direct discussion with the other party. When reviewing the seller’s disclose, your agent can offer insight into what each item means. If you have concerns after conducting a home inspection, your agent can help you renegotiate your offer.
Once your home has an offer on the table, it can be beneficial to review it with your real estate agent, especially if you’ve received multiple bids. Offer letters are full of financial jargon, and you have a limited window to respond to offers (24-72 hours is typical)—using your agent as a resource makes a lot of sense. Though you are ultimately in charge of choosing the offer that’s best for you, your listing agent can translate what the offers entail and negotiate with the homebuyers via their buyer’s agent.
Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, time is of the essence in a real estate transaction. Agents need to be on the clock and ready to act when clients, seller’s/buyer’s agents, lenders, and title companies contact them. In addition to having open availability and timely communication, great real estate agents offer moral support to their clients. The home buying and selling process is often stressful and hectic, but having an encouraging and persistent real estate agent on your side can prevent you from feeling discouraged and lost.
Finalizing the Sale
On or a few days before you close, be sure to do a final walkthrough with your agent to ensure the home is still in working condition. This is your last opportunity to check that no new issues have come up since the home inspection and that the sellers have fixed any items that were stipulated in your offer. Although it’s not required for agents to attend closing, many choose to be present or send a representative from their team to make sure everything goes smoothly. Along with the closing attorney, your agent can clarify terms in the closing documents and answer questions.
When it comes to making one of the most significant purchases in your life, it makes sense to work with a professional who understands the ins and outs of real estate and who is dedicated to your best interests. After you finally walk through the door of your new home, you’ll be glad you hired an amazing real estate agent.
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