What does a real estate agent do for you, anyway?
Maybe you’re thinking of selling your home on your own, starting the buying process, or even becoming a real estate agent. Regardless, it’s important to understand what a real estate agent does.
First thing is first: money. You may be wondering, “how does a real estate agent get paid?” For the most part, agents don’t get paid until they close a deal. According to realtor.com, “for every hour an agent spends in your presence, he or she will spend an average of nine hours out of eyesight working on your behalf.” That’s a lot of time to make a deal!
Overall, the major roles of a real estate agent are to network, make the selling/buying process smoother, and to stay abreast of industry trends.
Whether you are buying or selling, a good real estate agent should have your interests at best and have some solid negotiation skills. But there are some specific characteristics for what an agent does when buying and when selling.
What does a real estate agent do for a buyer?
- Introduce you to a trusted lender and get you pre-approved so you can start shopping, and shopping realistically, ASAP. Note: being pre-approved means your lender has verified your income, your employment, and run your credit.
- Understand and help put your needs into words. Perhaps your agent may have to help you make your dreams more grounded and figure out what places you can concede.
- Show you houses within your means.
- Get the latest on new houses on the market with access to the MLS.
- Have expertise on how other buyers and real estate agents will interact with a house on the market (AKA negotiation skills!).
- Have access to show you homes privately on your own time rather than hitting open house after open house every Sunday.
- Suggest other options you hadn’t thought of previously (while still staying within your means).
- A good agent will introduce you to an inspector, stick around for the inspection, and even negotiate any home inspection requests.
- Introduce you to brokers, if needed.
What does a real estate agent do for a seller?
- Recommend staging options to turn your home over more quickly.
- Hire a professional photographer to photograph your home in the best light from the best angles.
- Organize and host an open house to attract potential buyers.
- Tap their own network of potential buyers.
- Get your house on the MLS system which feeds John L. Scott, Redfin, Bellwether Real Estate, Zillow, etc. In other words, it puts your listing across multiple websites, which means your house will get in front of more people’s eyes
- As cheesy as it may sound, put a professional sign out front. Dealing with sell-by-owners can be a turn-off for many potential buyers who may prefer to rely on a third-party for a more fair price and smoother transaction.