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What do REALTORS® do when you aren't looking? Many people think that the life of a REALTOR® is easy and that all we do is drive around entertaining our clients and eating bonbons. If you think HGTV portrays our lives and lifestyles, you have been misled. If someone has told you it is a piece of cake- wrong again! In this article, I want to tell you a little bit about what REALTORS® do.
It is important to mention that there is a distinct difference between a REALTOR® and a licensed real estate agent. Anyone that has passed the required education and test, can be considered a licensed real estate agent. A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that he or she must uphold the standards of the Association and its code of ethics.
First and foremost, we have a fiduciary relationship with our clients, whether you are a buyer or a seller. What that means, is we have a monetary bond to get you the best home at the best value for the best amount of money, legally.
Second, we are bound by our Legal and Ethics procedures which mean we get you results the legal way. With that said, let me give you an example of our day/week/month of what we do when listing a property.
A potential client calls and wants to talk about listing their home. I research their home, check the tax records, do a market analysis, check out the neighborhood, put together a synopsis of my marketing plan of that home in that location. I also drive the area at various times of the weekday and the weekend to get a pulse of what happens in their community. In addition, I gather as much information as I can to be prepared to give them a practical sales price with facts.
I then meet the client to preview their home. I take them forms they will need to be aware of, such as the Contract/Listing Agreement, the Seller's Disclosure, T-47, Survey and ask for a list of recent upgrades, repairs, additions and explain what to expect in the process.
As part of my services and for many other agents, I de-clutter the home and stage with some of my decorations and some of theirs. I will make recommendations for paint, repairs, and cleaning. I sometimes rearrange furniture for the best layout to show off the home and then take professional photographs and virtual tours (some homes I drone) and then, I begin preparation to get the home ready to go on the market.
Next, REALTORS® will get all the paperwork in order, prepare flyers, create marketing items like a website, prepare verbiage for those pieces and enter it in the Multiple Listing Service. I enter the home on to the MLS with pictures and information on the home, the sign goes up with a text message sign, lock box and anything else pertinent to the marketing of the home. I belong to many different MLS services across Texas, I enter the house into each system. Why do I do this? I do it because home sellers rank marketing their home and finding a buyer as the #1 consideration when choosing a REALTOR!!!
Now that the pre-marketing is complete, I send out “Just Listed” postcards, syndication has been done and the listing goes live. Hopefully, people start showing the property, open houses are done and BOOM in comes an offer - REALTORS® then start negotiating the offer for it to become a contract (sometimes takes hours, days/weeks). Offer is successful, it then goes to title where option money and earnest money are delivered and tendered. Option period begins - this is the allotted time for the potential buyer to get a home inspection. Home inspections can be wonderful or they can be a nightmare depending on what is found. Most times, contract and repairs are renegotiated. Repairs then need to be completed.
All this time, your REALTOR® is securing a smooth closing for you, the seller. They work with the other REALTOR®, gather more paperwork, talk to the buyer's lender, answer millions of questions from both parties, spend many hours on the phone negotiating, sometimes coordinating contractors to do repairs, collecting information and invoices for closing. This is usually a 30 to 45 day process.
We are now close to the end of the process. The buyer’s mortgage lender gives a clear to close, some more paperwork, conditions to be met, invoices to submit from repairs, underwriting for the loan is finalized and closing is scheduled. From there the closing orchestrated by the title company, everybody signs, loan closes and funds, keys are exchanged, buyers start their move.
Although this is not everything, I think you get the jest that a lot happens when you aren't looking. REALTORS® are truly worth their weight in gold! Remember this is on the seller’s side, there isn't enough room for the Buyer's side today.
Article Written by: Suzanne Gantner, Licensed REALTOR® with Realty Texas