There is a fair amount of mystery that shrouds the real estate industry. Some people wonder,”What do agents do all day? I didn’t feel like my agent did much for me.” Remember, your agent has a fiduciary responsibility towards you. Experienced agents typically take time to plan for their business each year. This also means refining their processes and finding new ways to wow clients. Here are some of the things they can be doing behind the scenes to make your life easier.
Recommend a lender: Realtors often maintain different lender contacts for different types of transactions. For example, your realtor may know some lenders who have experience with less common types of transactions such as the 203k financing, self-employed buyers, short sales, rural housing loans etc. Your realtor may also have contacts that they know you should never use for more complicated transactions. Remember, they’ve had good and bad experiences with different lenders.
Tour homes for you: You may be the type of person who finds the process of looking at homes daunting and exhausting. Once the agent has a good feel for your make or break preferences, they can preview homes during the day for you while you’re at work. They can then report back to you with any items that caught their attention at each property and you can decide whether it is worth your time to actually go out and view the property in person.
Comparative Market Analysis: It’s typical to find your dream home and then not know what a fair offer price would be. It is an agent’s job to provide you a comparative market analysis. This way you can compare amenities, cost per square foot, acreage etc. Even better, the agent can also add in adjustments to the comparative market analysis, so that there is less work for you when reading it.
This is called the Sales Comparison Approach. For example, they will add a dollar value to a home with a 2 car garage so that it is comparable to a similar home with a 3 car garage. The only way an analysis makes much sense is if the comparisons are equal. Adjustments help equalize your comparisons on paper, so that you can make a sound decision.
Social media: Most agents are leveraging social media and some are even making use of walking video tours or drones to garner online views and show your home from new angles. This can also give a pretty genuine effect of walking through the home, which can be a big plus for out of town buyers planning to relocate soon.
Socialization: Real estate companies often conduct monthly agent tours. This can mean your agent brings over 10-15 of their fellow agents to tour your home. Agents often have buyer contacts up their sleeves, that are either not quite ready to buy yet, or just haven’t met the home of their dreams. Every social event an agent attends is a chance to connect more buyers to sellers. Networking never ends.
Leg work via phone: If you are in the midst of inspection negotiations, your agent should be calling contractors and getting several estimates for each potential repair that the buyer has requested. Then you will be able to compare costs, and you won’t have to sacrifice time during your own hectic day.
Protect your property: Sadly, not every would-be buyer has the best intentions. A seller’s agent can keep an eye and an ear on buyers during open houses and showings to make sure buyers are not rifling through your medicine cabinet or looking for valuables. A realtor can also invest in electronic lockboxes, that only a realtor with an electronic card or a contractor with a contractor code can use to enter the home. The contractor code would need to be programmed into the device by the agent.
For Both Buyers and Sellers:
HUD-1 Settlement Statement: Groan, who wants to spend time looking at this jumble of numbers? Especially when the title company doesn’t send it out until an hour before closing? Your agent does. They should be reviewing the HUD-1 to make sure everything is correct and that no mistakes have been made. After all, they have the most familiarity with your contract and it is their job to protect your bottom line.