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What A Real Estate Broker Does For You

As Real Estate Professionals I can help you through the stages of the buying and selling process. If you would like specific information about what I offer my clients (Buyers and Sellers), please to schedule a broker presentation.

As a Buyer's Representative I will:

  • Be your adviser and advocate during the entire buying process.
  • Take time to uncover the the your needs and wants as well as what’s motivating your purchase.
  • Educate you on current market conditions.
  • Find a way for you to attain as many of your needs as possible when dealing with the realities of the marketplace and/or specific financial constraints.
  • Research homes in the area and sort through active listings to make suggestions after cross-referencing your needs.
  • Help you achieve your lifestyle needs with a different set of features than originally anticipated. (this is particularly useful when dealing with financial constraints)
  • Aid you in narrowing your search until you have identified your top choices.
  • Handle the ins and outs of the negotiation process including the preparation of all necessary forms when making your offer and/or counteroffer.
  • Provide oversight and follow up for any inspections deemed necessary.
  • Counsel the you on how to handle any repairs needed on the property.
  • Be present at closing to ensure that all the your interests are protected.

As a Seller's Representative I will:

At the simplest level, a real estate broker represents buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of "real property" (e.g., a house). When you were looking to buy, the licensee you worked with probably spent most of his or her time showing you houses, which is probably why so many people think that’s primarily what real estate licensees do.

When you’re selling, though, showing your house is actually a very small part of an licensee’s job. I will also:

  • Help you price your house: A good real estate licensee will understand the local market in general and conduct a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA to help set a specific price. The trick is to get the highest price you can without scaring off potential buyers.
  • Provide advice on how to present the house: From curb appeal to emptied closets, I know how to highlight the amenities buyers want.
  • Market the house to buyers: For Sale signs, Internet advertising, direct-mail fliers, newspaper ads, and showings — they’re all tools to get buyers to take a closer look.
  • Market the house to other real estate licensees: Truth be told, an licensee’s most important target market is not home buyers, but rather other licensees. And their most powerful weapon is the MLS or Multiple Listing Service, which, by the way, got its name from “listing” licensees.
  • Represent you during negotiations: Once an offer is made, your licensee becomes part messenger, part manager, handling counter offers and contingency issues and following the paper trail from initial offer to final closing.

For a more detail on specifically what a Real Estate Licensee will do for you, a good read is 184 Tasks Agents Do For You.

Do You Really Need a Real Estate Professional?

By Ilyce Glink December 2013

As the author of 10 best-selling books on real estate, personal finance and business, I’m often asked if hiring a real estate professional is really worth it. The question usually comes from sellers who are under the impression that a seller’s market (where there are not enough homes listed for all the buyers who want them) implies that it would be easy to sell “by owner.” But buyers are also often under the (false) impression that they will save more money by going it alone.

Here’s the truth: Every homebuyer and most home sellers should use an Licensed Real Estate Professional. 

There are hundreds of thousands of real estate websites, many containing DIY stories about buying and selling real estate, so I understand why many people may not think they need expert help. What you can’t get from the Web, however, is the perspective and experience of an licensee who has worked with hundreds of clients over the years — and has watched thousands of properties go on and off the market — in the neighborhood in which you’re looking to buy or sell.
 
How Good Real Estate Professionals Help Buyers
Buying a home is a big step, and having a knowledgeable agent guide you through the process can only help. And it doesn’t cost you anything out of pocket if you’re the buyer — the seller pays the commission, even though the agent owes you her fiduciary responsibility. It’s all good on the buyer’s side. 

A good licensee should be your eyes and ears during the homebuying process. Your licensee will prescreen homes on the market, pick the ones she thinks are right for you and weed out the homes that don’t meet your wants and needs. Your licensee will listen to you, guide your decision-making, make appointments for you to see the homes, chauffeur you around and provide helpful information on demographic data.
 
When you do find the home of your dreams, your licensee will help you put together the offer, negotiate a deal and provide assistance in setting up your home inspection.

A great licensee will save you time and effort, as well as provide you with a lot of information to help you zero in on the home that’s right for you. Doing it yourself is fraught with possible problems: If you are not familiar with the area where you are buying, how will you know what price to offer? If a competing bid comes up and you are not notified, you could lose out. Your real estate licensee is there to make sure these things don’t happen.
 
How Good Real Estate Professionals Help Home Sellers
For sellers, a full-service real estate licensee takes care of a lot of details, such as listing your home on MLS (the multiple listing service), marketing your home through traditional and online advertising and showing the home to potential buyers.

A good real estate licensee will not only give you information about other properties and competition in your area, but will also tell you what’s wrong with your house (small things can make a big difference — such as de-cluttering the family room or painting a bedroom to make it more neutral) and make suggestions on what you can do to help you sell it more quickly.

While I think it’s generally a good idea to use an licensee when selling your home, it’s not the cheapest way to go: The standard commission is between 5 and 6 percent of the sales price. Other options are available for sellers who don’t want to spend the money on an licensee, such as listing a home “by owner” with one of many FSBO (for sale by owner) websites or even by marketing the home yourself by setting up a website and using other online options such as Zillow. 

Beware, however, that if you do try to sell your home yourself, you’ll have to put a lot of time and effort into the selling process. After all, you have to be the seller and the listing representative, and both jobs require a lot of time and energy.
 
Ilyce Glink is an award-winning author, columnist, radio talk show host and blogger who specializes in real estate and personal finance. Her articles appear on Yahoo, AOL, CBS News, and numerous blogs. Find her online at ThinkGlink.com.

Selling Without an Real Estate Professional

Selling without a real estate broker is a challenge. Among the things that an broker takes care of is listing of your house on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is the primary source for most real estate brokers who are searching for properties on behalf of clients. It is not unusual for brokers to only show homes that are listed on the MLS because they know that there will be another broker for them to negotiate with, rather than having to deal with an unknown, non-professional seller.

Selling your home on your own can also requires a large amount of time and energy because you will need to do many of the tasks that the licensee would traditionally do on your behalf. People who sell their own homes are one of the following.

  • Well acquainted with real estate procedures and contracts
  • Testing the waters to see what they could get for their home if they wanted to sell
  • Somewhat desperate and unprepared to lose money to commissions

In all of these cases, people who sell their own homes must have a large amount of free time.

One statistic that would be interesting but is difficult to measure is the difference in final sale price for a property sold by the owner and the same property sold by an broker. Even though the interests of a real estate broker may conflict with your best interests these professionals can still serve an important purpose.

Real estate brokerss generally have a more realistic view of what a home is worth and good agents are adept at getting that price. Additionally, real estate brokerss save you time by showing your home without interrupting your schedule more than necessary.

Perhaps the most important function of an broker is to ensure that the contracts and other legal matters are in order. No one wants to get through all the stress of listing and selling their home and then find out that they are being sued over an avoidable breach of contract.

While the commissions do take from your bottom line, the advice and due diligence (DD) of a good agent are likely worth it. The challenge is finding a good real estate broker and making sure that your interests are in line.

A good broker is worth your money unless you have the education, time, energy and marketing experience to sell your own home. Finding a good licensee may involve some false starts, but if you go through referrals and set your own terms, you should find that the commission you pay is money well spent.