Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy a House? Or What Do Realtors Actually Do for All That Money

Real estate as a profession has been around as long as there has been a United States and yet many people have little idea how Realtors actually function. This understanding is exasperated by the fact that no two Realtors practice in the exact same way. While the aim is the same, the methods employed are often quite different. Still, the basic process remains unchanged.

This matters because both buyers and sellers are often challenged by their living situation–or lack thereof–to the point of severe stress both emotional and financial. Understand the process can be a great help.

Buyers, for instance, tend to think of real estate sales persons as someone who wants to sell them a house, that they will even try to talk a person into buying a particular property in order to make another commission. While some new licenses may start out like a glorified used car salesman with this idea they rarely last. Over 70% of new agents fail in the first year.

What actually happens is the Realtor learns all they can about a person’s needs and finances and combs the market for a home to fit those needs and financial limitations. This last issue is usually the toughest. Buyers strive to get the most home for the least cost and sellers strive to sell for the highest price. Add direct competition from other buyers and the landscape can be challenging at best.

This is where a good Realtor is worth his or her weight in gold. Well, maybe not their weight in gold, although this may be true in some cases, but a considerable amount of money at a time when financial resources are usually stretched to the limit.

Helping a buyer into the right home at the right price is the job and Realtors have been doing just that for as long as there have been Realtors. If they didn’t they would have gone extinct ages ago especially in today’s computer driven markets.

Once the right home is found the job is just beginning. The best price and terms must be negotiated. This is an art in itself and can save the home buyer a sizable fortune. Here’s where the network of Realtor affiliated with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) comes into play.

Both the buyer and the seller are typically represented by separate agents, each legally required to serve their client’s needs and no other. Buyers and sellers do not directly interact. This single factor facilitates successful agreements more than any other means since Realtors as experienced negotiators can put together deals that individuals usually cannot as witnessed by the staggering rate of negotiation failures experienced by FSBOs (For Sale by Owner sellers working without representation)

Once the deal is struck the next challenge is getting to the closing table through financing, home inspections, attorney and title hang-ups and even timing. The previous owner must leave at the same time the new owners are ready to move in. This is often on the same say, the day of the closing. Here too expertise pays off while sellers who manage to strike a deal experience major fall-through issues and failed closings forcing them to start over with all the accompanying costs and missed opportunity.

Realtors facilitate successful transactions not by pushing their own agenda but by expediting their client’s needs and goals.

Not only is trying to sell someone a home counterproductive in a world of cautious buyers it undermines an experience agent’s foundation for continues success in the profession: repeat customers.

Sellers too often labor under misconception about the process of selling their property. If they gave it any consideration at all they might think that what doesn’t really happen to buyers actually does. No successful agent goes out and tries to talks someone into buying a house.

What actually happens is much like marketing any product or commodity. Simply put, the Realtor promotes the listing to the buying public in the best possible light. This process too is greatly facilitated by MLS associations as a repository of homes for sale. The MLS is the single best source for home sales in the country where over 90% of buyers find their home through agents affiliated with a regional MLS. The goal is that no one interested in buying a home is left unaware of the seller’s offering. And that the best possible light means the place must show well and the price must be competitive with other similar homes since buyers will always choose the best home at the best price.

This can be as much of a challenge for sellers as it is for buyers. Again, the seller is looking to maximize their investment which does not usually include fixing the place up. If they wanted to make improvements or repairs they wouldn’t be selling in the first place and for the price they are getting the buyer should be willing to accept less than picture perfect–at least that’s often the common thinking. This is just as reasonable as buyer’s being put off by homes that need work and in their opinion overpriced but not conducive to anyone getting what they want and need.

What results is conflict–almost every time. Solving these innate issues is what Realtor do best: Finding the right home for the buyers based on their needs not their own. Or market the seller’s home effectively to bring in a ready, willing, and able buyer. Then making it work for both parties all the way to the closing table and a fine new home for the buyer and a big check for the seller to enhance their bottom line as well as their living situation. Not bad, not bad at all.