First, let's just take a moment to appreciate how fabulously cheesy this photo ad is...
Okay, now we can discuss the big question: What does a Realtor actually do? Can't I just put a sign in my yard, ad in the newspaper, and some pictures on Zillow to sell my own home? And when I'm buying a house, can't I just search online, visit a few places, make an offer, and move in?
Technically you can buy and sell property on your own, but you will likely overpay, undersell, and waste a lot of time.
There is a reason why 89% of people use a Realtor to buy and sell their homes.
Here are just a few of the things a Realtor does on your behalf:
For Home Buyers and Investors:
1. Uses the MLS to search through thousands of listings in order to find the ones that match your specific criteria.
2. Arranges with homeowners and other Realtors the times when you may see the home in person, and gives you access to the property.
3. Researches and presents essential information such as HOA fees, history of the property, neighborhood data, and deed restrictions.
4. Arranges appointments with mortgage lenders, insurance representatives, home inspectors, appraisers, and title companies. Often, a good Realtor will have working relationships with these industry professionals, which will help smooth out the buying process.
5. Negotiates on your behalf. While you are of course the one who ultimately calls the shots, your Realtor will give you expert advice throughout the process of presenting an offer and responding to counter offers. It is your Realtor's job to go to bat for you during negotiations.
6. Completes and compiles the necessary documents for closing. This step is one you definitely must put in the hands of a trusted professional.
For Home Sellers:
1. Lists your property on the MLS so that active buyers can quickly discover your home.
2. Prepares a Comparative Market Analysis using recent housing data in order to help you decide on the most strategic listing price.
3. A good Realtor will hire a professional photographer to create a media package that advertises your property and attracts buyers. If you see your Realtor use their cell phone camera in lieu of a pro, run.
4. Uses professional photos and video to advertise your property in a variety of venues - Many Realtors will pay for these advertisements to make sure your property is sold quickly and at the highest price possible.
5. Plans, advertises, and hosts open houses in order to attract buyers and show off your home.
6. Presents offers from buyers, recommends counter offers, helps you negotiate a final deal, and then prepares the paperwork for closing and ensures the accuracy of the agreement.
In short, a Realtor saves their clients time and money. Now who doesn't love that?