Do you ever wonder what your real estate agent is doing for you while his or her sign is posted in your front yard? Or maybe you ask yourself how much is my realtor helping with the largest purchase I’ll likely make in my lifetime? And what’s that six percent commission really buying me?
The answer to each of these questions is: “A lot.” A well-rounded, competent, full-time real estate agent is working around the clock to ensure that the home buying and/or home selling process are running smoothly. To that end, let’s discuss a few things your agent is doing behind the scenes:
Note to Home Buyers and Sellers:
- Whether buying or selling, your real estate agent is wholeheartedly committed to working with you on a personal level. Not only does your home represent a huge financial investment, it also represents a lifetime of family memories. An exemplary realtor takes the time to delve into the client’s genuine motivations, future plans and goals. It takes a dedicated professional to be able to balance the financial, emotional and sensitive elements incorporated in many real estate transactions.
- So what does all that professionalism cost? Well, for homebuyers, it doesn’t cost a cent for the real estate agent’s services. The only thing your agent requires is an open and honest relationship – and if the service was admirable, your agent hopes you’ll trust him or her with any subsequent real estate transactions in which you become engaged.
- A comprehensive market analysis is one of the most significant components to understanding the current market and the potential market value of the home you are transacting. Sadly, many clients trust Zillow for the home’s “zestimated” value. Let’s be clear; Zillow is NOT personally involved in our beloved Flagstaff housing market. Zillow is not driving around every day, taking clients on tours, and learning the intricacies of the local market. Zillow is simply an algorithm that takes broad data supplied through the Coconino County Assessor’s office to provide a rough estimate of a property’s value. Zillow can easily be more than $50,000 off of the true mark.
Your realtor dedicates many hours of research towards identifying “comparable” properties specific to each home. Touring properties, talking with agents following successful sales, and understanding material data from Sold, Active and Pending properties – these are the precision instruments that Zillow is missing.
- For every hour an agent shows property, he or she spends several additional hours viewing prospective homes online. Many agents tour key properties in advance of their clients, arming themselves with the knowledge needed as industry professionals. Because properties come and go so fast, knowing the details and specifics of the inventory demands consistent research and analysis.
- What about scheduling home showings? Not as easy as it appears. The client might ask; “Could we see these 15 homes tomorrow?” The agent’s response: “No problem,” is answered even as the logistics are being considered. What’s an efficient route? How can I accommodate the needs of sellers while creating an itinerary that services all listings in a timely manner? The process associated with organizing and showing a number of prospective properties might occur several times before the buyers find their ideal home.
- Writing purchase contracts and counteroffers are other critical elements in every transaction. The professional real estate agent is part advisor (why don’t we offer this amount or ask for these concessions); part timekeeper (keeping track of important deadline dates); and part legal aid (explaining important and legally binding issues and language).
- Realtors act like therapists at times, an important skill designed to create a smooth transaction and keep all parties relaxed as they approach closing day. Professional negotiating, honesty, and relationship building are the keys to a successful close!
Note to Readers:
Be sure to do your research and due diligence when selecting an experienced real estate agent. Your realtor needs to understand your personal and family goals, the specific trends in the Flagstaff market, and needs to demonstrate that YOU are the most important client. Your realtor needs to have your best interests in mind. Find the right professional and don’t worry about what he or she is “doing behind closed doors.” They’re working for YOU!
By Blake Cain
Blake Cain is a realtor with Russ Lyon. (or whatever we normally say for this) He can be reached at 928-856-9071.