What Does a Real Estate Agent Really Do?

For most home buyers, real estate agents are not a big part of our lives. When it comes time to buy or sell, we find the best agent we can, finish our transaction, and then move on with many years in between. We don’t think about the hard work our agent does behind the scenes to make our home purchase the best possible experience.

Pre-Screening Homes

Real estate agents are connected with other local agents in the MLS system.  They get an opportunity for a first peak at homes before they go on the market and immediately when they first hit the market.

If you are looking for a home in a big city, a lot of homes go on the market every day. A great agent will look through new listings each day and keep a feeler out for homes you might like. They screen out the homes you wouldn’t like so you don’t have to and only show you the homes you might really want.

Property Research

A great real estate agent will come prepared to a showing with local crime, school, and comparable home sale information to give you a great idea of what the neighborhood is like and what types of offers are realistic for the property.

Agents with local area experience know a lot about the surrounding neighborhood in addition near-by conveniences. They can help you get to really know the area, neighborhood and property so you can make a good decision and know what you’re buying.

Mortgage Assistance

A Realtor can’t take care of the hard work of the mortgage for you, but they can help you get started in the process by finding the right lender and mortgage loan broker. For someone new in town or someone who has never owned a home before, this can be a very valuable, time-saving guidance.

Real estate agents close lots of homes, and part of that process is establishing relationships with lots of local mortgage brokers and bankers. Finding the right mortgage can save you lots of money, so don’t overlook asking for help here if you need it.

Screening Offers

As a seller, you might not get an offer for a while or you might get a flood of offers all at once. An experienced agent will help you vet out those offers and decide which might be best and which are not worth the trouble.

When I sold my last home, my Realtor was incredible helpful when deciding which offers were more of a pass and which were worth sending over a counter offer.

Negotiation Help

When dealing with offers and counter-offers, a great agent will help advise you on the best decision. They know what types of offers would offend the other party, what might be realistic, and how hard you can push for a better deal.

A great agent will give you advice, but won’t push you to make any decision you are not comfortable with. They should always respect your deal breakers and your word is final, but they can help you read the other party and end up with the best price on your transaction, along with all the other parts of the deal along the way.

Legal Expertise

A real estate agent isn’t a lawyer, and as such can not offer legal advice.  However your agent is very familiar with the standard legal documents involved in the transaction and can answer questions about the contracts and closing procedure.  If you want to heavily modify the meaning of a contract you will have to consult with a lawyer on the wording.

Agents can also help you negotiate in better terms and conditions with the sale process. Real estate apps can help you come up with some of the information, but they can’t completely replace an agent just yet.  A great agent is an amazing asset for any real estate transaction.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.