Many people feel that real estate agents make “easy” money. A Realtor will show you a few homes for sale, submit a contract and, when the deal closes, they get 3% of the purchase price. On an average priced home for sale in Columbus that’s approximately $5,000.
Sounds like a nice income for a “part-time” job.
Let’s take a look at the work your real estate agent should actually do to earn his/her commission. Then you can judge whether your buyer’s agent really earned it or not.
When you work with a buyers agent, that agent should be with you every step of the way. She should be there in person, not just answer her email or phone.
Here are four critical parts of the home buying process, where your real estate agent must be present.
Showing Homes for Sale
Your realtor always has to be with you when you look at a house for sale. For most private sales you need the agent to open the door, because they have an electronic lockbox only licensed agents can open with a special keypad.
When you enter REOs, bank-owned homes and especially government owned properties, such as HUD or Fannie Mae homes, your agent must be with you. Otherwise, you could be considered a trespasser and be arrested.
Some real estate agents may offer you a lock-box combination or even hand you a key. First of all, they break the listing rules, but more importantly, they should be there to help you. Your agent should point out features of a home you are looking at, as well as shortcomings you may not notice at first sight.
When you submit a contract, in many cases you have to meet your agent for an original signature and to drop off the earnest money check. You can certainly give her instructions over the phone, i.e. when you plan to submit a HUD bid online. For first time buyers, it is especially helpful if your agent explains all the terms of the standard CBR board contract, as well as your rights and options. In addition to signing the contract, you then can get all your questions answered concerning the documents that need to be submitted.
Coordinating Lenders, Inspectors and Title Companies
Your real estate agent should be in control of the purchase process. Who will, if not your buyers agent?
A good realtor will be in contact with all parties involved in the transaction. She will coordinate your home inspection and appraisal, make sure your lender receives all the information to get your loan underwritten, and she will talk to the title company to schedule a closing time and date that works for all parties.
Many agents never show up for a home inspection. I believe that’s wrong. Your realtor should be there with you when the home inspector checks the house. It is amazing what you can learn from attending a home inspection.
It is your agent’s responsibility to be at the house when you are there.
Attending the Closing
I don’t understand why many real estate agents do not show up for the closing at the title company. As a buyer you deserve your agent’s support at the closing, which can be very stressful.
Only a few of my buyers hire a lawyer to attend the closing and review the paperwork beforehand.
You Deserve a Real Estate Agent on Your Side
Obviously, that’s not the only work a real estate agent has to do. There’s quite a lot going on behind the scenes, such as conversations with the sellers agent, with lenders and title agents. And not every buyer will actually close on a home they looked at or even submitted an offer for.
If you are looking for a real estate agent who will go the extra mile for you, then give me a call at (614) 975-9650.