Buyer’s Real Estate Agent and What We Do

What does a real estate agent do?  This can be hard to explain on how agents spend their time assisting their clients and customers.  Much goes on behind the scenes that their clients may not see, but yet reap the benefit of this work in many different ways.

One of our duties is to make sure everyone involved is doing their job e.g. Lender is working on getting a loan approval, buyer’s due diligence is from submitting needed lender documents, conducting all inspections, reviewing all documents, being responsive to all correspondences. Receiving mutual cooperation with the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Communication is the key to a successful transaction.

So many things can go wrong or right but know that I will be there guiding you through the process to avoid pitfalls and make the transaction as stress free as possible.

Let’s look at some more of an agent’s duties and activities working with buyers:

  • Meet with the buyer and delve into their wants, needs, desires regarding their future home. e.g. Size of home, schools, medical facilities, recreation etc. But also help the buyer understand the realities of their requests when it comes to the current market at time of home buying. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?  These things help the buyer understand whether or not their home wish list is viable or not. **Don’t take what you see on TV and apply it to the real world, you will be up for a disappointment I’m afraid.
  • Helping buyers locate homes that fit their needs, finances and requirements utilizing the most accurate source, that being the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Educate buyers on the current home sales, current market conditions, zoning, neighborhood amenities, future municipal development to assist in making a reasonable offer to the seller.
  • Scheduling a house hunting tour of the buyer’s wish list takes a logistical waltz.  Some homes maybe vacant which makes life easy, but some are occupied by renters or the home owner.  Those that are not vacant requires scheduling, with seller restrictions.
    • When will the seller show or will not show?  Sometimes we have to contact the listing agent.  In return they call their sellers…meanwhile I wait for an answer.
    • Is there a renter/tenant? If so, this requires we stay within the Landlord Tenant regulations. A 48-hour notice must be given to the renter/tenant prior to showing the home.  Sometimes no cooperation is given on a request for showing an occupied home and must be rescheduled for another day.
    • Geography? Based on where the homes on the tour list are located, I create a map that best suits the buyers time and travel. ‘The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.’ Am I picking up the buyer or are they meeting me at House #1?
    • Or maybe the buyers are out of town/state and I am requested to preview a list of homes for the buyers. They may want photos or videos emailed to them.
  • The best real estate agents have a sizeable network of industry professionals or locations they can refer buyers and sellers to e.g.:
    • Lenders
    • Mortgage Brokers
    • Inspectors such as plumber, electrician, roofers, termite, Geo-technical Engineer (soil) etc.
    • County resources such a planning and zoning departments, taxes, schools, municipal services etc.
    • Other agents- from within state and out of state.

But in the long run, it is the buyer’s choice on who they wish to choose.  I always give numerous referrals of each category.  Buyers should ask family and friends as well.

  • Help craft that initial offer in the purchase agreement. Work through negotiations and or counter-offers with the buyers.
    • Communicate the justification for buyer’s proposed offer to the listing agent especially if it may be a ‘low ball’ offer.  ‘Low-ball’ offers can be successful if submitted appropriately.
      • Justification given can be any combination of:
        • The home is in need of a lot of repair
        • I would give reasonable market analysis of comparable homes to include foot notes with details. Be descriptive and not just hand the listing agent a bunch of comparable listings.
        • It’s been on the market longer than average for the area
        • Try to find out the seller’s motivation for selling. Do they need to move quickly? Or is it a financial issue etc.? The buyer can possibly work with these and structure the offer around it.
      • Receive feedback on whether or not the offer is sound or if the sellers are going to counter offer.
      • Is the offer rejected and if so, why?
      • Does the seller have multiple offers in hand?
      • Did some unforeseen incident happen to the sellers or the home causing the offer to fall through?
      • Does the buyer get another opportunity to submit another offer?
    • After an offer is accepted, I coordinate the transaction process on the buyer’s side. Assist buyers with scheduling home inspections. I shall deliver promptly and explain all documents to the buyer.  I am here to keep the buyer on track.
      • After acceptance, time is now of the essence.  The clock is ticking, and the buyer has contingencies to perform in order to stay in contract and on schedule.
      • Buyer needs to complete all desired inspections within the contractually listed time frame.
      • Coordinate with the buyers and their lender to assure all documents required to obtain the loan are submitted to the lender in a timely manner.
      • Help buyers review all documents, title commitment, HOA, etc pertaining to the transaction and sign appropriately. Complete all contingencies required of the buyer.
      • Make sure all repairs are completed in accordance to the purchase contract’s addenda, if repairs are requested.
      • Assist buyers in reviewing their Settlement Statement to assure figures are correct.
      • I attend all local closings with clients and of course supply them with house keys at the very end.
    • Follow-up after closing. I like to be present at or near the day buyers first move in to see if they require any further assistance.
    • I enjoy remaining in contact with my previous clients by supplying them with useful market information for their particular neighborhood. Often, I receive inquiries about future development and am happy to answer any questions.

The buyer’s obligations that I cannot perform for them, but shall guide them to the right sources are:

  • Buyers have viewed homes.  They have narrowed down a couple homes they’re really excited about.  I encourage the buyers to go view the homes in the evenings.  Talk to the neighbors. Drive through the neighborhood on different days and hours.  Do this especially if you are not familiar with a particular neighborhood.
  • Nearly every buyer says, “I want to be in a safe neighborhood.” “I want to be in a low crime neighborhood.” But this is a subjective answer and due to the federal law, Fair Housing Act of April 11, 1968 amended in 1988 prohibits discrimination in residential transactions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. I cannot be the source of the source to this question. But what I can do is offer a current Buyer Advisory.  It is a resource tool for the buyer to assist in explaining common documents relevant to a residential transaction. It also lists other resources to conduct additional investigations pertaining to the subject property and or to the surrounding area.
    • In a nutshell, REALTORS® can speak of the physical features of an area i.e. Home prices, amenities, transportation, zoning etc., but they cannot speak of the people in the area.

And finally, some last thoughts.

REALTORS® have to adapt to client needs as they change.  Consider your agent a therapist, counselor, financial adviser, attorneys, life coach.  Agents are a Jack or Jill of all trades.  We don’t plan on it, but life happens, and buyers may need our assistance.  Buyers can be in the midst of house hunting or are already under contract and someone passes away in the family, loses a job, etc.  Emotions can run high.  As your REALTOR®, I am here for you.

  • I have team support for those unexpected absences.  But I don’t ‘dump’ on clients.  I would still stay in contact with you.   I make myself available at all hours/days and that is the truth.  I have answered emails and phone calls in the middle of Yosemite National Park.  My overseas clients have contacted me on THEIR time, meaning I was up at the bewitching hours on the phone.
  • A serious thought on the buyer’s side:  It’s wise to work with one Broker.  It shows you are serious about your commitment. In return, you will receive my undivided attention and commitment as well.  Remember, this is a business. If you OR I don’t think we can form a client/ REALTOR® relationship, I would bid you farewell, luck in your home prospects and happiness along the way.  To some, this sounds strong, but ask yourself this…wouldn’t you rather be comfortable with the agent you are working with?
  • Agents don’t bill for the time and effort they’ve spent showing properties, or giving advice, information, and more.  The buyer may never buy.  The agent’s paycheck is affected by these events due to the decisions of others. Many things could happen that change the trajectory of a transaction from, ‘It’s Sold!’ to ‘We changed our minds.’ This is the real world of Sales.
  • **Remember, typically a buyer does not pay the buyer’s agent’s commission.  Well,…Technically.  The buyer does not have a separate out of pocket cost at closing, but the buyer IS buying the home and commissions are worked into the final sales price of the home.  The seller pays the buyer’s agent’s commission to the listing brokerage, then the listing brokerage divides the commissions according to the listing agreement. The buyer’s agent’s commission is paid to the buyer’s agent’s brokerage, who in return pays the buyer’s agent. This all takes place after the home is sold, recorded and buyer has the keys in hand.
  • Typically, there are no set days off.  My job is not 9to5 by any stretch of the means. I am always on call regardless of where I am because there is someone always making an inquiry.  My office is mobile.  Work can be in the middle of a family birthday party, dinner, vacations etc.