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What can an agent do that buyers/sellers can't do themselves?

Asked by Trulia Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA Sat Apr 13, 2013

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Here's a great article on my website that explains all 114 tasks that agent does on typical real estate transaction:

Hope this info will help you!

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2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Keep you out of trouble as there are so many disclosures and other documents and requirements to be fulfilled that if you do it wrong, you could be liable for more than the cost of the property you are buying and selling.

We also carry errors and omissions insurance should something go wrong under the terms of the policy.

The few bucks you may save without an agent may be peanuts compared to the financial liability you could incur if you sell your house without meeting certain requirements.

Al Goldberg Broker
30+ Years Experience
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 14, 2013
It depends on the Realtor you hire. You hire experience, knowledge, and negotiation skills.
You can also represent yourself in court, get a public defender, or hire the best damn attorney you can.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
The Real Estate agents have different sources to get buyers. Also Agents have different sources of getting real value by contacting Appraisers and through public records. The sellers and buyers do not have access to those type of information. I hope that I answered your question.
Leela Areeckal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 14, 2013
There are a number of things an agent can do that the buyers might not even think of.

We have wells in our area and I know some areas where they are dicey as to how much output they have. Most buyers wouldn't even think of testing the output of a well, only the water quality.

We also have septic systems in many areas and I know some areas where the soil is mostly clay and very poor for a septic system.

How about that Federal Pacific electric panel I spotted in the basement. Most buyers(and I hate to say it, but most agents) wouldn't know the breakers are known to burst into flames?

A buyer may not know of a planned development next to the home they want to buy, but an agent should.

Would a buyer know that the house they are comparing for value had a beautiful new gourmet kitchen with a La Cornue Grand Palais range? Did they also know about the beautiful western sunset views?

There are so many things an experienced agent knows that a buyer may never even think of.

You could also apply so much to what sellers don't know that a good agent does. This is particularly important when it comes to marketing and negotiation. In some cases a great stager is needed and an agent should know a good one. This can sometimes result in a $10 return for every $1 spent. It can also result in a quicker sale.

The best way for a buyer or seller to find a good agent is the same as finding a good doctor or dentist, ask around. Don't be too impressed with a bunch of letters for designations after there name. It only means they took some class which may have only been for 2 or 3 days. Look for an agent with a consitant performance over a number of years. Don't be fooled by agent rankings in their MLS as I've seen agents promote themselves as top agents and experienced negotiators only to find out they are a top rental agent and have sold few or no homes.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
New York's #1 Real Estate Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
It's the difference between buying a handful of homes in your life and buying hundreds. Home buyers and sellers can do it themselves. There is however a sense of judgment and wisdom that comes form the repeated experience of a Realtor. You're dealing with the most expensive purchasing decision you'll likely have made until this point - a little help never hurt anyone.

What Realtors have that buyer/sellers don't is an inside knowledge of a neighborhood, a hands on sense of the inventory, and relationships with many of the other Realtors in a given neighborhood. These things all facilitate smoother transactions and greater success.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
Well, I can play basketball and Kobe Bryant can play basketball. What can Kobe Bryant do in the court that I can't? Many things!

I have been working in this field for 13 years, and work very hard and smart to stay on top of my game and be one of the best. I was also born to be a Real Estate Broker, so I am naturally good at it.

Real Estate professionals come in many skills and levels, just like athletes do... if a buyer/seller hires a top agent, then they will have top results... even if the buyer/seller knows very little about the game.

Additionally right now the real estate game is very competitive, and only the best thrive! If I were a buyer/seller I would want to maximize my chances of success by hiring top talent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 13, 2013
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