In answer to your Q........ My answer is predicated upon an assumption of a full service Realtor.
A Realtor is guided by a motivation to happily place a buyer in a property, or help a seller achieve highest and best, and gain the confidence of these clients insomuch that they will refer other potential clients. An attorney is guided by a goal of legal protection of the contract terms of the transaction, and that protection is limited to "sight unseen."
BUYERS.... A Realtor will make recommendations for a buyer that helps them weigh the benefits and drawbacks of one property vs. another. A Realtor will advise of area facts of which the buyer may be unaware that could help a buyer in their purchase decision. i.e. A planned discontiuation of ferry service, a widening of street, etc. An attorney can only protect a client from that which the attorney is made aware. i.e. A Realtor may notice and address such items as the swing set in the yard, does it stay or go? A Realtor may notice water stains in a basement and ask the seller to disclose his/her knowledge on the matter. A Realtor brings a set of experienced eyes to the transaction and a desire for a buyer to end up in the right property, The contract forms that Realtors use have been approved by thier local state boards and assoications. An attorney pays keen attention to the legal terms of the contract.
SELLERS.... A Realtor is motivated to achieve a contract with the highest and best terms on behalf of the seller. The Realtor will visually inspect a property and ask questions about what he/she sees that result in recommendations. Realtors help sellers provide full disclosure by prompting discussions and asking questions as a result of their hands-on physical visits to a property. Example: A Realtor might notice a past water stain in a baement and inquire. This might result in a seller providing disclsoure about past moisture problems and the corrective action taken. The seller may have had no intent to withhold info, but mgiht have overlooked this. Just one example. The Realtor is able to provide feedback to the seller about pricing, current activity levels,and comps, which will guide the seller in his/her decisions. An attoney keeps a keen eye on the terms of the contract, but has little input for the seller if the price accepted was in the best interests of the seller.
I have seen a lot of controversy on Trulia about Realtors asking Q. I have seen Realtors pose a Q such as yours and heard other Pros criticize, stating, "Why is someone asking a Q when they should know the answer? Frankly, I think you asked a good Q, and gave you TU on both the Q and your post. My position is that Trulia is a place for consumers, and content rules. Who asks the Q is less important, at least, at this time. Perhaps when Voices grows to a point that there is much strength in the consumer participation, there will be a natural progression that has fewer Pros posting Q. For now, I see it as content rules, and Voices is stil in it's infancy.
I have also seen Pros post Q that do have no benefit for a consumer. While I won't TD those Q, and can actually say I have found a few of those threads interesting and informatiive. Despite my personal enjoyment of those types of threads, I still believe this is a consumer site, and that the Q posted by Pros should be guided accordingly.
If there were a Pros only area, I would have posted this comment there. In order to communicate it to other Pros and, even for consumer comment, it appears here.