10 Things Realtors Do for Buyers and Sellers

October 11th, 2023

10 Things Realtors Do for Buyers and Sellers

What Do Realtors Do For Buyers and Sellers?

Here are the top ten things that realtors do for buyers and sellers! 

Many folks wonder exactly what Realtors do all day long when working for their buyers and sellers. While there are countless roles a Realtor must take on when representing buyers and sellers, many of those tasks happen behind closed doors. Whether you're a first-year Realtor or a veteran, your job is to make the transaction as smooth as possible for your clients.

The time, effort, and energy that goes into closing a deal often remain unknown to clients. In many ways, this is intentional on the Realtor's behalf, as they do not want to stress their client unnecessarily by informing them of every little detail that happens throughout the transaction.

In reality, however, the number of hats a Realtor wears is far too numerous to include in this article. Even Realtors who are on a team are still responsible for various levels of the transaction and must take on several different roles simultaneously. 

The easier the transaction seems, the harder your Realtor is working.

Before we get into the specifics of what Realtors do for buyers and sellers, let's first focus on the general duties of a Realtor:

What Does a Realtor Do?

Managing a well-run real estate business involves running successful marketing campaigns, finding new clients, carefully tracking all administrative paperwork, responding to incoming client requests, and coordinating all open houses, appointments, walk-throughs, and meetings. Being a real estate agent is extremely demanding and often involves wearing several hats simultaneously. 

Many Realtors work from home, while others prefer to work in an office. While being a Realtor certainly involves plenty of time on the computer, there is also a large social component to the job, meaning Realtors frequently attend networking events, real estate seminars, client meetings, open houses, etc. Realtors tend to have very upbeat and extremely outgoing personalities for those reasons. 

clients meeting with a real estate agent to look at homes

Typical Day in the Life as a Realtor 

A Realtor may start their day following up with prospective clients and leads. Perhaps a potential client sent an email requesting information about a property the agent has listed, so the agent will want to respond to that prospective client's request quickly. The Realtor may also call homeowners in a certain area to see if they are interested in buying, selling, or renting a home.

After completing those tasks, a Realtor may move on to working on their marketing campaigns. Most Realtors manage several social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, so they may spend several hours per week managing the content that goes up on their social sites. They might also spend time updating their website, writing an article for their blog, or creating advertisements using Google AdWords. 

After taking the time to respond to prospective clients and manage marketing, a Realtor could spend their afternoon meeting with buyers to show them homes they may be interested in purchasing, or they may meet with sellers to help them stage their home to sell.

The day typically ends at the computer, answering emails, responding to phone calls, researching real estate homes currently on the market, or taking care of administrative duties such as filing real estate documents, agreements, and records.

Needless to say, there is never a dull moment for a Realtor. They are running a business and must treat every aspect of their real estate career as such. In addition to all of the above, Realtors must constantly remain informed about shifts in real estate values, taxes, local zoning ordinances, and more. A Realtor's ultimate job is to help ease the buying, selling, or renting process for clients.

Real estate can be incredibly confusing and involves an in-depth understanding of the industry's laws. Buyers and sellers do not typically understand a transaction's rules, regulations, and laws, making it extremely difficult for clients to manage a home purchase or sale independently. Because of a Realtor's in-depth knowledge of these important factors, working with a Realtor has helped clients save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Realtor Expenses

While becoming a Realtor is deeply rewarding in many ways, it can be expensive. Realtors must consider several expenses when obtaining their license, such as taking pre-licensing education courses. Realtors will pay several recurring monthly and annual fees throughout their careers. The good thing is that many expenses for maintaining your real estate career are tax-write-offs.

Here is a list of typical Realtor expenses that are tax-deductible:

- Pre-licensing education courses 

- Testing fees

- Networking events and professional development conferences

- Association fees

- MLS fees

- Desk fees (if the Realtor chooses to have a desk at the brokerage office)

- Sales commission (the brokerage you are affiliated with will take a certain percentage of your sales in return for holding your license and providing support to you throughout the transaction process)

- Continuing education courses 

- Marketing materials and office supplies

- Cell phone/WiFi 

- Health insurance

- Business travel, gas, mileage, and vehicle expenses 

What Do Realtors Do for Buyers?

When beginning the process of looking for homes to buy, many prospective homeowners may falsely assume they can manage the home-buying process on their own. They may not realize early in the home-buying process the amount of time, effort, and energy that goes into negotiating a great offer, managing the repair request process, monitoring the home commitment, and so much more. There is a lot that agents do 'behind the scenes' that homebuyers may not be aware of when it comes to facilitating a successful transaction. 

1. Begin the Loan Pre-Approval Process 

As a buyer, being connected to a strong mortgage lender is imperative. When a buyer searches for a home, a Realtor will connect them with a mortgage lender. The lender will then begin the loan pre-approval process.

Pre-approval is not to be confused with pre-qualification, as pre-approval runs the buyer's credit history and is more serious than pre-qualification. Pre-approval is a buyer's way of indicating to sellers that they are serious about buying a home, as it provides a formal document stating the buyer's approved mortgage value.

2. Thoroughly Research Homes For Sale

Although homebuyers can – and should – research homes for sale online, a Realtor takes it a step further than that. Most Realtors have access to a wide network of other agents, giving them first-hand knowledge of homes for sale in the area that buyers may not be aware of. A Realtor may learn about a new listing that has just hit the market and can bring their buyer to see it before other buyers.

Realtors are market pros and can spot an overpriced listing from a hundred miles away. For that reason, they save their clients considerable time when house hunting, bringing them to tour homes for sale that aren't asking outrageous numbers.

A Realtor also typically understands the area where they work inside and out. They will have in-depth knowledge about the school district, neighborhood, and other details regarding the area where buyers seek to live – making it much easier for prospective homeowners. 

beautiful home for sale with sign in the front yard

3. Manage All Price and Repair Negotiations 

Determining the best offer price is a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, if the buyer offers a price that is too low, the seller may be unwilling even to consider negotiating with the buyer – which may make the buyer miss out on the deal altogether. On the other hand, offering a price that is too high means the buyer unnecessarily loses considerable money.

Finding a happy medium involves carefully reviewing 'comps,' which means reviewing the sale prices of similar homes that have sold in the area. This involves several hours of research on the Realtor's behalf to ensure the buyer presents a fair offer. 

In addition to negotiating the sale price, the Realtor is responsible for negotiating any applicable repair costs. For example, if the home needs new windows that the seller doesn't want to pay for, the Realtor may be able to convince the sellers to pay for a portion of the window costs, alleviating some of that financial burden on the buyer. 

4. Connect the Buyer With a Home Inspector and Attend the Home Inspection

The home inspection is a critical component of the home-buying process. Realtors typically know the top home inspectors in the area and can connect their buyers to someone reputable and thorough. The home inspection report can often be confusing, so a Realtor can help guide the buyer through the various details in the report, making them fully aware of any defects in the home. 

It is important that buyers work with reputable home inspectors so that they are aware of mold, radon, and any major structural problems in the home. However, even the best home inspectors tend to miss problems occasionally, so it is always best to have a second set of knowledgeable eyes present during the walk-through, which is where the agent comes in.

Most Realtors have attended countless walk-throughs and are acutely aware of how the process goes. They will be able to advise the buyer on which elements of the home inspection report are worth discussing with the seller and those that are not worth mentioning. 

5. Finalize All Loose Ends for the Closing 

Since so many details go into buying a home, it is nice to have a real estate agent to help ensure that everything is handled. Some of the final steps when closing include the legal transfer of the home from the seller to the buyer and the final walkthrough, all of which an agent should be there to assist and advise you. 

clients closing on a home and receiving their new keys

What Do Realtors Do for Sellers?

1. Price Your Home to Sell

Pricing the home correctly from the beginning is one of the important aspects of the home sale process. Pricing it too high may deter prospective buyers, whereas pricing it too low leads to considerable money lost on the seller's behalf.

A knowledgeable Realtor will do their due diligence and carefully research home sales in the area before pricing a home. They will understand how to price it competitively to attract buyers while also helping the seller generate offers that are of value to them to make more money

It is also important to price the home to sell to reduce the possibility of reducing the price later on. Prospective buyers assume that a price decrease means the home is defective, deterring them from wanting to tour the home.

2. Properly Market the Home

In addition to pricing the home to sell, marketing the home is also extremely important. A Realtor will typically have a listing professionally photographed, write a well-written property description, and help the seller stage the home to sell. Many Realtors also have a strong online presence and will take time to market the listing on social media, the MLS, real estate websites, and more. 

In addition to online advertising, Realtors typically have strong networks to share the listing details. They will help spread the word about the listing while attending networking events, word of mouth, and meeting with other Realtors in their area. 

3. Obtain the Highest Price Possible

Realtors are skilled negotiators. Those who have been in the real estate industry for years have developed strong negotiation tactics that will benefit sellers. Those who are newer to real estate may come from industries where they negotiated contracts regularly. Whatever the case may be, a seller can rely on their Realtor to negotiate a great price on their home. 

4. Make Sure the Buyer is Qualified 

Since not everyone can buy a house, it is important to sift through prospective buyers and look for those already pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process differs from the pre-qualification process, ensuring pre-approved buyers can purchase the home based on their finances. 

5. Negotiate Repair Costs

The seller is typically responsible for paying necessary repair costs such as water damage, roof repairs, etc. However, those costs are up for negotiation. A diligent Realtor will guide sellers on what they should pay for and what should be the buyer's responsibility. 

If the buyer requests unnecessary repairs or is difficult to work with, the seller's agent will serve as a middleman between the buyer and seller, negotiating on the seller's behalf. A strong seller's agent can often help the seller save thousands of dollars on excessive repair costs, putting more money in their pocket. Without a Realtor available, a seller may pay considerably more than they should for repairs.

real estate agent shaking hands with a client

The Differences Between Being a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor

While the terms 'Realtor' and 'Realtor' are often used interchangeably, the term 'Realtor’ designates that a Realtor is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the U.S. and is comprised of commercial and residential brokers, property managers, appraisers, salespeople, and many others in the real estate industry.

Realtors must have an immaculate professional conduct record to join NAR and are required to follow an extensive Code of Ethics. Because of this, consumers usually feel more at ease knowing that they are working with NAR Realtors because they have been thoroughly vetted and have sworn to uphold certain professional standards.

The Skills You Need to Be a Realtor

While there is a wide range of skills needed to be a successful Realtor, some of the most important include:

- Honesty and integrity

- Commitment

- Perseverance

- Patience 

- Strong negotiation tactics

- Charisma

successful real estate agent working with clients


What do buyers want most from real estate agents? 

Buyers want a real estate agent who is friendly, knowledgeable, and digitally savvy with a social media and website presence. Since most buyers and sellers tend to work with the first real estate agent they talk to, it is important for the agent to be someone they can trust and know the local market. 

What should real estate agents do every day? 

Real estate agents should communicate daily with prospects and clients, review current and potential listings, and schedule meetings and showings. 

Things Realtors Do for Buyers and Sellers - Final Thoughts 

First and foremost, clients always want to work with a Realtor they can trust. When their trust is broken, a deal can fall apart very quickly. Clients also value someone who can be firm when necessary, especially when negotiating a deal. Check out our Dual Agency in Real Estate article to learn more about what Realtors do when representing buyers and sellers.

If you're looking for great Realtors® in the Raleigh area, please contact us for a consultation. 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!

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