What does a Realtor Really Do?

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Part I – Real Estate Knowledge!
 
Long gone are the days when customers came into a real estate office and asked for help in finding a home.
Today the trend is that customers call you after seeing numerous listings on-line and tell you which houses they want to see. Since Realtors no longer control the information about available houses, what is left? Quite a bit.
The last blog I wrote noted no less than 22 areas that come into a real estate professional’s knowledge base.
My bad, I forgot to mention Interior Design and Stager, as well as Photographer/Videographer. It is actually 24.
In this blog,
I am going to go through what the Real Estate Professional brings to the table relating to her local real estate knowledge.
In future blogs, I will discuss the 23 other roles played by the Realtor.
 
General knowledge of your local real estate market is no longer the sole preserve of brokers and agents.
Between Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, the ability to search for what is perceived as the perfect home belongs to everyone. However, there are many facets of local real estate knowledge that require much more than a simple on-line search.
One of the most important things that a Realtor brings to the table is their knowledge and understanding the art
of compromise between what buyers want and what they can afford.
 
How many times has a couple come into your office demanding to see five houses (that they chose) and afterwards coming back empty handed because none of those houses actually fit what they perceived as their needs and desires (let alone fit their budget)?
My bet is that has happened a lot. Knowledgeable Realtors listen to what their buyers say when they are going through each house. Hearing what they like (and don’t like) about each lets you understand what they are really looking for in a home. You need to take that information and point them in the right direction.
This is where your superior knowledge of your market comes into play. The time that you have spent going to brokers’ open houses and trolling through the MLS listings means that you should have a very good idea of what is available in your market. After one day of listening to your buyers, you should be able to say “I know that you thought that one of these houses you asked to see would be exactly what you are looking for. After listening to you, I believe that I know one or two places that would work.” Of course, this assumes that your buyers are being reasonable in their expectations of what they can afford. Your recommendations will provide them with insight as to what they can really afford in their desired location, and what is available in other locations.
 
A young couple may think that they want to live in a high rise downtown, but when you tell them about the local school district, you can help them to realize that they probably want to live elsewhere. You know which neighborhoods are “up and coming” and which ones are headed in the opposite direction. Living on the beach sounds great, until the subject of taxes and flood insurance comes up (not to mention the traffic jams getting to and from home in season, and the number of homes that are used as vacation rentals (spring break is great if you are on spring break, it is pretty awful if your home is next door).
 
There is a lot more to local real estate knowledge than is ever going to be available on-line. You just need to let people know that you have this knowledge.

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