Understanding the Value of a Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent with Royal LePage Benchmark


Whether you are shopping for a home or looking to sell your current home, you will need to consider all of your options. You can work with a real estate agent, or you can attempt to navigate the process on your own. Some people believe that a real estate agent is simply an overpaid person who tours you around neighborhoods, unlocks doors, and comments on paint colours. The reality is that my job is much more extensive than that.


Here are just a few value-added benefits of hiring a professional REALTOR:


Marketing and Matchmaking


When you put a house on the market, you need people to see it. If you approach this by attempting to sell your home on your own, you may face some significant challenges. Outside of classified ads and online real estate websites, options for individual homeowners to market to potential buyers are limited. As a real estate agent, I have the connections, experience, and a continual database of buyers looking for homes to help you sell your home faster. As an aside, pricing your home accurately is of paramount importance.


An undervalued home will sell quickly in this marketplace. This often leaves you wondering if you could have in fact gotten money more for it - not the best feeling in the world once the ink has dried on the contracts. In the alternative, overpriced homes tend to sit on the market much longer, with very few showings. If a home is not being shown, it is not going to sell.  Showings bring offers. Typically, the longer a home sits on the market the less attractive it is to potential buyers. Sellers attempting to go it alone will sometimes stigmatize their homes for no reason, simply by overpricing it. In this case, they usually end up with much less money in their pocket than they would have otherwise had, had they just paid for professional representation from the onset.


If you do decide to attempt to sell your home yourself, also keep in mind that you will be responsible for the open houses, showings, and all aspects of facilitating access by yourself. Constantly running home to let buyers in for showings can quickly become a real drag. real estate agent'S use a secure lockbox system which lets them know exactly who has accessed their listings, and at what times of the day.


Permits, Title Registrations, Disclosures, and other Legal Concerns


When you buy a home, there are certain contracts and legal procedures you will have to deal with. Do you know where to obtain all of the appropriate title registrations? You are not only buying a building structure, but also assuming the majority of the registrations that are attached to that specific piece of land. Which ones are there indefinitely, and which ones will be discharged at closing? What exactly is a Caveat, an Encroachment, or an Easement? Are there any problems with where the property is located, or within the buildings which sit on the land? Is your home located on a utility right of way, or a sewer corridor, or in a flight path of an airport?  Do the neighborhood controls allow you to execute the exterior renovations you are planning? Were the permits pulled when the basement was finished?....as you can see...the list of checks and balances can be quite extensive, and most people do not realize how much information needs to be ascertained behind the scenes of a transaction. A REALTOR can help you answer all of those questions, and working together with other industry professionals, provide you with peace of mind that you are in fact making a sound investment.


On the flipside, if you are listing your home, exactly what disclosures are you responsible to make about the property? Has your home ever been used as a grow op, a crime scene, have there been deaths in the property? Do you need to disclose the giant crack in the concrete wall behind the insulation in the basement? Are there wasps, mice, or other pests that frequent the home? Since you have you painted over and “repaired” that water damage in the ceiling, do you need to disclose it was ever an issue?  While some of these queries border on legal questions, your real estate agent can also offer some good advice in this regard, working together with other professionals specializing in these fields to help minimize liability issues for you and protect you in the long run.


Whether buying or selling a home, your local real estate agent can be a great source of initial information and ongoing assistance. I am willing to bet when all is said and done, you will be really glad you made that first phone call.


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 06/28/2015 10:07 AM
  2. Lynn B. Friedman 06/30/2015 12:02 AM
  3. Kelly Townsend 06/30/2015 12:04 AM
  4. Marti Sterne 06/30/2015 05:54 AM
  5. Ed Macias 06/30/2015 12:23 PM
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Harcourt Bethel - REALTOR®,CDPE,ABR®,SFR,ePro®,TRC,
Orlando, FL
Harcourt Bethel, CDPE,SFR®, ABR®,ePro®, TRC, NCHSE

A Great post, and yes, we are truly under-appreciated...

Jun 30, 2015 05:43 AM #52
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Good Points, I had someone call me recently (one of my past clients told him I did a great job for him on a difficult sell) who was a FSBO already for 4 months. I asked them to do a few things to the home and poperty (which they promptly did) and I did a nice photo shoot. Two weeks later they are under deposit. Happy ending. They are not all that way but it sure is good when it comes together.

Jun 30, 2015 05:51 AM #53
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

One will never understand the value of a Realtor® until they become one, and it's their only income.  Otherwise, we are just a bunch of over paid door openers.  

Great post and very valid points.  

Jun 30, 2015 07:25 AM #54
Julie Tulowitzki - (480) 369-8188
HomeSmart - Gilbert, AZ
Your Friend in the Arizona Real Estate Business

Great post.  Thank you!

Jun 30, 2015 07:51 AM #55
C.J. Wang

All this is very well said, HOWEVER, in hot markets such as California's San Gabriel Valley, many deals are being made under the table directly between buyers and sellers through an escrow intermediary... no agents involved.  This is why you don't see many "for sale" agent signs in one of the hottest areas of the U.S.    The escrow company advises on the necessary disclosure forms and the wealthy buyers don't care about the property conditions, only the location.  I had one client who insisted on buying a hilltop property in a desirable neighborhood despite its known landslide issue.   


Jun 30, 2015 09:12 AM #56
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Karen Salmon ... I really enjoyed reading your post.  We are probably one of the most misunderstood and under-appreciated professionals.  I can honestly say I used to think "Oh it must be nice, just put on a nice suit, show a few properties and make ALL that money"!  OMG ... I was soooooooooo wrong.  When I became a Realtor my appreciation for the motivation, out-of-the-box work, long hours, and "stuff" we deal with each and every day as entrepreneurs skyrocketed!  There is nothing better than having a client appreciate our efforts!  And then when we get a text message like this (received about 1/2 hour ago)  ... Thank you Diana for working so hard for me and the boys to find the perfect house. It was a long and hard road but we finished the race with you at the lead ... so enjoy that hard earned commission.  Ah!  The payoff is so much sweeter when the client puts the cherry on top!

Jun 30, 2015 11:35 AM #57
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Karen Salmon   I like the way you presented this important topic! May every buyer and seller read your well written article!

Jun 30, 2015 11:56 AM #58
Stephanie Joines
BHHS Florida Properties Group - Clearwater, FL
Professional Commitment, Personal Solutions

Good post!  Thanks!

Jul 01, 2015 12:15 AM #59
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I have had many consumers come up to me and say as a matter-of-fact, I was thinking of becoming a real estate agent.  I ask them if they have a pocket full of cash to pay for all the realtor fees, marketing materials, etc. and OH! by the way, do you have enough extra to get you through the lean years while your building your business?  They have no idea.....!!!

Jul 01, 2015 01:50 AM #60
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Great post, Karen! Navigating through a real estate transaction involves more details than most people imagine. 

Jul 01, 2015 04:25 AM #61
Frank Carr

As a home inspector I often see damage that has been repaired and painted over or just painted over.  Most often it is a suprise to the buyers.  Most of our clients do use a realtor buying a home.  Recently I had a client that did not use a realtor and asked me a question about surveys and flood zones, this is when I realized they did not have a realtor.  Questions about surveys and flood zones are just a few of the items a realtor can help a buyer with.


Jul 01, 2015 07:49 AM #62
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Nice post Karen.  The "For Sale by Owner" client often learns quickly that a Realtor is going to be needed.

Jul 01, 2015 08:53 AM #63
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Good, concise information that every FSBO seller should read before they stick the sign in the yard!

Jul 01, 2015 11:55 AM #64
Sonya Mays, MBA
Midwest Executive Realty - Milwaukee, WI
Broker/Owner, Greater Milwaukee

Great post Karen! Thank you for sharing such great information and highlighting the value of Realtors! Many of us work very hard and don't get paid for all the constant running around we do and extra steps taken to ensure client satisfaction and successful closings. There's no weekly or bi-weekly paycheck, there's no guarantee that we'll get paid, there's no guarantee that we'll go to closing after waiting several weeks or several months, no health benefits or health insurance that comes alonog with being a self-employed independent contractor, so why do we do it? Because we love real estate and we love helping people buy and sale real estate! 

Jul 01, 2015 03:30 PM #65
Edith Schreiber

Good info, Karen! Since the internet provides so much info, sellers and buyers think it's all they need to navigate the pros and cons of buying and selling real estate.

As a general rule, they don't know what they don't know......and that's not good for anyone.

As real estate professionals, we need to show them the value of working with us.

Jul 02, 2015 12:58 AM #66
Edith Schreiber
Luxury Homes, Move Up Buyers, 1st Time Homebuyers, New Construction - Frisco, TX
Dallas Area Real Estate

Good info, Karen! Since the internet provides so much info, sellers and buyers think it's all they need to navigate the pros and cons of buying and selling real estate. 

As a general rule, they don't know what they don't know......and that's not good for anyone.

As real estate professionals, we need to show them the value of working with us.

PS I did not realize I was not logged in, so post #66 is a duplicate....sorry. I could not figure out how to delete it after I had posted it. Next time, I'll be sure to log in first 

Jul 02, 2015 01:02 AM #67
Frank Lay and Lori Hula-Lay

Great Read,  Karen...just one comment... title change:  "Understand the Value of a Real Estate Professional"  which includes all licensed Real Estate Agents..the term "Realtor" only includes agents that belong to that trade organization...but your info. is timely for all licensed real estate Professionals...thanks much...

Jul 03, 2015 03:42 AM #68
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Must read for home owners who are currently trying to sell their house by themselves or thinking about it. Even home buyers too who feel that they don't need a Real Estate Agent.

Never underestimate the value of a very good Real Estate Professional.

Oct 16, 2015 07:52 AM #69
Devendar thapa

Great Article..Rightly said that Most Real Estate clients dont appreciate the kind of hard work & efforts we Realtors put into our work. Most people think that..we are making easy money, in-reality it is not the case..it is a hard work out there & lot of competition.

However, a Knowledgeable Real Estate Professionals will always be in high demand..that's for sure !!!

Oct 16, 2015 10:08 PM #70
Clint Lohr
Keller Williams Los Feliz - Glendale, CA

One of the reasons there is such a high turnover rate in the real estate profession is because new licensees think it will be easy money. Then they find out you have to put in long hours and actually work for your money--very hard.

Oct 17, 2015 06:09 AM #71
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Karen Salmon

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