I'm so glad you asked. Of course, you know the part where we say, "And here's the kitchen!' because you can't find it on your own.
Most of what you see a Realtor doing is opening doors and pointing out details of what's great or not with a home. That's 10% of it, here's the low down.
1. Give you an orientation of the process, what to expect and who does what. Explain that we have a fiduciary responsibility to you, your interests are in first place and always confidential.
2. Search, select, and determine what works for your needs. You can ask me if I like it, but you're the one who will be living there. It's important to understand your needs, tastes, about your job and family. Everything about you goes into your new home. I ask a lot of questions because contrary to popular belief, I'm not completely pyschic, and can't divine your every wish.
3. Give you an overview of homes, what to look for, the good, bad, and ugly. Ugly is the least of it, you can usually paint it. Bad can be minor, or very bad and you need to know the difference and walk away. Wallpaper is cosmetic, a bad foundation is fatal.
4. Explain contracts in conversational English so you are clear on what you are signing, your rights and obligations. You have a right to a copy of everything you sign. You can and should ask questions if you are not clear, or don't agree. Raise your right hand, promise not to sign anything you don't understand or agree with. These are legal documents, you need to be awake.
5. Pull comps and stats for the neighborhood and similar homes. Everyone wants a deal, what does that look like? How much do homes in the neighborhood sell for, how to make your offer stand out if we are in multiple offers.
6. Present, negotiate the offer, get you copies of the signed offer, send copies to the lender and title company.
7. Give you resources for inspection, Truth in Housng reports, negotiate any repairs. You can always choose your own inspector, but you might need a referral.
8. Keep you, the lender, the other agent and title informed through closing in case there are any glitches, delays or surprises. SURPRISE is not a good word in real estate.
9. Hold your hand, walk you off the ledge when you are scared. Buying a home is a big deal.
Buying a home is life changing, it is emotional and scary. But, you will be a new person by the time we get to closing.