What does a REALTOR® do, anyway?

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty LLC BK 3126272

REALTOR logoYesterday I was asked by someone if I sold houses.  I replied, "Yes.  I am a REALTOR®" 

"Oh, so you do mortgages and stuff?"

"No, I am not a mortgage broker.  I prefer to wear one hat only and do it really well."

"So then what does a REALTOR® do?"

I was surprised to hear the question, as it seems the whole world knows what REALTORS® do: we make obscene amounts of money for selling houses (that is sarcasm people.  Don't call me on it).

I started to provide an answer when we were interrupted.  So, Alexandra, if you're reading, this is what a REALTOR® does:

For buyers: 

  • Educates her buyers about the home buying process and what it entails.
  • Makes sure the buyer's financing is in place before he starts looking so he stays within his price range and is ready to rock and roll when the right home is found.
  • Scours the MLS database (where all the homes being sold by real estate agents are) for the right match for her buyers.
  • Sets up appointments and sees homes with her buyers.
  • Once the right home is found, makes sure you don't offer more than it is worth.
  • Structures an offer that is beneficial to you, yet attractive to the seller and his REALTOR®.
  • Negotiates on your behalf should the offer not be accepted as is.
  • Refers you to competent individuals who can provide financing, title work, legal representation, home inspections, appraisal services, homeowners insurance, and more.
  • Makes sure the deal is moving along the way it should.  If a deadline on the contract is looming, your REALTOR® is on top of it!
  • If a wrench gets thrown into the works, as it often will in this very detailed process of buying a home, your REALTOR® will be there to try and straighten things out with the experience necessary to do so.
  • Although not required to do so, most REALTORS® will attend the closing with you, where they can explain things you may not understand about the closing process.
  • Adheres to a strict Code of Ethics while engaging in every part of this business.
  • 99% of the time, the buyer pays absolutely nothing for the above services!

For sellers a REALTOR® serves equally well:

  • Will enter into a listing contract to sell your house.
  • Will do a thorough evaluation to determine the correct price to sell the house for.
  • Will place the house, it's features and pictures into the MLS database.
  • Will market the house in various ways to gain maximum exposure (the extent of this varies by individual so ask for specifics!)  A lot of the ways utilized are not available to the general public and can be quite costly if available.  Again, ask for specifics about the marketing plan.
  • The bottom line is a REALTOR® will look for a buyer for your house. 
  • Once a buyer is found, negotiates on your behalf so you don't sell the house for less than it is worth.
  • The work continues after a buyer is found.  As with buyers, makes sure the deal is moving along and tries to fix things if it's not. This is where many pitfalls can be avoided by using the services of a REALTOR®.
  • Again, adheres to a strict Code of Ethics.
  • Gets paid the agreed upon commission ONLY when the deal closes.  That's right.  Up until closing the REALTOR® has been working for free basically, under a promise to be paid only when the deal closes.

The lists above are not meant to be all inclusive, but they cover the highlights.  Interview several REALTORS® when you're ready to use the services of one.  And if you're looking in the Miami, Redlands and Homestead areas, by all means call me as well.  I'm a REALTOR® and proud of it.

Posted by

Maggie Dokic - Broker/Owner - Special Miami Homes

What's My Home Worth? Instant Response!       Search All Miami Homes - Updated from MLS Daily!

For more information on our local real estate market, or to see or sell a home in Miami, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Coral Gables or the Redland, visit our Miami Real Estate site or contact us at Team (at) SpecialMiamiHomes (dot) com.

The opinions expressed herein, are those of the author, and not necessarily of  Special Miami Homes.

None of this information is to be deemed legal or financial advice.  Please contact your attorney or accountant for same.

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Comments (9)

Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV
WOW, MAGGIE!  You're my hero!!  If I weren't one already, I'd want to be one after reading your post.
Mar 29, 2007 11:59 PM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |
oh Sarah, you're too sweet.  Always there with a kind word.  You're a fabulous REALTOR®, by the way!
Mar 30, 2007 12:09 AM
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
casa mango in dunedin fl Maggie, I saw this home today in Dunedin,FL and shot a photo toshare with YOU...my favorite Mango (p.s. like the new  photo.....loved your post on what Realtors do- I'd love to include those points into my buyer and seller presentations.  Have a great weekend
Mar 31, 2007 03:19 PM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

Cyndee, that is so sweet!  Does that say Casa Mango??  lol

Feel free to use these points.  I will probably tweak them a bit with time.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Apr 01, 2007 12:30 AM
Paula Henry
Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group - Avon, IN
Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174
Maggie - The benefits are endless as you have pointed out! I love that you wear "one hat" only. I have seen many Realtors who also originate loans for their buyer clients. they recieve money from the mortgage broker for originating the loan. I'm sure it works for many, not for me. I would not want to be in the position of originating the loan for my buyer. I don't know why, it just doesn't feel right to me. As a seller's agent, I have had contracts submitted where the pre-qual is signed by the agent acting as the LO. It sure didn't give me the peace of mind I needed when submitting the offer to my seller. One more benefit of using a Realtor who represents their client only , as a Realtor! Just my opinion! Sorry to write so long....:)
Jun 24, 2007 03:02 AM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |
Paula - there's no need to apologize for agreeing with me!  lol  Thanks for stopping by.
Jun 24, 2007 01:25 PM
Keith E Kolekofski, Jr.


I'm drafting a presentation for real estate agents that outlines the benefits and considerations of using seller financing to make property more attractive to buyers (especially in today's market).  One of my slides discusses the roles the Realtor (you), the closing attorney, and the note buyer (me) play. 

Thanks for the detailed analysis of your role as a Realtor!  BTW, if you'd like to learn more hit my website or drop me an email.
Keith E. Kolekofski, Jr.
CommonWealth Notefinders, LLC
Senior Managing Director

Voice:  757-645-1819
Web:   www.commonwealthnotefinders.com


Apr 11, 2009 12:52 PM
David Griffin

Maggie, I just found your article "What does a Realtor do, anyway?" on this site.   I am a loan originator and also write a Sunday column about Mortgage Lending in our local newspaper.  I find that many people I speak with have no idea what a Realtor does nor how they are paid.   May I quote your information in an upcoming article and attribute the information to you?   Thanks, David Griffin

Nov 11, 2009 02:11 AM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

David, this post is a blast from the past, but still as relevant today.  Since we already communicated via email, you know that I said "yes, quote away."  Thanks for stopping by.

Nov 11, 2009 11:07 AM