Why Buyers Should Use a Realtor®

While not all inclusive, the list below identifies why buyers should use a Realtor®, and lists MOST of the things your Warner Robins Real Estate Specialist, Anita Clark or any agent who cares about their clients, will do for you or on your behalf.

Pre Showing:

Before we begin looking at potential homes, it is important that you contact a competent lender to see how much home you will qualify for, and to make sure that your credit is acceptable for a home purchase – requirements are changing daily. You will receive a letter from the lender (pre qualification) before we begin.

  • Make appointment with buyer to find buyer’s wants and needs in a home
  • Have buyer contact lender and find out ability to get pre-approved for a loan
  • Get pre-approval from lender to begin showing houses (takes less than 30 minutes)
  • Have buyer access our website to begin looking at available homes
  • Confirm time to meet with buyer
  • Prepare Agency Disclosure

Meet With Buyer:Why Buyers Should Use a Realtor

Then we meet with you to discuss your wants and needs in a home, understand your projected time frame in purchasing, logistics if you have a home that needs to be sold, and understanding Buyer Agency and all of its benefits. Realtor® services are almost always free to you, the buyer, as these fees are typically paid by the seller.

  • Discuss our company policy on agency
  • Discuss wants and needs in a home, price range, time frame, how motivated the buyer is
  • Discuss areas in which buyer would like to look
  • Does buyer have a home that must sell prior to purchase?
  • Explain that it does not cost buyers out-of-pocket to work with a Realtor® – seller pays
  • Not in buyer’s best interest to work with multiple agents – need an “advocate”
  • Do computer research to find homes that meet buyer parameters
  • Set appointments to view several of these homes
  • View homes and get a feeling for what does and doesn’t appeal to buyer
  • Will show houses one day, then must decide on Buyer Agency
  • Sign Buyer Agency Agreement

After the Buyer Agency is Signed:

Much goes into a computer search for properties that might fit your needs. I will preview homes electronically and physically and share them with you, contact my Realtor® network, prepare showings, define and narrow list for what we will see, map route for viewing houses until we find something about which you are excited.

  • Copies of all documents – give a set to buyer
  • Do another computer search and narrow or expand the field of possible homes
  • Prepare showing inventory
  • Preview homes by phone and physically, if necessary
  • Call Realtor® network to discuss our buyer’s needs and new listings
  • Present buyer handbook to explain process and take notes of homes we are viewing
  • Can see 1 or 100 homes
  • Check MLS for matching sellers
  • Input buyer into Outlook
  • Contact unrepresented sellers
  • Map out location so that showings are systematic – allow plenty of time

After Buyer Finds a House They Like:

Prepare a thorough market analysis to make sure value in the home is reasonable, call other agent and pre-negotiate, get disclosures and thoroughly discuss all paperwork, possible offer, and pricing strategy based on professional judgment and market. Sign all paperwork and completed offer (Contract).

  • Pull property city and tax records
  • Pull old MLS listing, if applicable
  • Order Owner & Encumbrance Report
  • Research property’s current use and zoningBuyers Who Have a Realtor Find Their Dream Home
  • Research and verify legal description of property
  • Pull comps on active, sold, pending, withdrawn, expired, and cancelled listings
  • Research “average days on market” for property of this type and location
  • Prepare Comparative Market Analysis
  • Print map of property and comps
  • Pre-negotiate with other agent before writing, if applicable
  • Prepare contract
  • Receive all disclosures
  • Discuss contract with buyer
  • Sign closing instructions
  • Sign seller’s property disclosure
  • Complete lead-based paint disclosure
  • Complete square footage disclosure
  • Discuss Comparative Market Analysis
  • Discuss offer and pricing strategy based on professional judgment and market
  • Discuss availability of home owner’s warranty
  • Get copies of leases, if applicable
  • Ask for floor plan, upgrades, special features, detailed list of amenities

Contract Negotiations:

Discuss your financial qualifications with other agent, terms of offer, time frame of seller, and any other details that might be important in writing an offer. Present offer, negotiate offer and possible counter offers, renegotiate to complete the contract to your satisfaction.

  • Discuss buyer’s financial qualifications, terms, and times
  • Discuss exclusions, dates, etc. with other agent
  • Review Contract Addendum
  • Evaluate offer and prepare a “Net Sheet” for buyer
  • Negotiate the offer and options
  • Convey pre-qualification letter
  • Sign offer or reevaluate offer, if necessary
  • Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptances, or amendments
  • Acceptance deadline time
  • Renegotiate however many times necessary and finalize
  • Receive signed contract or counter-proposal
  • Discuss options with buyer; if accepted, go “under contract”
  • Make applicable copies
  • Convey signed copies to other agent

After Contract is Signed by All Parties:

We will deliver your earnest money and contract to your lender and title company to set the closing process in motion. Set up time for inspections, review and track all dates; get insurance; resolve any title disputes and matters of HOAs, verify that permits were pulled correctly on any upgrades, coordinate closing time and any special items needed.

  • Copies of all documents – copies to buyer
  • Make copy of earnest money and contract
  • Deliver check to other agent
  • Convey contract to mortgage lender
  • Convey contract to title company
  • Notate dates on calendar
  • Send date sheet to buyer
  • Do necessary paperwork for unusual conditions
  • If seller and buyer both our clients, do change of status notice
  • Copies of leases and damage deposit receipts, if applicable
  • Track seller’s property disclosure deadlineReal Estate Buyers
  • Inspection objection deadline
  • Resolution deadline
  • Property insurance objection deadline
  • Review all paperwork for signatures
  • Get all necessary signatures
  • If mail-out, get instructions and addresses
  • Notify title company of mail out
  • If POA needed, get original from title company
  • Get POA signed and notarized
  • Remind buyer to notify utility company to start service and do a “final read”
  • Discuss what happens if other offers come in between contract and closing
  • Is buyer’s current house on the market – resolve timing issues
  • Resolve any title disputes
  • Resolve any off-record matters
  • Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
  • Discuss change-of-address forms to buyer
  • Set up closing time
  • Call seller’s agent and coordinate closing time
  • Verify closing date and time and make all parties aware
  • Mail time-verification of closing and directions to buyer
  • Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.)
  • Assist in obtaining Death Certificates, if applicable
  • Cleaning needs (e.g. carpet, kitchen, etc.) upon move-out
  • Discuss mover and time-frame for move-in with buyer
  • Receive list of completed repairs and maintenance items seller has done
  • Verify with regional building that appropriate permits were pulled
  • Verify HOA fees and disclosures, if applicable
  • Mail copy of contract to buyer – include MLS printout and projected buyer cost sheet
  • Call in HOW, if applicable
  • Calculate average utility usage for last twelve months
  • Return all phone calls – weekdays and weekends
  • Add daily activities to contact management software

Home Inspection:

At this point we will set and coordinate times with all parties to do your home inspections, meet with Inspector, review their report, search for repair estimates, and negotiate with Seller on any inspection objections. Prior to closing, verify that all items have been completed.

  • Set up Inspection
  • Coordinate time with seller, agents, buyer, inspector
  • Review notice of unsatisfactory conditions with buyer
  • Help buyer negotiate inspection objections
  • Help buyer with repair estimates or a credit at closing
  • Copy of inspection notice to file
  • Verify prior to closing that all repairs have been made
  • Get copies of repair receipts

The Appraisal:

The bank will assign an independent appraiser to appraise the property. We will coordinate time with all parties, I will do a market analysis and prep for value. Verify appraisal has been completed and note any conditions. Discuss options with you if appraisal is low, and schedule final inspection if there were any conditions.

  • Set up appraisalBuying a Home with a Realtor
  • Coordinate time with seller, agents, buyer, appraiser
  • Do current CMA for appraiser
  • Meet appraiser with CMA
  • If VA, make sure CRV ordered and completed
  • Track appraisal deadline
  • Verify appraisal completed and satisfactory
  • If appraisal low, discuss options with buyer
  • Discuss any conditions on appraisal with buyer
  • Schedule final inspection on appraisal conditions, if applicable
  • Verify all conditions met prior to closing

Tracking the Loan Process:

I will verify all of your information with your lender. I will also verify that the processing of the loan is moving forward according to schedule, that the lender has all of the information needed, and continue to keep track of loan and credit deadlines.

  • All paperwork to lender
  • Make contact with lender and verify buyer information
  • Loan application deadline
  • Buyer’s credit information deadline
  • Disapproval of buyer’s credit information deadline
  • Existing loan documents deadline
  • Existing loan documents objection deadline
  • Loan transfer approval deadline
  • Contact lender often to ensure processing of loan approval is on track
  • Notify buyer of loan approval
  • Confirm that we are not liable for lender non-performance

If Contract Fails:

We will be upset for just a little while, and then we will begin the process again. We will need to fill out all of the paperwork necessary to get earnest money released. Then we return to after Buyer Agency is signed.

  • Fill out all necessary paperwork
  • Get release of earnest money forms signed
  • Get earnest money back for buyer

Closing Preparations and Duties:

You and I will do a walk thru of the property, figure out the approximate amount you will need to bring to closing, confirm dates, mail outs, and POAs with our closer. Verify property insurance, possession, financing details, and make sure Closer has all paperwork. I will verify closing figures. You will bring a cashier’s check. We will have a good time.

  • Schedule walk through with buyer, buyer’s agent, seller
  • Verify with buyer approximate monetary amount needed
  • If mail-out, verify correct mailing address
  • Confirm mail-out with closer
  • Title deadline
  • Title objection deadline
  • Survey deadline
  • Survey objection deadline
  • Document request deadlineWorking with a Realtor
  • CIC documents objection deadline
  • Off-Record matters deadline
  • Off-Record matters objection deadline
  • Right of First Refusal deadline
  • Property insurance objection deadline
  • Coordinate possession date and possession time
  • Prepare disbursement authorizations
  • Notify title company of any amend/extends or date/money changes
  • Last minute bills and receipts faxed to closer including HOW, if applicable
  • Make sure closer has all addenda, correct price, rents, or applicable credits
  • Discuss closing figures with closer
  • Check final figures for accuracy
  • Call buyer and discuss final figures
  • Remind buyer to bring picture ID
  • Discuss buyer’s need for cashier’s check
  • Deal with all last-minute crises
  • Check file for any unsigned documents
  • Coordinate this closing with buyer’s sale and resolve timing issues
  • Have a “no surprise” closing so that buyer can obtain possession after closing

Post Sale:

Our office will scan and store your file, make sure that the real estate sign and lock box are removed, and make sure that you have a copy of the HUD-1 (closing document) for next year’s tax return. You will now be faced with the daunting task of moving in.

  • Enter sales data for county records
  • Scan entire file to disc
  • Store hard file at outside location
  • Copy HUD-1 and put in pre-addressed envelope
  • Mail out disc of all paperwork to buyer
  • Mail out HUD-1 to buyer the following year for taxes
  • Gift to client
  • Ask for referral

Congratulations!  Wasn’t that EASY?

These 175+ tips on why buyers should use a Realtor® should give you plenty of food for thought on what type of agent you want to hire, what services they will provide, and the quality of effort they will put into helping you find your first, next, or last home. A special thanks to Mimi Foster, a long-time Realtor® who specializes in Victorian homes in Downtown Colorado Springs, for her creativity in putting together much of this list.

Happy Home Buying!

175+ Tips Why Buyers Should Use a Realtor®

About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 788 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker SSK Realtors (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.