Anyone can put something up for sale, and anyone can get someone to buy it. But with the complexity and legal ramifications involved in real estate transactions today, few have the training, skills, expertise, and experience needed to (a) market effectively, (b) tap into large buyer pools, (c) motivate/excite buyers, (d) negotiate and close, (e) protect the interests of their client, (f) manage the overall transaction process, from listing to closing, (g) foresee, recognize and avoid risks, errors & pitfalls, (h) assure that all current legal & contractual requirements & considerations are addressed, and (i) yield the best possible result (contractually and financially) for the seller and/or buyer. Much of what Realtors do is “invisible”, representing many hours of work “behind the scenes”. This includes preparing listing presentations & documentation, MLS data entry & updates, preparing, submitting and monitoring (and paying for) all forms of advertising/promotion, managing access to properties (keys, keyboxes, security), coordinating all showings & appointments, working with prospective buyers (directly or through other agents/brokerages), coordinating all negotiation & documentation aspects of the offer/counter-offer/contract process, coordinating all action items associated with the escrow/title process, and assuring that their client’s interests are protected. It makes little difference whether a small $25,000 property or a large multi-million dollar property is involved, since the process is essentially the same, and the same considerations apply to the transaction’s documentation and management. Most people are surprised to learn that the overall listing/marketing/escrow process can represent over 60 hours of work for the responsible Realtor, spread over a period of many weeks or months.
As a result of all the hard “behind the scenes” work that the agent puts into each transaction, a vast majority of Realtor-managed transactions are trouble-free and yield the best possible result for the client. An excellent example of why it is well worth using a real estate agent to help ease the headache and confusion that a real estate transaction entails.
To use a Realtor or not? The decision is not about money, it’s all about risk management.