In Todays Market Why Use a REALTOR®

Barbara Wilson, CRS, GRI, AHWD, C2EX, PSA, CLHMS, SRS, PMN

If you choose not to use a REALTOR®, you are going to have to navigate a complicated process on your own.  


  1. Price the home without the input of a market expert.  Remember, Zillow is just a starting point; there is a lot going into pricing your home – location, size, lot, views, upgrades, floorplan, amenities, etc.  
  2. Pay for and take your own photos.
  3. Decide how you are going to market the home.  Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone.  In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a REALTOR’S® contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family.  
  4. Decide where to advertise to reach the best potential buyers and pay for all that advertising yourself.
  5. Let strangers into your home without them being accompanied by a REALTOR® professional who generally prescreens and accompanies qualified prospects.
  6. Schedule appointments to show the home.
  7. Do your own open house.
  8. There are many negotiating factors and you will have to review all offers and negotiate with the buyer.  Do you have all the right documents to avoid costly mistakes?
  9. Hire attorney or title company to complete closing research.
  10. Make sure you are following all contract deadlines to avoid breach of contract.
  11. Negotiate repairs requested by the buyer.
  12. Hire people to make those repairs.
  13. Review and approve closing costs.
  14. Coordinate closing with title company.
  15. Review and sign closing documents.


  1. Determine how much you can afford; you don’t want to be house poor.
  2. Choose a qualified mortgage lender.
  3. Navigate all areas of town that may have a home matching your criteria.
  4. Researching all areas to find out where new construction is that possess what you are looking for.
  5. Investigate school system.
  6. Research neighborhoods and local amenities.
  7. Analyze comparable home sales and make an offer on a home.  Remember, Zillow is just a starting point.  
  8. Negotiate with the seller.  Is your offer adequate enough to protect you during the process?
  9. Open escrow with an escrow company or hire an attorney.
  10. Order title search.
  11. Obtain title insurance.
  12. Review homeowners’ association documents.
  13. Understand your due diligence period.
  14. Hire qualified inspectors to inspect the home and attend all inspections.
  15. Hire a title company or attorney to complete closing research.
  16. Obtain homeowner’s insurance.
  17. Make sure you are following all contract deadlines to avoid being in breach of contract.
  18. Review title commitment to make sure there are no red flags.
  19. Review and approve closing costs.
  20. Coordinate closing with lender and title company.
  21. Conduct a final walk-through of the home.
  22. Review and sign closing documents.
  23. Obtain key from seller.

A REALTOR® helps you prepare the best deal and avoid delays or costly mistakes.  They will be able to provide objective information about each property.  Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market just yet and a REALTOR® typically is aware of homes coming soon on the market from fellow agents, family and friends.

A REALTOR® can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.  They can provide you with an accurate comparative market analysis for each property.  They are immersed in the industry and know the real estate language and the local community.

A REALTOR® stays current on the laws and regulations as they handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career.  Having an expert on your side is critical as buying and selling a home is most people’s largest asset.  A home is not just four walls and a roof.  Buying and selling is an emotional undertaking.  Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.

Not all agents are REALTORS®.  The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.  Make sure your agent is a REALTOR®.  Designations show the importance of education and commitment to the industry.  My designations are:

CRS – Certified Residential Specialist

GRI – Graduate of the Realtor Institute

AHWD – At Home With Diversity

C2EX – Commitment to Excellence

PSA – Pricing Strategy Advisor

CLHMS – Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

SRS – Seller Representative Specialist

PMN – Performance Management Network

When you choose to use a REALTOR®, they take the above lists and guide you through the entire process, helping to make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible.   For most people, a home is the largest investment they will make.  It pays to work with a REALTOR®.

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