Realtor – don’t buy a home without one

You could buy a home without a realtor, and some people do. That is where the term FSBO (for sale by owner) comes from. However, most homeowners do not have the time necessary to know their market or what to disclose when it comes to buying or selling property.

All realtors who call themselves a realtor must take education courses to maintain their license. In addition, some will attend a series of courses to obtain a designation.

I, with several others, have been in the process of taking the several courses necessary to get a Council of Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation. For details, go to

We have learned about absorption rates, how to track market trends within different price points, and the latest trends in marketing listing strategies. One of the many take-a-ways discussed was the relevance of a realtor.

In this current market some think all you need to do is put a sign in your front yard.

I was taken back by the over 180 reasons discussed on why a buyer or seller should use a realtor. Therefore, I’d like to highlight a few.

Pre-listing activities:

Make and confirm appointments

Review pre-appointment questions

Research all comparables and sale activities from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other public records data bases

Review tax rolls

Prepare a Community Market Analysis (CMA)

Research deed type, land use coding, zoning, and deed restrictions

Prepare listing presentation packet

Listing appointment


Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projection

Review company credentials

Present CMA results

Discuss goals and strategies

Once property is under


Review current title information

Verify number and room sizes

Square footage inside and out, lot size

Note any easements

Prepare showing instructions

Obtain current mortgage information

Verify HOA fees

Prepare list of amenities and assess market impact

List completed repairs/upgrades and maintenance items

Explain benefits of a home warranty

Review curb appeal and interior décor

Enter property into the MLS from data collected, add photos, verify accuracy of all info provide

Marketing the listing:

Create print and internet ads with seller input

Coordinate showings

Install lock box

Setup a showing schedule

Generate mail-merge letters

Advise network referral program

Provide marketing data

Convey promptly any price changes

Review loan information

Update MLS as necessary

Review feedback response to emails and other leads after showings

Place weekly update calls

The offer and contract:

Receive and review all offers and submit to buyers

Prepare a net sheet on each for comparison purposes

Counsel seller on offers

Contact buyers to confirm buyers qualifications and discuss offer

Negotiate all offers on seller’s behalf

Prepare and convey any counter offers

Confirm offer acceptance verifying that it conforms to all parties

Open escrow, update MLS, coordinate with buyers lender, ensuring loan process is on track

Coordinate with buyers professional home inspections with seller

Review inspection reports

Explain seller’s responsibilities with respect to the loan process and home inspections

Negotiate payment and oversee completion of any required repairs if needed

Schedule the appraisal, provide comparables, assist seller in questioning appraisal

Closing preparations and


Confirm all disclosures have been completed and signed by all parties

Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.)

Schedule final walk through

Request final closing figures and review with all parties to ensure accuracy of preparation

Review all other closing documents carefully for errors

Follow up after closing

Clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs and respond to any additional information provided about home warranty, etc.

If you have questions regarding available inventory to purchase or the current bank servicer’s short sale incentives to sellers, contact Mike Mason, broker/owner of Mason Real Estate DRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR), Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource certified by National Association of Realtors® (NAR) at [email protected] or (951) 296-8887.

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