Whether you're putting your home on the market or searching for your dream house, a Realtor is going to help you achieve your goal as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
From striking the best deal to simplifying that often-daunting paperwork, these pros truly do and know significantly more than their job title implies. In order to maximize your value and minimize your stress level, your agent must morph into nearly a dozen different roles to get the job done.
Let's take a look at some of the other hats your Realtor wears throughout the course of a single transaction.
1. Expert photographer
We're all familiar with that expression, "A picture's worth a thousand words," but when it comes to selling houses, a great photo might be worth a thousand walk-throughs. Because most homebuyers are browsing the web before hitting the open house circuit, photography has the power to reel them in or convince them to keep scrolling.
Who's going to make that tiny half-bath look like it's large enough to host Thanksgiving dinner? Photographers, er, Realtors know just the right angles to show off your home and make it look so good you might wonder why you're putting it up for sale in the first place.
Though they may not carry a wand, Realtors are experts at working a little magic when it comes to transforming the average home into a stunning showplace. They also have the ability to make things happen. Negotiation stalled? A great Realtor is often able to reach an agreement when others would've considered all hope lost. Pulling proverbial rabbits out of their hats is par for the course.
According to the National Association of Realtors, its agents log approximately 30,300 miles annually for business-related driving. With their trusty GPSs and chargers, cars are virtual mobile offices for agents on the go. Visiting the car wash is almost a prerequisite for this post.
4. Home stager
Knowing exactly which furnishings to keep and which to store takes a home from meh to marvelous. Recognizing that clean countertops, perfect accessories, and a well-placed plant may make all the difference, Realtors will put your furnishings to work for you and remove those that work against you. (Dogs playing poker painting, we're looking at you!)
Never underestimating the value of curb appeal, Realtors aren't afraid to whip out their green thumbs when yards require a little TLC. Let's be honest: If a lawn doesn't look well-maintained, buyers assume the interior is probably in shambles as well. Enough said.
For most people, a home is the largest asset they'll ever own. So it's natural that from time to time both sellers and buyers require a little hand-holding along the way. According to home design and improvement site Houzz, simply making home renovations can lead 12 percent of couples to consider divorce. We imagine those figures only increase when you think about all that's at stake with a home sale or purchase -- not to mention moving!
Toilets have an uncanny knack for overflowing just seconds before an open house begins. Water pressure in a bathroom sink or shower somehow dwindles down to a trickle moments before a buyer is about to cross the threshold. But never fear, Realtors are ready. If they can't fix it themselves in a hurry, chances are they've got a connection who'll have it repaired in no time.
8. Life coach
Whether buying or selling, sometimes clients need a little pumping up -- as in "You've got this!" From qualifying for a mortgage to hiring a mover, Realtors have your back and are rooting for you every step of the way.
On other occasions, clients may benefit from a bit of tough love. Realtors aren't afraid to tell clients what's best for them when they lose perspective.
Just hearing the words "attorney review" can strike fear in the hearts of most, but particularly first-time buyers and sellers. Your agent will put that legalese into layman's terms and your mind at ease. And you don't even need to put them on retainer.
10. Home inspector
Going beyond the simple white-glove test, your Realtor will notice everything from less-than-gleaming light fixtures and mismatched doorknobs to sagging gutters and cracks in the foundation. If you're selling, these extra touches will make your home sparkle during an open house and prevent any unwanted surprises from popping up on an inspection report.
If you're the buyer, you want these eagle eyes on your side as well, pointing out repairs that may help you get a better price or at least help you negotiate when the time comes.
11. Marketing guru
Marketing is so much more than 'For Sale' signs and postcard mailers -- but, of course those are important too. Having a branded online presence and knowing how to harness the power of social media is key when it comes to promoting properties. Much like Mad Men's Don Draper, Realtors are powerful storytellers at a time when every word counts.
With so many talents wrapped up in one title, it kind of makes you look at those commissions in a whole new light, right?
By David Sporleder | Sporleder-Ray Realty Group | firstname.lastname@example.org| Google+