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What Realtors® Do & Don’t Do

Who's Your Agent?

A Realtor® is a trained and experienced who is licensed to help you find buyers, sellers, renters or properties in the real estate market.  You can be a customer or a client of a brokerage.  Realtors® can:

  • Show you the inside of home (schedule an appointment to visit)
  • Send you information on property, e.g. square footage, taxes, number of bedrooms and so on
  • Fill out the necessary legal forms to make an offer, accept an offer, change the terms of a contract
  • Advise you on how to negotiate, customary provisions and procedures
  • Guide you from qualifying for a loan, to finding a house, to negotiating and contracting, and to closing

Realtor® Skills

Realtors® are trained in the law, experienced in the local market, and savvy on the sales tools to help you find your home or to sell your home. As your agent, we advise you on the appearance of your home, the competition and the general market.

We, as Realtors®, handle standard Texas-promulgated forms covering most aspects of real estate sales, and are familiar with Federal forms and other legal documents used to convey properties and those used to obtain mortgage loans. We also work with attorneys when required.

The process to buy a house is complex and takes a few weeks to complete, sometimes several weeks. Our objective is to guide you through this process, based on our experience, so that you worry less about procedures and concentrate more on the move itself and your own needs.

What Realtors® Do

Brokers put buyers in touch with sellers and assist in the negotiations. When acting as agents, brokers also advise their clients about strategy, tactics and other factors to negotiate better.

Real estate brokers are licensed by TREC, the Texas Real Estate commission, to practice throughout Texas, and as Realtors®, we subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. We generally operate in a local market area that we are famlliar with.

Realtors® belong to associations, or boards, of real estate brokers in a market area. Board members cooperate with each other so that buyers do not have to visit each listing broker to find out what properties are available. A Realtor® can show a potential buyer any property listed in the MLS and can usually scheduled several to be seen in an afternoon or morning. 

The Texas Association of Realtors® and attorneys from the real estate industry meet regularly to discuss issues in the industry and to provide standard document forms for Realtors® to use.  Realtors® fill in standardized real estate forms for buyers and sellers.  These forms are promulgated by regulators from the Texas Real Estate Commission or available to board members through TAR – Texas Association of Realtors® and are copyrighted by the association.  If contracts must be modified, an attorney must draft them. 

What Is an Agent?

By law, a broker and his Realtors® represent the Seller of a property, not the Buyer. When you contact the real estage agent on the yard sign, you're calling the Seller's advisor and confidant. By law, an agent of a person must jealously protect his client's interest, even above his own. This requirement is know as Fidelity. Keep this in mind, when you're tempted to call the listing agent.

You, as a Buyer, are not represented by a Realtor® unless you sign a written agency agreement. Although an agent of another person cannot lie to you, he does not have to disclose everything he knows that might help you.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) certifies Realtors® who have been trained to assist buyers and have closed a certain number of sales for buyers.  These certified agents are called Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR). 

This general fact is disclosed on the Information About Brokerage Services form that you, as Buyer, are given on your initial meeting with a Realtor®. The other relationship that a Realtor® can have with a Buyer is Intermediary, which is also described briefly on the IBS.

Who Pays?

Normally, the Seller who lists his property agrees up front how much he will compensate the Listing Broker if he can find a buyer. The Listing Broker then offers to other "cooperating" brokers, usually in his board, how much he will pay them to bring a Buyer.

No, the Buyer does not pay his Realtor® directly, normally. In rare circumstances or if negotiated beforehand, the Buyer may have to pay his Realtor® separately. At Closing, the Seller pays the commission he agreed on, which is split between the Listing Broker and the Buyer's broker. The Escrow Officer (title company) takes care of this splitting and paying.

Can I use information from one Realtor with another Realtor?

Realtors® are prohibited by our Code of Ethics from working with a Buyer who is represented by another Realtor®. 

If the second Realtor® is not your agent, then it would be like ordering food from a restaurant, getting served, and then paying a different restaurant — not very fair.  Please make sure that your relationship to other Realtors® is clear when you discuss things with another Realtor®.  Often Buyers don't realize that Realtors® get paid only commission — no salary, no compensation for time spent or gasoline — just for closing a sale.  

What Realtors® Don't Do

The mortgage company's underwriter needs to have an objective value of a property in order to approve a loan to the buyer.  A Realtor® is not an appraiser.  She may have an opinion of the market value of a house, but only a certified appraiser approved by the lender can express an opinion to the underwriter.  Appraisers are paid by the lender and the appraisal belongs to them, not the buyer.  The buyer has right to get a copy of the appraisal that was paid for indirectly by the buyer within 30 days after closing, some give it to the buyer once it's paid for. 

A Realtor® is not an inspector.  While she can observe cosmetic details that need attention or may have suspicions that repair work is needed, only a licensed Home Inspector can render a report on a home, whether existing or new construction.  Inspections may or may not delve deeply into what type of repairs are needed, and often notations appear on inspection reports that a more specialized inspection is needed, especially for HVAC, roof or foundation, or other items hidden or inaccessible at the time of inspection.  An engineer, a plumber, a roofer or licensed HVAC workman may be required. 

A Realtor® is not a lawyer.  While she can fill in promulgated forms in the sale of a home, a Realtor® cannot draft legal documents, e.g. Contract for Deed or complex legal conveyances. 

Other licensed specialties that may apply to buying or selling a home are also not part of a Realtor®'s job, unless of course they are also licensed to perform that profession, such as mortgage Loan Officer. 

Buying or Selling Real Estate is a Journey

We go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. That's why we constantly research the market and property values so your home is priced effectively from day one. We also make sure buyers know your home is for sale by using innovative advertising and marketing techniques, especially on the web, to attract them.

Investors look for homes or properties with good values that they can buy quickly for cash or buy below potential value, fix up, and re-sell at a higher market value. Foreclosure properties often or REO properties can offer good profits. We can help you find, bid on, and market them after you buy and improve them.

Whether you're buying, selling, investing or leasing, we have the training, the skills, the contacts and the tools to put you in touch with sellers, buyers, landlords, and builders to get the job done.

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