There is no question that a real estate agent does a lot. Before escrow, he is preparing buyers sheets or seller’s home checklists. Once a property goes into escrow, the real estate agent transitions into a detail machine overseeing contract negotiations, inspections, and disclosure reports. As the client, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what needs to be done when. Here is what to expect from your real estate agent in Chicago to help keep you on track.
Help You Prioritize
When starting to shop for a home, it is important to have your needs and wants list for the home. Your real estate agent will help you understand what you can really get in the area you want to buy that meets your budget limits. These are difficult decisions to make but your realtor will be a solid sounding board of prioritizing things on your list. For example, if you have young children a good school is probably a top priority over a three-car garage.
Locate Potential Properties
While there is a lot of information that buyers can find online in today’s digital world, real estate agents often have access to pocket listings and off-market properties they know about via agent networking. Not every listing hits the MLS boards. Your real estate agent will consider your top areas and potentially offer secondary locations to help you get more for your budget.
Identify Preparation Needs for Listing
When selling your house, there is an endless list of things to do. Your real estate agent will do a preliminary walk-through and help you identify what things you can do to help sell faster and for more. This includes ways to stage the house, little things to fix or paint and how to keep things ready on a moments notice for viewing. Be honest with your agent about issues you are aware of with the house so nothing becomes a surprise during escrow that could kill the deal.
Negotiate On Your Behalf
One of the critical responsibilities of your real estate agent is to negotiate the deal on your behalf. This is for the buyer or the seller. In situations where the agent is the buyer’s and seller’s agent, he still has a fiduciary responsibility to be fair with negotiations. Negotiates start with the offer price and continue through inspection reports with requests for repairs or credits.
A good real estate agent has a phone contact list filled with resources for you. This includes referrals for mortgage lenders as well as inspectors they trust and escrow companies they know to be efficient. But the list of resources often goes well beyond this and includes insurance agents, cleaning people, doctors, and dentists in the new home community and any other resource you will want to get properly settled in your new home. Your real estate agent should know the community like their own if they don’t live there and be able to help you get settled quickly and efficiently.
Keep You On Track
This is probably the most critical component of a real estate transaction: understanding timelines. If you miss a deadline you could be waiving rights to things like inspections or credits. Your real estate agent will make sure you don’t miss a beat. From the moment the first offer is made, a series of little deadlines happen throughout escrow until you actually close.