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What Does A Realtor Do?

Posted by Christie Gray on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 at 11:22am.


Think being a Realtor is easy?  Think again!  If you don't have a close friend or family member who is a Realtor, you may be under the impression that Realtors coast along, working 10 hour weeks in their PJs, collecting massive commission checks. Don't get me wrong--I love being a Realtor, but as with most careers, this one isn't a walk in the park (er...peaceful, lush, with mature trees backyard?)  

To help consumers understand the work involved that comes before getting paid, I've broken down what a Realtor "does" into three categories:  Time Commitment, Financial Commitment, and Emotional Commitment. 



Being a Realtor is a 24/7 job.  There are many balls to keep in the air in order to provide top-notch service for each and every client.  We check our phone and email often, because we know we need to make ourselves available to support our clients.  All of this time commitment comes without the guarantee of a paycheck.  Realtors do not receive a cent until their deal closes Escrow.  So, a great deal of time may be spent on deals that do not actually come to fruition.  Imagine going to work every day with no guarantee of a paycheck!  Welcome to the life of a Realtor.  


Typical Realtor Time Commitments: 

Responding To Emails 

Returning Phone Calls 

Order Home Warranty

Attending Property Inspections

Advising Buyer on Request for Repairs

Schedule Closing 

Creating Marketing Material

Stay in Touch with Transaction Coordinator

Active on Social Media 

Writing Content for Blog 

Have Buyers Ordered Home Insurance? 

Pricing Strategy Sessions

Speaking with Client's Loan Officer 

Stay Up To Date on Laws 

Update Listing Info in MLS 

Creating CMA for Seller 

Ensure Title Company Has All Docs 

Review Prelim Title Report 

Preview Homes 

Open Escrow 

Update Website 

 Have Request Repairs Been Completed?

Submit Docs to Broker for Signatures

 Advise Buyers on Strategic Offer Price 

Transfer Keys

Create Virtual Home Walk-Throughs

Schedule Photography for Listings

Home Tours with Buyers 

Interpret Inspection Report 

Answer The Phone 

Explain Neighborhoods

Make Sure Loan Funds 

Verify Completion of Repairs

Realtor Continuing Education

Get Earnest Money to Escrow

Coordinate Appraisal

Writing Offers 

Schedule Showings 

Get Disclosures Signed 

Negotiating Counter Offers 

Educating Clients on Market

Learn New Real Estate Technology

Attending Loan Doc Signing

Creating Market Infographics 

 Check On Past Clients 

Holding Open Houses 

Signing Listing Agreements 

 Obtain New Business




Being a Realtor is an expensive job!  We work as Independent Contractors in most cases, which means all of our business expenses are our own responsibility.  Some brokerages provide some financial support, such as providing open house signs, legal training, or printing services, but the trade-off is usually that they take a larger portion of the Realtor's commission.  Realtors must track their expenditures carefully to ensure that all money spent directly benefits their clients and their business.  


Typical Realtor Financial Commitments: 

Broker Fees 

Advertising for Website 

Business Coaching

MLS Fees 

Domain Name Fees 

Virtual Tour Service 

E&O Fees 

Video Embedding Tool 


Realtor Board Dues 

Continuing Education Courses 

Electronic Lockboxes 

Car Expenses 

Business Cards 

Lockbox Keycard 

Enhanced Cell Phone Plan 

Office Supplies 


Brokerage Tech Fees 

Open House Signs 

Client Thank You Gifts 

Realtor Board Dues 

Open House Signs 

Website Development 

Enhanced Auto Insurance 

Assistant Salary

Web Hosting 



Realtors have a large emotional commitment to their clients.  Buying or selling real estate can be a trying, emotional process.  Realtors act as strategic advisers, but must also take into account the emotional well-being of their clients.  For example, if there is a delay with the loan funding and buyers are stressed out, you can bet that the Realtor will be right there with them, supporting and explaining what's going on.  In many cases, buying or selling real estate is a very exciting time.  There are times, however, when people are forced to relocate for a job, must sell their home due to divorce, or must sell to avoid foreclosure.  The Realtor must fully understand every client's unique situation to support them in the best way and provide the service that they need at that point in their life.  





The Bottom Line?  

Realtors put in a great deal of work to earn their commission check.  The hourly, financial, and emotional commitments are large, and it has been estimated that 75% of agents throw in the towel within their first year as a Realtor.  However, there are many fantastic Realtors working to assist buyers and sellers in their community.  In my opinion, the work is interesting, creative, and rewarding, and I wouldn't trade it for any other career.  Make your Realtor's day by showing them that you understand and appreciate their hard work!  


Related Pages:  

What to Expect From a Realtor  

Why Use a Realtor? 

How to Get the Most Money When You Sell 




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