Why Should I use a Realtor to Buy My First Home?


Should I use a Realtor to Buy My First Home?San Anselmo, CA Home

It’s true, any idiot can get a Real Estate license in California.  It may just be the easiest license to get. If you can pay for the classes and pass the test you are golden. There are a few more steps but bottom line is it’s not brain surgery! It doesn’t even require a college degree. So why are Realtors crucial and necessary for the home buying and selling process?

Honestly, Realtors in the current market don’t just look at pretty houses and write simple offers anymore. A buyers agent acts as the liaison and expediter between the client, clients lender, the seller, sellers agent, inspectors and contractors. They sift through and pre-qualify properties for their clients and view the history, check sellers tax and loan info and have access to confidential comments only available on the subscription level of the MLS (multiple listing service). Realtors have to keep up on all the new laws and disclosure requirements instituted by the government bodies, changes in Short sale and REO transactions and have a basic understanding of the lending environment

Realtors spend a huge chunk of their time keeping up on their market by previewing homes at brokers tours, studying market statistics, networking with colleagues and vendors and tracking news and industry updates and changes. All so they can best serve the needs of their clients.Realtor Logo


An effective Realtor in today’s market is more than just someone to drive you around to view homes and write offers. They are your go-to expert for information, referrals for service providers, and your all around advocate for everything related to your home and community. When a client or friend calls me for a plumber or electrician referral or a social media consultant, it truly makes me smile because I know see me as a trusted resource. A Kick-Ass Agent will keep in contact with you after the close of escrow and not only to stay top of mind for referrals but also to remind you they are there if you need them.

A fellow parent at my son’s school is getting ready to buy a house in Marin County. He plans on representing himself. When I heard this I thought he was crazy  but after listening to his reasons it actually made sense. Turns out he is an attorney with experience in Real Estate, has a solid relationship with a title company and has purchased more than one property on his own in the past.

Swirling ClockI still had one major concern (ok, maybe a few), but the main one was T-I-M-E.

Here is a short list of what a Realtor does during the home search/buying process:

  • Online Marin County Property search
  • Previewing homes (because sometimes the pictures are deceiving)
  • Researching the homes that fit the criteria after viewing (property history, sellers financial position, existing disclosures and reports, confidential showing instructions, talking with listing agent)
  • Analyzing the market, preparing comparative market analysis and determining best offer price range based on current sales, comparable listings, # of other offers, deferred maintenance issues
  • Following up with the listing agent regarding other interest and or offers
  • Writing the offer and preparing required disclosures per city and county
  • Preparing the contract/checking and not checking all the right boxes, determining what to ask the seller to pay for
  • Negotiating with the listing agent
  • Preparing counter offers if needed
  • Performing Agents Visual Inspection Disclosure on site
  • Opening escrow/ordering preliminary title report/Natural Hazards reports
  • Tracking signatures from buyer/seller/agents on all paperwork throughout escrow
  • Coordinating with the lender
  • Scheduling and meeting with inspectors/report sign off
  • Negotiating with seller for section 1 and other repairs or credits
  • Managing escrow time line and confirming dates are being met
  • Having all paperwork in hand and organized for signing

I’m pretty sure he has a full time job as an attorney so my concern is, how is he going to do someone else’s full time job as well? Like I said, becoming a Realtor is easy but doing the job of a Realtor, not so much!