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What Does A Realtor Do? | Buyer & Seller Agent Roles Defined

What Does a Realtor Do For a Buyer and a Seller?

A Realtor is an independent contractor who helps people buy and sell real estate. Much of what they do happens behind the scenes. They are continually working all hours of the day.

A good Realtor will make a real estate transaction flow smoothly, leaving the impression that their job is relatively simple. The fact is - that couldn't be further from the truth.

This article will put the real estate agent role into perspective. It's a brutal job that does not get the recognition that it deserves. Most people don't understand how complicated and expensive it is.

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It's time to explore the complicated job of a real estate agent. Let's dig in.


What's It Like To Be A Realtor?

Being A Realtor is ExhaustingAs you read through some of the tasks on the 180 agent duties listed in the infographic below, it may seem overwhelming. Full-time Realtors who excel in their careers are high-energy, time-efficient professionals who know how to handle stress and responsibility well.

Some Realtors cut corners and do not take care of their responsibilities, but they should not define the industry. They are the exception, not the rule. The real estate industry has very impressive professionals with whom I am proud to work alongside.

Real estate agents are continually absorbing the real estate transaction's stress and chaos so that their clients don't feel the pressure. It's one of the main reasons why 87% of Realtors do not make it past their first year in the business. The workload is much more intense than most people are capable of handling.

Realtors Are Independent Contractors With Their Own Business Expenses

Realtor Expenses Add Up FastOn top of the extensive list of responsibilities that Realtors carry, they also have many expenses that they're responsible for. When people see a Realtor's commission check, they may feel like agents are getting rich quickly. In reality, the average REALTOR® earns around $46,000, after expenses and taxes. Income is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the real estate agent role.

The typical Realtor stereotype is of someone driving a high-end luxury car, playing on their yacht on the weekends, and occasionally showing up to work to close a big deal and collect a giant paycheck. After being licensed for nine years, I've still yet to meet this elusive agent. I think they're a myth.

Much of the money from a real estate agent's commission check goes directly into their business and maintaining their licensing. Less than half of it usually goes into their bank account. Here is a list of typical Realtor fees:

Some Common Realtor Expenses:

  • Broker Fees
  • MLS Fees
  • NAR Fees
  • E&O Business Insurance
  • Extended Auto Insurance
  • Self-Employment Tax
  • State Licensing Fees
  • Advertising Fees
  • Showing Service Fees
  • Website Fees
  • Assistant's Salaries
  • Yard Signs
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Office Supplies
  • Business Cards
  • Property Flyers
  • Electronic Lockboxes
  • Continued RE Education
  • Legal Fees

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A Realtor's Job is High Pressure & Stressful

Being A Realtor Can Drive You CrazyMany people try to start a career in real estate under the assumption that there is easy money to be made here. In reality, it is a brutal business with loads of competition. The paychecks are not large enough to keep people in the industry, reflected in the 13% success rate for new Realtors.

Those who do survive usually do so because they have a passion for the business. They enjoy helping clients make their real estate dreams a reality. It's a great career path, but it's not easy.

So, the next time you work with a Realtor, remember that they are human, just like you. They carry a lot of burden and responsibility in their job. Agents work long hours for months on end with no guarantee of a paycheck.

When you understand these things about real estate agents and let them know that you get it, you can be sure it will put a smile on their face. 🙂


A Realtor's Job Is Complicated & Misunderstood

If you've never spent much one-on-one time with a real estate agent, you may not understand how different their job is from the average job. Anyone who has lived with a Realtor knows this to be true. They work crazy hours, deal with high-stress situations, never know when they will get paid, and have to survive in an over-saturated industry.

In Colorado Springs today, we currently have 4,799 real estate agents registered in our local MLS. Last month, we only sold 1,320 homes for the whole area. There are two sides for each transaction, so that means there were potentially 2,640 total sides closed last month. If every agent were given one transaction last month, there would still be 2,159 agents who did not have a sale for the month.

In 2014, the National Association of Realtors stated that 87% of new agents do not make it past their first year. This statistic is staggering, but when you consider the cost of being a real estate agent mixed with the competitive environment and the amount of stress from the job, it's not that surprising.

It's a fun job with many moving parts, but it's very competitive and challenging. It's not for everyone, but for those who are successful at being a Realtor, our hats off to you. You're an impressive group of people!


A Day In The Life of a Real Estate Agent

Even with all of the challenges mentioned above, being a Realtor is very rewarding. Helping people with their largest financial purchase is an important role. The benefits of being a Realtor far out-weight the drawback. It's still a crazy job, though. Here's an informative checklist of all the duties and responsibilities that Realtors deal with daily.

What Does a Realtor Do? 180 Real Estate Agent Duties


What Does A Realtor Do for Buyers?

A Realtor helps homebuyers find a home and then secure the property with an executed sales contract. That's the most basic explanation of a buyer agent's role. Their job is much more complicated than that definition.

There are countless things that a Realtor does for a buyer. A real estate agent will walk their clients through each step of the transaction onto closing. They work with first-time buyers, multi-property buyers, or anyone who needs to buy a home. Here's an itemized list of 90 things that a real estate agent does for a buyer. Keep in mind that these are the basic duties. Top-level Realtors will go above and beyond this list of job duties.

  • 1. Schedule Time To Meet Buyers
  • 2. Prepare Buyers Guide & Presentation
  • 3. Meet Buyers and Discuss Their Goals
  • 4. Explain Buyer & Seller Agency Relationships
  • 5. Discuss Different Types of Financing Options
  • 6. Help Buyers Find a Mortgage Lender
  • 7. Obtain Pre-Approval Letter from Their Lender
  • 8. Explain What You Do For Buyers As A Realtor
  • 9. Provide Overview of Current Market Conditions
  • 10. Explain Your Company’s Value to Buyers
  • 11. Discuss Earnest Money Deposits
  • 12. Explain Home Inspection Process
  • 13. Educate Buyers About Local Neighborhoods
  • 14. Discuss Foreclosures & Short Sales
  • 15. Gather Needs & Wants Of Their Next Home
  • 16. Explain School Districts Effect on Home Values
  • 17. Explain Recording Devices During Showings
  • 18. Learn All Buyer Goals & Make A Plan
  • 19. Create Internal File for Buyers Records
  • 20. Send Buyers Homes Within Their Criteria
  • 21. Start Showing Buyers Home That They Request
  • 22. Schedule & Organize All Showings
  • 23. Gather Showing Instructions for Each Listing
  • 24. Send Showing Schedule to Buyers
  • 25. Show Up Early and Prepare First Showing
  • 26. Look For Possible Repair Issues While Showing
  • 27. Gather Buyer Feedback After Each Showing
  • 28. Update Buyers When New Homes Hit the Market
  • 29. Share Knowledge & Insight About Homes
  • 30. Guide Buyers Through Their Emotional Journey
  • 31. Listen & Learn From Buyers At Each Showing
  • 32. Keep Records of All Showings
  • 33. Update Listing Agents with Buyer’s Feedback
  • 34. Discuss Home Owner’s Associations
  • 35. Estimate Expected Utility Usage Costs
  • 36. Confirm Water Source and Status
  • 37. Discuss Transferable Warranties
  • 38. Explain Property Appraisal Process
  • 39. Discuss Multiple Offer Situations
  • 40. Create Practice Offer To Help Buyers Prepare
  • 41. Provide Updated Housing Market Data to Buyers
  • 42. Inform Buyers of Their Showing Activity Weekly
  • 43. Update Buyers On Any Price Drops
  • 44. Discuss MLS Data With Buyers At Showings
  • 45. Find the Right Home for Buyers
  • 46. Determine Property Inclusions & Exclusions
  • 47. Prepare Sales Contract When Buyers are Ready
  • 48. Educate Buyer’s On Sales Contract Options
  • 49. Determine Need for Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
  • 50. Explain Home Warranty Options
  • 51. Update Buyer’s Pre-Approval Letter
  • 52. Discuss Loan Objection Deadlines
  • 53. Choose a Closing Date
  • 54. Verify Listing Data Is Correct
  • 55. Review Comps With Buyers To Determine Value
  • 56. Prepare & Submit Buyer’s Offer to Listing Agent
  • 57. Negotiate Buyers Offer With Listing Agent
  • 58. Execute A Sales Contract & Disclosures
  • 59. Once Under Contract, Send to Title Company
  • 60. Coordinate Earnest Money Drop Off
  • 61. Deliver Copies to Mortgage Lender
  • 62. Obtain Copy of Sellers Disclosure for Buyers
  • 63. Deliver Copies of Contract/Addendum to Buyers
  • 64. Obtain A Copy of HOA Bylaws
  • 65. Keep Track of Copies for Office File
  • 66. Coordinate Inspections with Buyers
  • 67. Meet Inspector At The Property
  • 68. Review Home Inspection with Buyers
  • 69. Negotiate Inspection Objections
  • 70. Get All Agreed Upon Repair Items in Writing
  • 71. Verify any Existing Lease Agreements
  • 72. Check In With Lender To Verify Loan Status
  • 73. Check on the Appraisal Date
  • 74. Negotiate Any Unsatisfactory Appraisals
  • 75. Coordinate Closing Times & Location
  • 76. Make Sure All Documents Are Fully Signed
  • 77. Verify Title Company Has Everything Needed
  • 78. Remind Buyers to Schedule Utilities
  • 79. Make Sure All Parties Are Notified of Closing Time
  • 80. Solve Any Title Problems Before Closing
  • 81. Receive and Review Closing Documents
  • 82. Review Closing Figures With Buyers
  • 83.Confirm Repairs Have Been Made By Sellers
  • 84. Perform Final Walk-Through with Buyers
  • 85. Resolve Any Last Minute Issues
  • 86. Get CDA Signed By Brokerage
  • 87. Attend Closing with Buyers
  • 88. Provide Home Warranty Paperwork
  • 89. Give Keys and Accessories to Buyers
  • 90. Close Out Buyer’s File Brokerage

Buyers Agent Summary

These are a few of the many job tasks that a real estate agent does for a buyer. These tasks grow as new technology is adopted every year into the real estate industry. Keep in mind that buyer's agents are independent contractors. They do not get paid until the transaction closes. Some transactions will fall apart during the financing process. Other contracts may fall apart during the appraisal. Working hard through many of the job tasks above and then not getting paid is a painful thing that every agent goes through.

The rewarding part of being a buyers agent is that you get to help people find a place to call home. After all of the countless hours and hard work, it's very rewarding to hand the keys to the buyer and congratulate them.


What Does A Realtor Do for Sellers?

A Realtor helps home buyers find a home and then secure the property with an executed sales contract. That's the most basic explanation of a buyer's agent's job. The truth is, there are many things that a Realtor does for a buyer. A real estate agent will walk their clients through each step of the transaction on to closing. Here's a list of 90 things that a real estate agent does for a buyer. Keep in mind that these are the basic duties. Top-level Realtors will go above and beyond this list of job duties.

  • 1. Prepare Listing Presentation for Sellers
  • 2. Research Sellers Property Tax Info
  • 3. Research Comparable Sold Properties for Sellers
  • 4. Determine Average Days on Market
  • 5. Gather Info From Sellers About Their Home
  • 6. Meet With Sellers at Their Home
  • 7. Get To Know Their Home
  • 8. Present Listing Presentation
  • 9. Advise on Repairs and/or Upgrades
  • 10. Provide Home Seller To-Do Checklist
  • 11. Explain Current Market Conditions
  • 12. Discuss Seller’s Goals
  • 13. Share Your Value Proposition
  • 14. Explain Benefits of Your Brokerage
  • 15. Present Your Marketing Options
  • 16. Explain Video Marketing Strategies
  • 17. Demonstrate 3D Tour Marketing
  • 18. Explain Buyer & Seller Agency Relationships
  • 19. Describe the Buyer Pre-Screening Process
  • 20. Create Internal File for Transaction
  • 21. Get Listing Agreement & Disclosures Signed
  • 22. Provide Sellers Disclosure Form to Sellers
  • 23. Verify Interior Room Sizes
  • 24. Obtain Current Mortgage Loan Info
  • 25. Confirm Lot Size from County Tax Records
  • 26. Investigate Any Unrecorded Property Easements
  • 27. Establish Showing Instructions for Buyers
  • 28. Agree on Showing Times with Sellers
  • 29. Discuss Different Types of Buyer Financing
  • 30. Explain Appraisal Process and Pitfalls
  • 31. Verify Home Owners Association Fees
  • 32. Obtain a Copy of HOA Bylaws
  • 33. Gather Transferable Warranties
  • 34. Determine Need for Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
  • 35. Verify Security System Ownership
  • 36. Discuss Video Recording Devices & Showings
  • 37. Determine Property Inclusions & Exclusions
  • 38. Agree on Repairs to Made Before Listing
  • 39. Schedule Staging Consultation
  • 40. Schedule House Cleaners
  • 41. Install Electronic Lockbox & Yard Sign
  • 42. Set-Up Photo/Video Shoot
  • 43. Meet Photographer at Property
  • 44. Prepare Home For Photographer
  • 45. Schedule Drone & 3D Tour Shoot
  • 46. Get Seller’s Approval of All Marketing Materials
  • 47. Input Property Listing Into The MLS
  • 48. Create Virtual Tour Page
  • 49. Verify Listing Data on 3rd Party Websites
  • 50. Have Listing Proofread
  • 51. Create Property Flyer
  • 52. Have Extra Keys Made for Lockbox
  • 53. Set-Up Showing Services
  • 54. Help Owners Coordinate Showings
  • 55. Gather Feedback After Each Showing
  • 56. Keep track of Showing Activity
  • 57. Update MLS Listing as Needed
  • 58. Schedule Weekly Update Calls with Seller
  • 59. Prepare “Net Sheet” For All Offers
  • 60. Present All Offers to Seller
  • 61. Obtain Pre-Approval Letter from Buyer’s Agent
  • 62. Examine & Verify Buyer’s Qualifications
  • 63. Examine & Verify Buyer’s Lender
  • 64. Negotiate All Offers
  • 65. Once Under Contract, Send to Title Company
  • 66. Check Buyer’s Agent Has Received Copies
  • 67. Change Property Status in MLS
  • 68. Deliver Copies of Contact/Addendum to Seller
  • 69. Keep Track of Copies for Office File
  • 70. Coordinate Inspections with Sellers
  • 71. Explain Buyer’s Inspection Objections to Sellers
  • 72. Determine Seller’s Inspection Resolution
  • 73. Get All Repair Agreements in Writing
  • 74. Refer Trustworthy Contractors to Sellers
  • 75. Meet Appraiser at the Property
  • 76. Negotiate Any Unsatisfactory Appraisals
  • 77. Confirm Clear-to-Close
  • 78. Coordinate Closing Times & Location
  • 79. Verify Title Company Has All Docs
  • 80. Remind Sellers to Transfer Utilities
  • 81. Make Sure All Parties Are Notified of Closing Time
  • 82. Resolve Any Title Issues Before Closing
  • 83. Receive and Carefully Review Closing Docs
  • 84. Review Closing Figures With Seller
  • 85. Confirm Repairs Have Been Made
  • 86. Resolve Any Last Minute Issues
  • 87. Attend Seller’s Closing
  • 88. Pick Up Sign & Lock Box
  • 89. Change Status in MLS to “Sold.”
  • 90. Close Out Seller’s File With Brokerage

Listing Agent Summary

These are a few of the many job tasks that a real estate agent does for a seller. Listing agents may not get paid until many months after they first met with their clients. The journey of selling a client's home is long and tedious. Sellers tend to get emotional during the process of selling their home. Listing agents have to work hard to keep their clients calm and trust the process.


Here are a few more posts explaining Realtor's roles:

  • What does it mean to be represented by a Realtor?

    What does it mean to be represented by a Realtor?

  • How Do Realtors Get Paid?

    How do Realtors get paid, and who pays them?

  • 5 Dangers of Using the Listing Agent as a Homebuyer

    5 Dangers of Using the Listing Agent as a Homebuyer

  • How To Buy A House: A Step-By-Step Guide

    How To Buy A House: A Step-By-Step Guide


Andrew Fortune

Hi! 👋 I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of this website. I'm also a Realtor in Colorado Springs. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I appreciate your time spent on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or contact me through this website. I'd love to hear from you. 🙂


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