So, you have decided to sell your home

This may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. It has serious financial implications and it is imperative that you make the right decisions during every step of the process. One of the most important choices you will make is whether you are going to hire a professional realtor to sell your home or try to tackle the work yourself. 

This article will illustrate the different roadblocks that you will face in the course of a real estate transaction. We are not saying that each and every one of the roadblocks listed here are a given or that you will run into each and every one of them. Some real estate transactions can actually go so smoothly, that you may not face any of them. 

However, we want to provide the most realistic view. Since “the perfect transaction” is very rare, we believe that it is good to know what you can expect in a real estate transaction. Through understanding the 84 roadblocks, you can make a more informed decision on whether you should hire a professional realtor or tackle the selling of your home by yourself or some other unqualified agent. 

These 84 roadblocks are divided into 6 parts. These 6 parts represent the different parties that normally take place in a real estate transaction. These are:

  • The Buyer/Borrower
  • The Realtor
  • The Lender
  • The Escrow/Title Company
  • The Appraiser
  • The Inspectors

What is a realtor? 

Let us beginning by finding out who – or what – a realtor is, exactly. You may have noticed that the following terms have been used interchangeably: realtor, agent and broker. The truth is, these three titles have very different meanings. 

First of all, not all agents (also called salespersons) or brokers are realtors. That is why it is very important to know exactly what a realtor is and what the reasons are for using one. 

Let us see what sets apart a realtor from a broker or an agent

Before a person can sell real estate, that person must first obtain a license from the state wherein they work. He will be licensed either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. In order for a license to be issued, the tester must be able to meet the state’s minimum standards for examinations, education, and experience. These standards are usually determined depending on the state. 

Now, after the broker or the agent receives a real estate license from the state, they can go on to join the local association or board of realtors as well as the National Association of Realtors. The National Association of Realtors is the largest professional trade association in the world. When they have joined the local association and the National Association of Realtors, then they can officially call themselves realtors. 

To be clear, the term realtor is actually a registered collective mark of membership that sets apart a real estate professional as a member of the National Association of Realtors and takes into account its code of ethics strictly. In a lot of areas, it is these realtors who are able to share information about the homes that they are marketing through a system called Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 

So, What’s the Multiple Listing Services Then?

Multiple Listing Services are very helpful information networks that provide realtors valuable information/descriptions about homes that are being sold in a particular region. One of the reasons you are encouraged to work with a realtor when looking to buy a home is because a realtor who belongs to a Multiple Listing Service will provide you with access to the largest number of homes.  

Evaluating an agent 

Though you are not obligated to, you can invite a local realtor to visit you in your home. They can provide you with a “listing presentation” about why they are best equipped to market your home for you. It usually takes about two to three presentations for you to be able to arrive at the best option. This is what happens during a listing presentation: Normally, a realtor will sit with you and go over the reasons why it is best to list with them. He or she will also give you useful information that will help you as you make your initial choices about putting your home up for sale. 

It is widely encouraged for you to hire a realtor to help you sell your home. In order to find out whether you are dealing with an experienced and qualified professional, recent laws have clarified the definition of an official real estate agent. 

Most states will also require a real estate agent to fully explain his or her role and his or her qualifications at the onset of your conversation. 

You will find that the process of selling your home will go much smoother than if you had chosen to ignore the following. When talking to a real estate agent, look for the following qualities. Your realtor must: 

  • Be a member of the local association or board of realtors.
  • Explains fully and tells you all about agency relationships (his or her role and who he or she is representing, either the buyer or the seller) immediately in the process or at what they would call “serious first contact.”
  • Give you valuable advice on how to prepare your home and make it ready for the market.
  • Establish a friendly rapport with you and show a healthy enthusiasm for your property. It is best that he or she listens with undivided attention, boosts your confidence, acts and operates with professionalism and has a personality and style that you can work with.
  • Has already done his or her job researching your property in the MLS and other public records.
  • Provides you with useful data on homes nearby that have sold (or, did not sell) in recent times. 

And as someone who is looking for a potential agent, the following are good questions to ask: 

  • Are you a realtor (meaning are you a member of the local board or association of realtors)?
  • Are you a licensed real estate agent? (Meaning, is your license active and in good standing? To get information on this, check with the governing agency of your state)
  • Are you part of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or another dependable online service for homebuyers?
  • In case there is no MLS available nearby, do you cooperate with local brokers in your area on sale? How often do you do that?
  • Have you sold or listed homes in this location or area lately?
  • Do you work/cooperate with brokers of buyers?
  • What is the percentage of commission that you will offer a broker who is able to find a buyer for the home? 

This article will illustrate the importance of working with a realtor when selling your home. Apart from the criteria that have been mentioned above, there are a number of important reasons why it’s advisable to hire a realtor. One very critical reason is that they strictly comply with the National Realtors Associations (NAR) highest possible standards of professional training and ethical conduct. 

As we have mentioned above, there are many important functions of a realtor. Here are only some of the duties that your realtor will perform for you: 

  • A realtor will walk you through the entire process of selling your home. This is very important, especially for first time sellers. From beginning to end, you have a realtor to guide you every step of the way.
  • He will provide information about the prices of other homes that have been sold so that you can use this data to compare and make decisions about selling your home.
  • A realtor will be able to provide you with valuable information about local customs and regulations that you may need to consider.
  • He or she will be able to share information about the home you are selling through his membership with the Multiple Listing Service and his networks on the Internet.
  • He or she will place advertisements for the selling of your home in the right receptacles.
  • He or she will field phone calls for you.
  • He or she will take care of evaluating or “qualifying” potential buyers to ensure that they are financially secure and able to buy your home. 

Your realtor will negotiate the sales contract and ensure that everything is in proper and legal order. 

  • He or she will be able to discern potential risks that you did not see coming and alert you about them.
  • Your realtor will be able to guide you and inform you about the disclosures required by law and comply with them.
  • He or she will provide you with a good estimate of how much closing costs you are likely to incur.
  • He or she will guide you through to a smooth close of your transaction. 

Selling a home on your own

There are still some who would rather take the full brunt of selling your own home rather than hire a realtor, and this cannot be avoided. It is a free world, after all. However, there is an old saying that goes, “You can get rid of the broker, but you cannot get rid of the broker’s work.” For those who wish to sell their own home, it becomes a matter of “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). It is never easy to sell your home on your own. In fact, you are encouraged to spend a significant portion of your time studying the process, understanding the obligation and doing some of the complicated work that a licensed real estate agent usually does. 

Also, if you really wish to sell your own home, you will need the help of an external group of professionals such as realtors, attorneys or accountants for the jobs that require a specific area of expertise. 

You will also no doubt run into some pitfalls when you try to sell your own home. Here are a number of reminders that you should implement: 

  • For your own measure, do not open your home to walk-ins. Only show your home to those whom you’ve already made an appointment with and confirmed over the phone.
  • Be careful about how you price your home. Many fall into the trap of pricing their home too low that it sells too fast. You want to hire an experienced appraiser to do a market value appraisal for you.
  • Hold out for a buyer who has a written pre-qualification note from a lending office.
  • Study your legal obligations carefully. You don’t want to make any mistakes when selling your home. 

If you only wish to hire a realtor for a limited service, there are realtors who will agree to help out with the selling of your home for a price that has been predetermined. You can give real estate companies a call and ask to talk to their managing broker. Find out if they are interested in furnishing or can handle what is called “unbundled services.”
This article will further discuss 84 of the common roadblocks that are usually experienced after an offer is made. It will inform you of certain situations that you may not have 
previously given much thought about. You want to avoid these pitfalls or roadblocks, so you are generally advised to hire a realtor, rather than sell a home yourself. 

Realtors have the knowledge and experience needed to guide you through what may be a “maze” especially for first time home sellers. They are trained and committed to work with you diligently and to look out for your best interests. As we have mentioned earlier, realtors will stay with you from beginning to end, without missing a step of the process. They are dedicated to stay close and in contact with you during the stormy times of a transaction. 

Selling your home shouldn’t be a nightmare. In fact, you are meant to sit back, relax and let the experts take matters in their own hands. 

These roadblocks are divided into 6 different parts. Each part represents a person or a part of the transaction that you may encounter a roadblock with. It starts with the borrower / buyer. Let us first define what the buyer or the borrower is in terms of real estate. A buyer is, quite simply, someone who wants to buy a house while a borrower is the person borrowing who either has or is creating an ownership interest in the property. 

Let’s start with the roadblocks that a buyer or a borrower may face in a real estate transaction. Click on Part 1 to get started.

Part 1: The Buyer / Borrower

Part 2: The Realtor(s)

Part 3: The Lender

Part 4: The Escrow / Title Company

Part 5: The Appraiser

Part 6: The Inspectors