If you asked most people for a quick description of what REALTORS® do, they would probably say, show homes and put in offers, for buyers and list homes, and present offers, for sellers. Of course, we know there's a lot more to managing real estate transactions.
As REALTORS®, our responsibilities to our buyers include:
Searching for appropriate properties, that fit their needs - "We don't want a large house, but in addition to the bedrooms, we want space for a home gym and we each need a separate office. A media room would be nice, too"
Arranging appointments to see those homes - We don't want to kill our weekend, so do you think the homeowners would mind if we saw the house at 9A.M.?
Researching the history of the listing - "We didn't realize that this is the 3rd listing number for that house, in the past 2 years. We thought it was a new listing."
Negotiating the offer - "We know our offer is low, but we'd also like a $10,000 credit towards painting, because their colors don't match our furniture."
In addition, the REALTORS® manage all the details of the transaction, from filing the correct paperwork, to making sure deadlines are met for inspections and mortgage contingencies and generally making sure all the steps proceed smoothly.
For our sellers, our responsibilities include preparing Comparative Market Analyses (CMA's), to help determine the correct listing price, providing advice for staging the home, creating marketing materials and marketing plans to publicize the listings, arranging for the public and real estate community to see the listings, presenting and negotiating offers and also making sure paper work, deadlines, and contingencies are met.
BUT...this isn't about what REALTORS® do, to guarantee smooth RE transactions. It's about the value the real estate professional brings to their client base, when they aren't working on a specific deal. REALTORS® are continuously learning. At a minimum, they are required to take a specified number of continuing education credits, to maintain their licenses. Those classes are supplemented with Broker training sessions, designation courses and involvement in forums, such as AR. Many make a concerted effort to stay on top of changing building codes, regulations and legislation that impact real estate, within their particular communities.
To that end, in a few weeks, REALTORS® from across the state of Connecticut,, are preparing to meet in Hartford, at the 24th REALTORS® at the Capitol event. Attendees will be briefed on upcoming bills, coming before the legislature, that impact the state's real estate markets. They will also have an opportunity to meet with their community's State Senators and Representatives, and express their opinions and ask questions.
This year's agenda is especially critical. In 2003, to ease a budget deficit, CT put in place a temporary increase to the municipal conveyance tax. The increase doubled the tax, in most towns and tripled it, in 18 others. The tax was meant to expire, at the end of the year. As with anyone who has gotten used to having more money to spend, the municipalities didn't want to lose the additional revenue and in 2004 the "Sunset Tax" was extended for another year. Since then two more extensions have been enacted, the latest due to end, this June. If the tax is not allowed to "Sunset", this year, it will become permanent.
In a year, when many homeowners are being forced to sell their homes, the added burden of a larger conveyance tax seems especially burdensome. It will be REALTORS®, fighting for these home sellers.
Servings Westport, CT
and the surrounding communities
Copyright © 2013 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved