Responsibilities of Real Estate Agents

It is perhaps surprising that considering the wide and diverse responsibilities that an estate agent may have, that there are no formal qualifications needed to become one. A real estate agents responsibilities do not just stop at showing potential buyers around houses which are for sale, they are much more complex than just that.

First when a property is brought to the attention of an agent, they will have to either appraise it themselves or have it professionally appraised for them. They will then discuss the property’s appraised value with the house owner and establish an asking price.

In order to hopefully get the appraised value, many owners request that the asking price be placed at 5% to 10% higher. The agent then must ensure that the property is placed on any relevant property listings and place a for sale sign prominently on the property. In readiness for a sale, the agent must then prepare any paperwork that will be necessary to facilitate a sale, ensuring that that paperwork complies with any by-laws as well as national laws applicable to the sale of that type of property.

Often an agent will have to make themselves available on weekends and holidays as those are the popular days for potential buyers to look at properties. Having shown a potential buyer around a property and having ensured they were able to answer any questions such as how energy efficient the property is or where the location of the nearest schools are, if the potential buyer offers a price which is less than that which has been asked, they will have to mediate talks between the seller and the owner, in the hope of them coming up with a price acceptable to both.

Having reached an agreement, the agent will then ensure that all parties sign the relevant paperwork in the correct places and then continue to see that the paperwork is distributed to the right places to make the sale official and legal.

Although that may already sound like quite a bit of responsibility, don’t forget that there are several types of real estate an agent may have to deal with and each may need different sets of paperwork and different laws to abide by.

In the residential real estate category there may be houses, both detached and semi-detached, apartments, condominiums or row houses. In the commercial real estate category there may be shopping complexes, garages or office blocks and in the industrial real estate category there may be manufacturing plants, farms or even mines, all of which may need different legal requirements for sales.

A real estate agent may even be asked to act as a property agent for a property investor in which case they will be responsible for collecting rents from tenants, oversee any maintenance the property may require from time to time and generally look after the interests, regarding that property, for the owner. So an agent’s is far more than just being a guide for potential buyers.

The Designated Living Room

When I was a young girl and I went to visit my Grandmother Annie, I was not allowed in the formal living room. It was a room filled with a tapestry couch, a mahogany piano, antique side tables, and lot of dollies. It was considered a “no-child” room. In my current home, I do not have a formal or designated living room. One day, when I am in possession of such formal items, I might want one. To have a formal or designated living room is a personal choice with many things to consider.

As you look to consider whether you want to buy, lease, or rent a home with a separate living room, you have many things to consider. You will want to look at cost, purpose, and personal taste.

Cost: Obviously, any time you add an extra room to your list of wants, you are adding square footage. When you add more living space, you add more cost. You should look closely at your budget and the cost per square foot of living space in the area you wish to live in. You may have to trim a room from your list, if the budget does not allow for a distinct living room. You have to crunch the numbers, to see what you should do. If you insist on having the room for whatever reason, and the budget is tight, you may have to trim another room. It is, of course, your call ultimately.

Purpose: If you socialize a lot and need this space, then you will have to find the funds for it. Admittedly, some parts of the country and certain neighborhoods always come with the living room traditionally. Some of the areas are tiny; almost parlor like, and others are spacious with many amenities. Also, many new homes have a living room, but it is structured and designed less formally than it might have been in the past.

The annual Christmas event and Easter hunt may always be held at your home, and if that is the case, then you need a formal living room. You need a designated space for such events.

Personal Taste: When you are looking for a home, you can listen to your friends, your family, your real estate broker, and your financial representative, but the end decision on what you want in the home belongs to you.

You also have to keep in mind that what you decide at this point in your life, does not have to be permanent. Your lifestyle, location, desires, and finances can greatly change with time. What you do need to do is to focus on your current needs, finances, and wants. I don’t have a designated living room at this time, but one day I hope to have one where I can place my grandmother’s mahogany piano.

Evaluate where you are at, and get ready to enjoy your new home whether it does or does not have a designated and separate living room.

Porch Appeal

According to my grandmother, the porch is a soul to the home. Additionally, a porch can add value to your home, extend your living space, and provide a quiet and needed escape. reiterates this by stating, “ Whether it’s placing an awning over a patio area, converting a screened-in porch to a sunroom or adding a deck, the creation of more living space makes life more enjoyable for homeowners now and adds an appealing selling feature for the future.”

Having a veranda, porch, or piazza can benefit a homeowner or renter in various appealing ways.

• Adds Value to Your Home
While home shopping or considering home renovations, know that a well-constructed and well-placed porch can add value to your home. You will want to consider, when home shopping or renovating, a few important things:
-Climate-what style of porch will be best suited to your particular climate? For example, in the tropics, you will want a porch that adds plenty of coverage, and may want to avoid a patio without an awning.
-Budget- a small porch that is not functional may detract from the value of your home. Make sure your budget allows for building a spacious and appropriate porch.
-Usage-do you hate the sun and sneeze from pollen while sitting outside sipping your five o’clock cocktail? If so, other real estate features may be more important to you than a having a porch.

• Extends Living Space
I live in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida where real estate prices are very high. However, I also want to take advantage of the Florida sea breeze, gorgeous foliage, and sunny days, so finding a condo with a porch was a plus for me. This is where I hold all of my entertainment activities, since my interior square footage is minimal.

I added a small mist fan, a few tropical plants, a café table with two chairs, and a tabletop grill to my porch, and suddenly I had an oasis and extra entertainment space. I can throw open the sliding glass door and create a pleasing extension of my home.

• A Quiet Escape
If your living space is small and your home population is large, a veranda may serve as more than an extra room, and act as an escape venue.

I can sit on the porch with my laptop or send the loud and raucous kids to the porch for a release of energy, additionally, my cat loves the area we now call the “catio.” This escape space can be beneficial to everyone in the home by providing much needed alone time. This is healthy for everyone in the family, including the dogs and cats.

Wrapping Things Up
Your real estate matters. If you are buying, selling, or remodeling a home, you want optimum everything during this process. You may want to consider the porch. If you are a porch person, remember that this exterior room can add value to the home, extend the living space, and give you and the family a place of escape from many things.