People sometimes tell me they want to be a real estate agent because they love to look at houses. But real estate agents don’t just spend their days looking at homes. Of course most full time real estate agents look at homes in their neighborhoods weekly. Each community has a Broker’s Tour Day aka Broker’s Caravan.
Most tours run 3-4 hours. New listings and price reductions of 5% or more are eligible for caravan. Typically the listing agent, or an assistant will be hosting the broker’s open, (doors are unlocked, lights are on) and the homes can be viewed without an appointment. Often, potential home buyers go on their own unaccompanied by their Realtor, but this policy varies from listing agent to listing agent.
Some homes are listed in the MLS for several days, but not available for showing until the “reveal” which is caravan day. For a potential home buyer just starting to explore, this is a great day to get out and see what the real estate market is really about (in the trenches). If your home is soon to be on the market, or currently listed but not selling, this is a great way for you and your real estate agent to check out your competition.
So each Tuesday, Joe and I meet at our office and set out for Broker’s Caravan. Sometimes we will add Pasadena or Burbank on Thursday, or Glendale on Wednesday or Toluca Lake on Friday. But if we looked at homes all week long we couldn’t follow up on our escrows.
Some real estate agents believe that once a home is sold (under contract) that it is the responsibility of escrow and the lender to close. And that is correct, but the escrow process is very complex. Just because something is scheduled to occur doesn’t make it so. There is a lot of follow up required. When I was selling hundreds of foreclosures in the 90’s, I had an escrow manager. She was a woman I worked with in the doc (funding) department at BSC Mortgage. She was great. But I am no longer closing ten or more escrows a month and I am the one to follow up.
Negotiating inspections takes a lot of time out of a Realtor’s week as well. I am fortunate that my assistant Carol can schedule inspections and estimates. When representing a buyer I typically meet them and their inspector at the home, but there are often follow up estimates. Recently I am coming across a lot of electrical panels that were involved in litigation (unsafe). In this instance we sometimes have an electrician provide an estimate to replace the panel. Fortunately, Carol or Joe in my office can help with the follow up inspections and estimates.
Whether working for a buyer or a seller the inspection renegotiation is complex and exhausting. Then there is the appraisal appointment; when representing the seller, I spend several hours accumulating comps, neighborhood information and other data for the appraiser. A couple of hours spent upfront can save tens of hours rebutting an inaccurate appraisal.