Top 10 things every Realtor should know ... Newbie or not!

Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Rlty- More than 5,000 agents(813) 777-1196 SL3130026

So why am I posting this here?

Because sometimes I think it really should be taught in Realtor 101, (or at least by your broker) but since it is not, here is my list of TOP 10 NO-NO's every Realtor(R) should KNOW KNOW:

  1. Don't give your client the lock box code (EVER)!  Do we really have to say this?
  2. Make sure you account for ALL funds in a timely manner as required by state law.
  3. Know the contract inside and out!  At least know the basics and have your broker review EVERYTHING (if you are new) don't submit SLOPPY work, especially on a contract, this is a CONTRACT, and the last thing you want is litigation and an attorney ripping this 'fili-in-the blank' document to pieces because it has so many mistakes on it.
  4. Pay attention to deadlines. There are deadlines for escrow deposits, lender committment, survey, termite, etc.   Make sure you know when those dates are and mark your calendar the day before.
  5. Make sure others know where you are.  In this day and age, don't get in the car with complete strangers, espeically if you have a bad, funny, off, not-quite-right feeling.  This is your intuition telling you, "No" or warning you something is wrong!
  6. Make sure your client is approved (not just pre-qualified) BEFORE you show them 20 houses!
  7. Return your calls in a timely manner.
  8. Pay attention to the details.  Many times this is EVERYTHING... your clients count on your for this.
  9. Get a Home Inspection.  Make sure you insist that clients get a home inspection or sign a waiver to show that you tried to get them to do a home inspection.
  10. Treat your client like they are mom.  You should treat your client as you would a very cherished member of your family, mom, dad, grandparent, sibbling, niece, or your own child.  Don't let them buy something that you would not sell to a near and dear family member, tell them anything you would tell a family member, and if you would not buy the home because the home inspection was aweful, tell them that!  They will respect you in the end, and remember you forever!

Inspired by Broker Bryant's - recent post (can't we all just get along) just kidding!  My comment was so lenghtly, I felt the need to repost it here and create a blog post about it.

Agreed!  I am all for everything 100% on this post, except # 6.

Not to be rude, but my take is this, if I have time GREAT I will help, but if not, isn't that what they pay their broker a % of their commission for? 

I got an offer so badly written about a week ago, I was so aggravated (at the day in general) and meeting deadlines etc, then I get this god-awful "where the F** did you get your contract training" from a agent with a brokers company that has a reputation for extremely SLOPPY WORK.

I was so appauled at how this agent could send this over, then I asked "With all due respect, I was there once, but Are you new?" adamant that she was not, I said, "there are a lot of things on here the really conflict with each other, you really should get with your broker, have him or her review it, and send me an offer that makes sense".  

I don't have time to babysit another agent, I am always cordial, and I go above and beyond to help others, but I just can't tell you how to fill out a contract, and go over the basics".

Have your broker do this, this is why you share your commission with them.

Katrina Madewell

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Jessica Curtis
Sutton Group Right Way

Completely aagree with you on these, thanks we all need a little reminder sometimes

September 23, 2008 03:54 PM
Anonymous #28
Amanda Wernick

Congrats on a well written blog!  When I first started in the business, I was appalled at how many agents in the office I worked at then would GIVE THE CODES to their clients, and tell them to take a look at it and get back to them if they wanted to right an offer! 

Some things are just taken for granted a Newbie gets trained on...glad you posted a reminder!

September 23, 2008 03:55 PM
Pippa Mac
The Woodlands TX Real Estate
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring

Katrina,  I like #10 ... treat them like your mom!

September 23, 2008 04:10 PM
Michael Russell
Overland Park Kansas Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.

Have you seen the way some people treat their moms? It would be too hard to treat them better than that.

September 23, 2008 04:17 PM
Brian Belcher
Charlotte Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Realty

Great post, good advice. It's amazing that some people still don't know the basics these days.

September 23, 2008 05:32 PM
Tracy Santrock
Raleigh - Cary Realtor
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc.

Katrina - Great post with a lot of conviction! Keep up the good work!

September 23, 2008 07:04 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Benjamin Realty LLC

This is all excellent advice. Some of the things are pretty obvious but can see why a new person might not think of them.

September 23, 2008 07:34 PM
Russ Ravary
Metro Detroit homes - Michigan Real estate & Mortgage info
Keller Williams Commerce

Definitely always need a home inspection and never give out a lock box code

September 23, 2008 07:56 PM
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Lots of good things for all of us to think about and make sure that we are doing for our clients and our industry.

September 23, 2008 08:04 PM
Garren Grup
REALTOR, ABR, CNE,CDPE, GRI, Naples & Bonita Springs, FL

I'd bet that most of the agents here on ActiveRain spend a lot of time doing the "other" agents job on way more transactions then we'd like to admit!

September 23, 2008 09:11 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

These are good rules to prosper by. Thanks for the reminder Katrina.

September 23, 2008 09:14 PM
James Engel
KW Beverly Hills
Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills

Thanks for the 10 comandments of true characters a real estate agent that all posess but few actually follow

September 23, 2008 10:03 PM
Karen Monsour
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach

Yes, #1, don't give them the code. They will take the key for some remote reason, then when someone wants to show...the key is "somewhere"...happened once to me, never again. However, it is their house...

September 23, 2008 10:08 PM
Trevella Williams
Realtor, Salesperson, ABR SFR
Aloha Coast Realty, LLC

Oh Katrina...your post brought back some really baaaaddd contracts! Once I received a contract that asked for a termite report (In Hawaii almost all homes get termite reports during escrow), problem was it was for vacant land! Guess who wrote the contract? The BROKER! chin hit the floor... that was one it was hard to be PC about ;)

September 23, 2008 11:00 PM
Mike Wong
Realtor, GRI, Project Manager
Keller Williams Realty Southwest

Great tips especially #10. There is a reason why clients love my service and continue to send me referrals since I adopted this strategy.

September 24, 2008 12:22 AM
Mike Klijanowicz
#1 Baltimore & Harford County Maryland REMAX Agent
Baltimore & Harford County Maryland - RE/MAX AMERICAN DREAM

This post is definitely a MUST READ for all of the rookies!  I'm glad they featured it!

September 24, 2008 10:55 AM
Anonymous #44

Good Post, I especially agree with number 7, number seven and, hmmm, yes number 7!!!

September 24, 2008 05:06 PM
Lisa Heindel
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
Crescent City Living LLC

I've seen so many sloppy contracts in the last year that I've had it up to my eyeballs.  I did a deal with an agent that decided his broker took too much of his money, so he opened his own one man shop.  He proceeded to royally screw up a contract in my seller's favor.  The obvious issues were worked out, but I left him on the hook for the home warranty that he requested be paid for BY THE PURCHASER.  When the HUD came in before closing, he freaked out, but I simply said that I assumed the buyer was paying for it themselves since they got such a good deal on the house.  He paid for it out of his own pocket once he realized that I wasn't bailing him out of that mistake.

September 24, 2008 09:32 PM
Cyndee Haydon
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Charles Rutenberg Realty

Katrina - loved your post! It's amazing what you see out there and Congrats on the shiny star too!! You ROCK

September 24, 2008 10:45 PM
Anonymous #47
--Anne Rains

This post was great because it included a lot of simple reminders that agents sometimes forget about, especially new agents. I really believe in #10--Treat your client like they are mom. I always give people honest advice and treat them like family members. Also, I feel it's important to give them the best service possible and treat them well, such as taking them out to dinner to discuss the contract or closing details and giving them a housewarming/closing want people to remember the home buying experience as a great one. Treating them well and offering the highest level of service will definitely lead to referral business from them.

These tips were great!

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September 25, 2008 07:01 AM
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Katrina Madewell

Tampa FL Homes for sale | Tampa Bay - (813) 777-1196
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