What Real Estate Agents Really Do Behind the Scenes


Many people might assume that being a real estate agent requires nothing more than making a few phone calls a day, putting up a couple of images online, and quickly negotiating a deal. These professionals might make the job look easy and glamorous, but there’s a ton of work that also goes on behind the scenes to ensure a successful transaction.

Here are just a handful of tasks that your real estate agent is doing that you may not be aware of.

They Prospect Tons of Properties

Real estate agents who represent buyer clients will work with a wish list of traits that their clients want in their future homes. After searching countless listings online, they’ll hit the pavement visiting various properties to see which ones their clients might be interested in seeing. All of these visits take a lot of time, especially if they’re covering a lot of distance.

They Hold Public Open Houses

Agents who represent sellers will often hold open houses on behalf of their clients in order to generate traffic to the home and hopefully find the right buyer. Often these open houses are held within the first week of a listing going live, and can often be repeated as necessary. Holding open houses takes up plenty of their weekends. 

They Attend/Hold Broker Open Houses

While typical open houses are open to the public, ‘broker open houses’ involve inviting only local real estate agents to attend. Seller brokers will often add a broker open house to their marketing strategy as another way to advertise the property they have listed to get more eyes on it.

They Take Calls For Showings

The phone can ring off the hook for agents, especially if they’ve got particularly hot properties that may buyers want to see. Seller agents will take calls from fellow agents to schedule showings on their listings.

They Market Their Properties Relentlessly

Marketing is a critical component to the home selling process, and takes up a great deal of time, effort, and resources. Seller agents will take all sorts of avenues to attract as many buyers as possible, whether it’s advertising in the newspaper or on their website, blogging, posting about the properties on their social media profiles, or networking with other industry professionals out there to get the word out.

They Analyze Comparables

One of the most important parts of the selling process is coming up with the right listing price. A home priced too high will scare off buyers and cause a listing to drag on and become stale, while a home that is priced too low leaves a lot of money on the table.

Priced just right, a home will sell in a relatively short amount of time for a fair price as dictated by the local market. The best way to come up with an accurate listing price is to study all the similar properties in the area that have recently sold – known as ‘comparables’ – which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

They Negotiate

Whether it’s on the buyer or the seller side – or both in certain circumstances – real estate agents put their negotiating skills to work to get the best price for their clients. For their buyer clients, real estate professionals will get the final sale price down as far as possible within a fair range, while seller agents do the opposite.

Either way, the negotiating process requires full knowledge of the local market and surrounding properties, not to mention cool nerves. The home buying process can be an emotionally-charged game, so having a third-party professional wheeling and dealing on behalf of the buyer/seller can help keep emotions in check while all the nitty gritty is ironed out on the table.

They Draft Up Legal Contracts

Offers on homes are drafted up on contracts that become legally binding when both parties come to an agreement and sign on the dotted line. Once the signatures are on the agreement, it’s a sealed deal.

As such, you want to be sure that the contract includes everything it needs to protect you, and avoids any clauses that might put you in a precarious position. Real estate professionals will generate these agreements and ensure that all pertinent clauses are inserted that will protect the best interests of clients.

They Show Up For Home Inspections

One of the more common clauses that are inserted into purchase agreements is a home inspection, which provides buyers with the opportunity to have a property checked out by a professional home inspector to uncover any potential issues with the home before the deal is firm. Buyer agents are typically present during these inspections, which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day to complete.

They Get All Documents Delivered and Signed

Once a contract is signed, real estate agents will deliver the documents to the other party to look over and sign, or to make changes and counter. Whatever the case may be, real estate agents are tasked with the responsibility of delivering these documents to the appropriate party until an agreement has been made and a contract is sealed.

They Recommend Other Industry Professionals

Real estate agents typically have a network of professionals that they deal with from time to time. From contractors, to home stagers, to mortgage specialists and beyond, many buyers and sellers often rely on the recommendation of their agents to provide them the appropriate professionals that will offer them the services they require.

They Undergo Ongoing Education

Just because a real estate agent passes their initial courses and becomes licensed doesn’t mean the training stops there. Real estate professionals are required to undergo occasional training to ensure they remain up-to-date with the local real estate market and the tactics and tools needed to continue to be successful.

The Bottom Line

Being a real estate agent involves a lot more than just bringing a client to a home, planting a For Sale sign in the front yard, and drafting up a purchase agreement. There is a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes that clients are often not aware of. The reality is, real estate agents work hard to satisfy their clients, and are often working around the clock to make a deal happen.