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How it works, when you “hire” a realtor. Steps of the process.

Realtors work for free.  It sounds like there is some sort of catch here, but really, I can assure you, there is not. We solely work on commission. We don’t earn a salary. When a property is listed on MLS (the Multiple Listing Service) the seller arees to pay a certain percentage to the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.  We are only compensated when we facillitate a transaction or “close a deal.” If you decide now is not a good time for you to buy, you are not obligated to pay your realtor anything! Just hopefully refer them to friends and family 😉

 Since I have been doing a lot of tenant and buyer representation lately, I will break it down for those of you looking to buy or lease in the near future.

You are in the market to lease/rent/(the words are used interchangeably) or buy a place:

1. Find out the day your lease is up. Be sure to give your apartment complex/landlord at least 60 days notice. Some only require 30 days, but to be on the safe side, start checking with them at 60 days. MAKE SURE IT IS WRITTEN! – Before I was a realtor, I made the mistake of only giving verbal notice. I got screwed.

2. Notify your realtor of your desired move-in date. Tell them what you are looking for (area, #beds/baths, square feet, price range, etc…) Your realtor can provide you with a list of properties through MLS. I usually email my clients with information and pictures and a map. (Clients are usually thrilled with this process because searching online seems easy, but only we are provided with accurate/CURRENT data on the properties and you can avoid getting hassled by providing your email addresses and getting random phone calls from people all over who don’t know what they are talking about).

3. We will then start the search for you. I usually start by finding out what kind of place you need (condo, townhome, house, apt… etc) and then send you emails of properties that meet your criteria. This is great for you, because this is our job. You, most likely don’t have all the time in the world to drive around looking for properties with a sign in the yard & call a million places.

4. You and your realtor decide on a time to go and preview the properties you know you want to see- at your convenience.

5. After you find a property you like and have decided you think you want that place to be your future home, your realtor can provide you with a lease application. This usually takes about 30 minutes to fill out. You will need to provide previous rent history. There is also usually an application fee that goes along with this anywhere from 25-40 bucks.

6. The listing agent takes your application and reviews it. Does a credit and rental history check and background check. Then they will run it by the seller. If the landlord doesn’t find any problems and can see you being a future tenant, we can proceed.

7. Your realtor will draw up the lease with the asking amount. You will need to initial the bottom of each page and sign.

8. We present the written offer to the seller’s agent, so both parties can sign.


Whether it be codo, townhome or apartment…. realtors can help. If you are working with a realtor and visiting an apartment complex or somewhere that is not individually owned, be SURE to let them know you are working with a realtor and give them the realtor’s name and contact info.

There is usually a tricky box on the apartment leases where it asks, “How did you find us?” – This is where you put my name…This box usually has a few options: Internet, sign, drive-bye, referral… Don’t be fooled! Write Bonnie Besserer with Briggs Freeman… 214-350-0400.

Basically, there is no reason not to “hire” a realtor. You don’t have to pay us a thing and we work hard to find you a place that you will love. Just help us out and don’t leave us hanging when it comes time to sign the lease by putting our name on it.

If you, or anyone you know is thinking of making a real estate move, please don’t hesitate to call me or give out my contact information. The majority of my business is based on referral.

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