As its name clearly implies, The 184 Things a Real Estate Agent Does for You is an exhaustive list of the actions a local real estate agent is called upon to perform on behalf of a client. It is an authentic real estate Golden Oldie.
Whenever someone wonders aloud what it is that area real estate agents do to earn their commissions, many of we agents have the option of digging around in a drawer for a wrinkled printout of The 184 Things. If there were a Real Estate Hall of Fame, The 184 Things would be sure to have its own spotlighted exhibit…or even an interactive video display (so the kids could push colored buttons that would seem to make the list interactive).
Since the list is 184 items long, it’s a good bet that, given the option, very few of our clients would have read the whole thing (if they had, they’d probably be so exhausted they might well reconsider selling their house at all).
Actually, the truth is real estate agents don’t perform all 184 in the course of any single home buying or selling transaction. Some items refer to specific kinds of deals; some others aren’t always necessary. But they’re all authentic, and for most local transactions, we really do execute on a lot more than half of them. To give you the flavor, they are actions like “Verify legal description,” “Confirm lot size via owner’s copy of certified survey, if available,” “Prepare detailed list of property’s ‘inclusions & conveyances’…,” and so on.
Like so many other epochal historical events, the birth of The 184 Things seems shrouded in mystery. You might think that the reason is because it happened so long ago—but 2006 isn’t really that long ago. Perhaps the mists of time haven’t actually had a chance to fully enshroud the event…so maybe simple confusion is responsible. Most historical citations credit its origin to a 2006 House of Representatives Financial Services Sub-Committee hearing, during which the president-elect of the NAR presented the Things at the conclusion of her testimony. This could have happened after some House member made the innocent mistake of asking what real estate agents do to earn their commissions…but the actual exchange that provoked the list has been lost for all time.
At any rate, despite the House hearing being often credited as the point of origin for The 184 Things, there are problems with that story. The House archives’ transcript of the hearing shows a written Attachment that has 180 Things—not 184! But that’s not the only mystery, because the Attachment has a footnote, which seems to credit the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. It’s only after you consult the ORRA’s web site that you come upon what may be the original list, with all 184. If they ever do build a Real Estate Hall of Fame, it could be a reason to put it in Florida…
I don’t need to do each one of The 184 Things every time I set about helping a client buy or sell their local home—but it’s certain I do an awful lot of them. My own list is simply one with all of the things that need to be done—and that turns out to be different for every client and every property. The first item is always the same, though—and it’s all yours: call me!