What is a Realtor?
Why Use a Realtor?
REALTOR ® is a registered trademark of the
National Association of Realtors.
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who
are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS are called REALTORS.
They proudly display the Realtor logo on their marketing material. Realtors
are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. Realtors subscribe
to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of
knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent
survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments
most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed
$100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal
with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question,
would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? But if you're still
not convinced of the value of a Realtor, here some reasons to use one:
- Expertise in Financing Options -
Your Realtor can help you determine your buying power -- that is, your
financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a Realtor some
basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he
or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders --
banks and mortgage companies -- offer limited choices. Your Realtor can help
you in understanding different financing options and
in identifying qualified lenders.
- Finding Hidden Gems -
Your Realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes
the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the
market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all
- Supporting Information & Research -
Your Realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective
information about each property. Agents who are Realtors have access to a
variety of informational resources. Realtors can provide local community
information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you'll
want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a
home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am
ready to sell?
- Knowledge in Negotiation Options -
Your Realtor can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors,
including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and
often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment.
The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete
appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are
bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which
investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Researching Potential Ownership Issues -
Your Realtor provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property.
Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for
termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic
tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your Realtor can assist you in
finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations
and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary
report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property
and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access.
The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example,
easements (access rights) for utilities. Your Realtor, title company or
attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
- Successful Closings -
Your Realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure
everything flows together smoothly. Between the initial
sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example,
unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title
is discovered. The required paperwork can be overwhelming for most buyers and sellers.
Your Realtor is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues
and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
- Knowledge of Competitive Sell -
When selling your home, your Realtor can give you up-to-date information
on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and
condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your
property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
Often, your Realtor can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will
significantly enhance the salability of your property.
- Cooperate with Other Professionals -
Your Realtor markets your property to other real estate agents and the
public. Your Realtor markets
your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets
across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales;
that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your
Realtor acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your
property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or
other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The
Realtor Code of Ethics requires Realtors to utilize these cooperative
relationships when they benefit their clients.
- Networking for the Sale -
Your Realtor will know when, where and how to advertise your property.
There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The National
Association of Realtors studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the
result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family
and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your
Realtor, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Realtor
will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your
- Contracts & Terms -
Your Realtor can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal
without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only
the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing --
a lot of possible pitfalls. Your Realtor can help you write a legally binding,
win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.