Why Work with a REALTOR®
Buying a house—or any real estate—is a big investment and a complex process.
If you’re not familiar with the myriad details and requirements involved in buying or selling property, it’s in your best interest to work with an experienced professional. When you choose a REALTOR®, you know you have one of the best real estate professionals available working for you.
- Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®: The term REALTOR® is a registered mark of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and only agents and brokers who belong to NAR and their local Association of REALTORS® may use the term.
- REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics that imposes duties above and beyond those required by law and regulation. Adopted by NAR in 1913, the Code assures that your REALTOR® has pledged to conduct business in a professional manner with all clients, customers, members of the public and fellow real estate professionals.
- REALTORS® meet professional standards. All REALTORS®:
- Are licensed by the state
- Have met standards of education and experience in real estate transactions
- Have abundant resources available to serve your needs
- Are well acquainted with their communities, schools, shopping areas, and services. Your REALTOR® can answer questions about your favorite neighborhoods.
- Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®:
Here are nine reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.
1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: 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?
3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, 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.
5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.
Find a REALTOR®
Finding the REALTOR® that best meets your needs requires some research. You’ll want to choose your REALTOR® as carefully as you would your lawyer, tax consultant or financial advisor.
Here are some suggestions to help you choose your REALTOR®:
- Ask friends and relatives for names of agents/brokers whom they recommend
- Ask your attorney or CPA for recommendations
- Look for real estate signs and visit open houses in neighborhoods that interest you to find agents who specialize in the area
- Check the local advertising pages in your newspaper or homebuyers tabloid
- Check the websites of companies you see advertised
- Homebuyer's Checklist
Sample Interview Questions
When you have found a few REALTOR® candidates, interview each one on the phone before you make your final selection. Ask questions such as:
- What services and resources do you offer?
- Do you participate in the area’s multiple listing service (MLS)?
- Have you handled transactions in the neighborhoods I prefer?
- What specialty training or designations have you earned?
- Is real estate your full-time career?
Putting it all Together
As you talk to each candidate, notice how you feel. Does he or she put you at ease? Do you feel comfortable confiding in him or her?
Good rapport and communication are essential throughout the home buying—or selling—process. Ask questions to get to know your REALTOR®. Make sure your REALTOR® gets to know you and understands your real estate goals. Your REALTOR® will do a better job for you if she or he knows what you want—and don’t want.
Visit our Roster of BVBoR REALTORS®