Why Use A Realtor?
All real estate licensees are not the
same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR
"®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS®
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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?
Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be
foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional
assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a
dozen more reasons to use one:
1. 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
2. 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 available properties.
3. 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?
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding
different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing
process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
8. 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.
9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other
real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can
recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the
salability of your property. 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
10. 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. A REALTOR® will generally prescreen and
accompany qualified prospects through your property.
11. 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.
12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your
home. 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 alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is
the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the
transaction to closing (or settlement).
Buyers and sellers give high marks to real estate agents for
the expertise and professionalism they bring to the real estate transaction.
According to the 2003 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home
Buyers and Sellers, in the ultimate sign of satisfaction, more than 70
percent of agent-assisted sellers and 74 percent of homebuyers said they
definitely would use the same agent again in future transactions.
Almost 86 percent of sellers chose a real estate agent to sell their home in
2003; only 14 percent sold their home themselves.
In 2003, more than seven out of ten homebuyers used a real estate agent in
their home purchase. Almost 60 percent of buyers say they expect real
estate professionals to help them find the right house to purchase.
More than nine out of ten homebuyers in 2003 said their real estate agent's
knowledge of the purchase process was very important, and more than four out
of five homebuyers were satisfied with the knowledge and expertise of their
real estate agent. More buyers—86 percent—used a real estate agent as
a source of information in their home search than they used the Internet (65
Today, homebuyers and sellers need real estate professionals more than ever
to guide them through the complexities of the transaction. Information
technology puts a wealth of information about real estate on consumers'
desktops, and most consumers turned to real estate professionals to
Even with so much real estate information so easily available through the
Internet, more and more consumers are turning to real estate professionals
to assist them in the transaction. In fact, home buyers who use the
Internet to shop for a home are more likely to use a real estate
professional (78 percent) than traditional home buyers (68 percent),
according to the 2003 Profile. Real estate professionals are moving
from being the providers of information to being interpreters of
Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two-page contract. Now
consumer-mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural
reports, and other legal documents have made home transfer very complicated.
The typical sale of a home today involves more than 20 steps to complete the
transaction. Real estate professionals work with contracts daily and
understand how they affect the interests of their clients and customers.
Consumers continue to find value in having a real estate professional help
them through the home buying and selling process. The wide variety of
services real estate professionals provide are proving ever more valuable in
real estate transactions, especially in light of new financing twists and
sales contract intricacies.
Code of Ethics: A Commitment to the
The Code of Ethics of
the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is the promise to the public that when
dealing with a real estate agent that is a REALTOR®, they can expect honest
and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. Only REALTORS®
pledge to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics and only REALTORS® are
held accountable for their ethical behavior.
Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:
||Protect and promote your client's interests, but
be honest with all parties.
||Avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, and
concealment of pertinent facts. Do not reveal facts that are confidential under the scope of your agency
||Disclose present or contemplated interest in any
property to all properties.
||Avoid side deals without your client's informed
||Accept compensation from only one party, except
with full disclosure and informed consent.
||Keep the funds of clients and customers in
||Assure, whenever possible, that transactional
details are in writing.
||Provide equal service to all clients and
||Be knowledgeable and competent in the fields of
practice in which you ordinarily engage. Obtain assistance or
disclose lack of experience if necessary.
||Do not engage in the unauthorized practice of
Courtesy of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®