1. When Is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?
A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she becomes a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, the world's largest professional association. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Members belong to one or more of 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS® and can join one of our many institutes, societies and councils. Additionally, NAR offers members the opportunity to be active in our appraisal and international real estate specialty sections. REALTORS® are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
2. When buying a home, what you can learn from a REALTOR’s knowledge and skill?
• A REALTOR helps you determine how much home you can actually afford. Often a REALTOR can suggest additional ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods. • A REALTOR can help you work out a realistic idea of the home best suited to your needs - size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation and shopping and other public facilities. • A REALTOR has access to listings of available homes, can evaluate them in terms of your needs and affordability, and doesn’t waste your time on unsuitable homes. • A REALTOR can often suggest simple, imaginative changes that could make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value. • A REALTOR can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of proposed zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy. • A REALTOR can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service - even if you are relocating in another city. • A REALTOR has no emotional ties to the homes, can be objective about them and can point out advantages and disadvantages while answering your questions. • If a REALTOR is the seller’s agent, he or she acts as a liaison between you and the seller to present offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached. • If a REALTOR is the buyer’s agent, he or she represents you, the buyer, in the transaction. They will negotiate the most favorable price and terms on your behalf. • A REALTOR can tell you if local law requires an attorney at closing and can provide you with a list to choose from if you don’t have one. • A REALTOR usually knows the local money market and can tell you about financing. A REALTOR can also tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan. • A REALTOR can help familiarize you with the closing process by explaining it all in advance. • A REALTOR is part of a network of professional colleagues, such as appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, contractors and insurance agents - through which you may be more completely served. • A REALTOR shows you only those homes best suited to your needs - size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping and other public facilities.
3. How can a REALTOR® help you sell your home?
• A REALTOR knows the current real estate market and can help you set a realistic competitive price. • A REALTOR is familiar with the local home loan market, knows if seller assistance is advisable and can help you decide the type of financing that’s best to expedite your sale. • A REALTOR knows how to figure the approximate net proceeds from your sale, based on types of loans, your outstanding loan balance and closing costs. • A REALTOR knows how to add sales appeal to your home at low or moderate cost. • A REALTOR knows where to find prospective buyers. Most homebuyers prefer to work with a real estate agent and serious prospects are "qualified" as to their affordable price range before they are shown through your home. • A REALTOR can tap an even larger market, if necessary, through referrals and marketing techniques. • A REALTOR frees you from the problems associated with showing your home. The REALTOR handles all phone inquiries, makes appointments, does the actual showing and follows up. Your time is your own and your home is not exposed to anyone who has not been pre-qualified. • A REALTOR is a skilled salesperson who knows how to merchandise your home effectively. • A REALTOR maintains objectivity in responding to possible criticisms by the buyer and in presenting offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached. • A REALTOR knows how to help the buyer meet local financing requirements and go about obtaining a mortgage loan. • A REALTOR can familiarize you with the closing procedures by explaining them all in advance. A REALTOR usually attends the closing with you.
4. Your REALTOR also:
• knows the local housing market and can help you set a fair market price. Often a REALTOR can advise when seller financing might be in your best interest. • is knowledgeable of current financing methods that allow prospects to become homeowners. As such, this real estate professional serves the buyer in order to better serve you. • by listing your home in a Multiple Listing Service, will work with many other REALTORS to assure you a far wider range of prospective buyers. • frees you from the time, effort and not-so-obvious details involving the sale of your home. With so many resources available, a REALTOR may be able to help you come out with the same amount of dollars or more than your could command by selling it yourself. • does a lot of homework back at the office in order to sell your home. The home is listed, ads are placed, telephone inquiries are handled and appointments for showings are arranged with your convenience in mind. • will initiate, carry out and follow through on every phase of the important and complex home selling transaction.