It may seem easier than ever to buy or sell a home on your own, especially with social media and a hot market. However, real estate can be complicated, and you want someone advocating for your interests who has deep knowledge of the field!
First, what exactly IS a REALTOR®?
A real estate agent is licensed to help consumers buy and sell commercial or residential property. REALTOR® is a trademark referring to someone who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and means much more than having just their license. REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
When you’re buying a home, here’s what an agent who’s a REALTOR® can do for you.
Act as an expert guide
- Buying a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. Market research is a huge piece of the puzzle that is often missed, especially in the current market that we are in. Working with a knowledgeable REALTOR® will ensure you know what’s required in your market, helping you avoid delays and costly mistakes. Also, there is a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
Offer objective information and opinions
- A great REALTOR® will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. REALTORS® are also a great source when you have questions about local amenities, utilities, zoning rules, contractors, and more. Adding an additional eye brings another perspective when looking at properties, inspections and gives overall context for the experience.
Give you expanded search power
- As a buyer or seller, you will want access to the full range of opportunities you deserve. Using a collaborative system, your REALTOR® can help you evaluate all active listings that meet your criteria, alert you to listings soon to come on the market and provide data on recent sales. Your REALTOR® can also save you time by helping you winnow away properties that are still appearing on public sites but are no longer on the market. Great REALTORS® also get creative by tapping into off-market deals, networking with the public and/or other real estate related companies and can unearth unique opportunities.
Stand in your corner during negotiations
- There are many factors up for discussion in any real estate transaction— from price, to repairs, to possession date. A REALTOR® who is representing you will look at the transaction from your perspective, helping you negotiate a purchase agreement that meets your needs and allows you to complete due diligence before you are bound to the purchase. This is the most important power a REALTOR® brings to the table¬. They are your advocate, ensuring that you are protected and have peace of mind.
Ensure an up-to-date experience
- Most people buy and/or sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years between purchases. Even if you have bought a home before, laws and regulations change routinely. REALTORS® may handle hundreds or thousands of transactions over the course of their career. Working with an agent with the most up-to-date training, knowledge of the marketplace, as well as the rules and regulations, is crucial.
Be your rock during emotional moments
- A home is much more than four walls and a roof. For most buyers/sellers, a home is the biggest transaction they will ever make! Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you when emotions threaten to sink an otherwise sound transaction. Never be afraid to speak out, speak your opinion and ask questions!
Provide fair and ethical treatment
- When you’re interviewing agents, ask if they’re a REALTOR®. Every member of the National Association of REALTORS® must adhere to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism, serving the interests of clients, and protecting the public.
Whether you’re buying or selling, having an experienced REALTOR ® on your team can be the difference between making a deal, and making a deal work for you!