What is a REALTOR®?
All real estate professionals are not created equal. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS estimates that over 2 million people hold real estate licenses in the United States, but only about 1 million of them have earned the REALTOR distinction. Through membership in their national, state and local REALTOR associations, REALTORS gain numerous opportunities to enhance their educational and professional development. They also are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.
Using a REALTOR when Buying Your Home
For most of us, a home is the single biggest purchase in our lives. The enormity of the financial transaction aside, finding the right home to fit our particular needs and wants is no easy undertaking. Just as you wouldn't buy a car, computer or camcorder without doing some research into various models and prices, you shouldn't consider purchasing a home without some expert advice and guidance. Though some people may think of using the services of a REALTOR only when selling their homes, a REALTOR can be invaluable when buying one as well.
For instance, a REALTOR can help you determine how much home you can afford based on your financial situation, help you get prequalified for a loan, and even inform you about available financing options. A REALTOR also is an expert on the neighborhood, and can provide detailed information about schools, transportation, local taxes and community characteristics. Using a REALTOR is also one way of gaining access to homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), an important marketing tool used by REALTORS to inform other REALTORS about available properties. That means a REALTOR can give you information about a wide range of available homes from which to choose. When it comes to finding out ifyou're paying too much, a REALTOR can provide you with market analyses comparing asking and selling prices of homes in the neighborhood. Finally, a REALTOR can serve as the liaison between you and the seller, bringing to the table negotiating expertise and knowledge about required disclosures and the housing market.
Why Use a REALTOR for selling your home?
Selling a home is a complex process involving what‘s likely to be your most prized financial asset. Enacting a smooth transaction for your home‘s full value requires the expertise of a REALTOR whose extensive training has prepared him or her to generate the best possible results on your behalf. Just like you shouldn‘t treat a broken leg without a doctor or handle a major legal dispute without an attorney, it‘s unwise to sell your home without the professional assistance of a REALTOR.
Naturally, every seller wants to reap the highest return from the sale. It‘s tempting to sell the home on your own, thereby saving the REALTOR's fees. However, a study conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS found that 82 percent of real estate sales result from REALTORS‘ contacts with previous clients, referrals and other sources. Additionally, NAR concluded that most homes sell for 3 to 9.5 percent more when sold through a REALTOR.
Selling your home with a REALTOR yields abundant advantages, including the following:
REALTORS have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to disburse information about your property to thousands of consumers via their REALTORS. They also have other marketing vehicles at their disposal, such as open houses and referral networks. Through your REALTOR‘s marketing efforts, a much broader range of qualified buyers will be informed of your property‘s availability.
As a seasoned pro at negotiation skills and tactics, your REALTOR can maintain objectivity in assessing buyers' proposals and developing offers and counteroffers. Throughout the transaction, including appraisals, inspections and legally binding agreements, you can depend on your REALTOR's know-how to avoid any pitfalls.
Sales transactions comprise intricate legal and regulatory requirements. REALTORS are familiar with the regulations and can help you understand and adhere to them.
REALTORS work with their clients to address home improvements and tips that will enhance the home‘s salability.
REALTORS offer extensive, professional sales training.