Not all individuals with a real estate license are equal. Only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS can rightfully be called REALTORS. These professionals proudly showcase the REALTOR logo on their business cards and marketing materials. REALTORS are dedicated to treating all parties involved in a transaction with honesty and adhere to a strict code of ethics. They are also expected to possess a higher level of knowledge regarding the real estate buying and selling process. According to an independent survey, 84% of home buyers would choose the same REALTOR again.
Real estate acquisitions are among the largest financial investments people make. If you had a $100,000 income tax issue, would you attempt to handle it without the assistance of a CPA? Similarly, if you had a $100,000 legal question, would you try to address it without the guidance of an attorney? Considering the minimal cost involved and the significant risk at stake, it would be unwise to enter into a real estate deal without the professional support of a REALTOR.
If you remain unconvinced about the value of working with a REALTOR, here are a dozen more reasons to consider:
- Your REALTOR can help determine your buying power by assessing your financial reserves and borrowing capacity. By providing basic information about your available savings, income, and current debt, they can refer you to the most suitable lenders to assist you. Most banks and mortgage companies offer limited choices.
- Your REALTOR possesses numerous resources to aid in your home search. Sometimes, the property you desire may be available but not actively advertised. Your agent will need to conduct investigations to uncover all available properties.
- Your REALTOR can assist in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. They have access to various informational resources and can provide local community details regarding utilities, zoning, schools, and more. Two critical aspects to consider are whether the property offers the desired environment for your home or investment and whether it will retain resale value.
- Your REALTOR can skillfully negotiate on your behalf. Numerous factors come into play during negotiations, including price, financing, terms, possession date, and the inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide sufficient time for you to conduct inspections and investigations of the property before committing to the purchase. Your agent can advise you on recommended or required inspections.
- Your REALTOR ensures due diligence during the property evaluation. This may involve inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, structural issues, roof conditions, septic tank and well tests, among others. Your REALTOR can help you find qualified professionals to conduct these investigations and provide written reports. You will also want to review a preliminary report on the property’s title, which indicates ownership and can sometimes have complex details related to past owners or rights of access. Your agent can assist you in resolving any issues that may cause problems later on.
- Your REALTOR can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
- Your REALTOR can guide you through the closing process, ensuring a smooth and coordinated experience.
- When selling your home, your REALTOR can provide up-to-date information on market conditions, pricing, financing, and the state of competing properties. These factors are crucial in selling your property at the best price, quickly, and with minimal hassle.
- Your REALTOR markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. They may recommend repairs or cosmetic work that can significantly enhance the marketability of your property. In many markets, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales, where another agent brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR acts as the marketing coordinator, disseminating information about your property to other agents through Multiple Listing Services or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses, and more. The REALTOR Code of Ethics requires REALTORS to leverage these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
- Your REALTOR understands when, where, and how to advertise your property. It is a misconception that advertising alone sells real estate. Studies by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS reveal that 82% of real estate sales result from agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family, and personal networks. When your REALTOR markets your property, you can avoid allowing strangers into your home. Your REALTOR will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects during property viewings.
- Your REALTOR can help you objectively evaluate proposals from potential buyers without compromising your marketing position. The initial agreement is just the beginning of a process involving appraisals, inspections, financing, and potential pitfalls. Your REALTOR can assist in crafting a legally binding and mutually beneficial agreement that is more likely to navigate these steps successfully.
- Your REALTOR can help bring your home sale to a close. Between the initial sales agreement and closing, unexpected issues may arise, such as the need for repairs to secure financing or the discovery of title complications. The required paperwork alone can be overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR is the ideal person to objectively assist in resolving these matters and guide the transaction toward closing.
By enlisting the support of a REALTOR, you can navigate the complexities of real estate transactions with confidence and achieve successful outcomes.