Why Use a Realtor to Buy / Sell Your Home?
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Associates of REALTORS® can be called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "R" logo on their business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. They 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®. If you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are twelve reasons to use one:
- Determines Your Buying Power: This is your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, they can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders—banks and mortgage companies—offer limited choices.
- Has Available Resources: 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.
- Provides Objective Property Information: Agents have access to a variety of informational resources. They 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?
- Helps with Negotiating: 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.
- Provides Due Diligence: 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.
- Understands Financing Options: Your agent can guide you through the financing process and in identifying qualified lenders.
- Guides You Through Closing: Your REALTOR® will seamlessly guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
- Knows the Marketplace: 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.
- Markets Your Home to Sell: Often, a REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. They market 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.
- Knows How to Advertise: 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 agent, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
- Evaluates Potential Offers: 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. They can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
- Helps Close the Sale: 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.