Home Selling Step 2: Choose a REALTOR®
Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. In the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with a professional who knows the community and much more. Those professionals are the local REALTORS® who actively serve your area.
All REALTORS® are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® 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.
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®. But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a few more reasons to use one:
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.
- Your REALTOR® will market your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the saleability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets 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. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
- Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. 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.
- Your REALTOR® will 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. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
- Your REALTOR® will help close the sale of your home. 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 (or settlement).
Real estate is a tough business with a steep dropout rate, and although many people have earned real estate licenses, only a small percentage of them actively help buyers and sellers.
Real estate brokers and salespeople who belong to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) are bound together with a strong Code of Ethics, extensive training opportunities and a wealth of community information. NAR members are routinely active in a variety of community organizations. Active community involvement provides REALTORS® with a better understanding of the area in which they are selling.