What a REALTOR® Can Do For You
The REALTOR® you work with could be one of your most valuable resources. Not everyone who sells real estate is a REALTOR®. Unlike many real estate agents who are simply licensed by their state to do business, a REALTOR® is a member of local, state and national professional trade associations and have access to a vast array of educational programs, research and resources. By being a member, a REALTOR® subscribes to a strict code of ethics, and pledges to provide fair treatment for all parties involved, protect the right of individuals to own property and keep up on the changes in real estate practice through continuing education and interaction with other professionals. Plus….
- A REALTOR® can help you determine how much home you can afford. Often a REALTOR® can suggest ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
- A REALTOR®, in addition to knowing the local money market, also can tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan.
- A REALTOR® is already familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
- A REALTOR® can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service–even if you are relocating from another city.
- A REALTOR® can show you only those homes best suited to your needs–size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping and other personal preferences.
- A REALTOR® often can suggest simple, imaginative changes that make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.
- A REALTOR® is sensitive to the importance you place on this major commitment you are about to make. Look for a real estate professional to facilitate negotiation of a win-win agreement that will satisfy both you and the seller.
ABC’s of Paying A REALTOR®
Home owners who attempt to sell their home without the service of a REALTOR® generally do so for one reason: to avoid paying a real estate fee. Is it worth it? Many for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) later find that it’s not. According to a study by the National Association of REALTORS®, private sellers reported problems with attracting buyers, setting the right listing price and understanding the paperwork involved in a transaction. Consider these benefits, from A to Z, of using a trained professional:
Advertising: The agent pays all costs of advertising and marketing your home.
Bargain: Research shows that 77 percent of all sellers feel the commission they paid was well-spent.
Contract Writing: An agent can supply standard forms to speed the transaction and can advise sellers about the terms and conditions that are commonly seen in your market. If the negotiations become heated, an agent is better equipped to work through the problems to come out with a signed purchase agreement.
Details: An agent frees you from handling the many details of selling a home, from dealing with the buyers to setting appointments for showings, home inspections and the closing.
Expertise: Agents are well-versed in marketing, financing, and more.
Financial Knowledge: When helping you find your next home, your agent can answer your financing questions and provide you with a list of lenders who can meet your needs.
Glossary: A real estate professional understands, and can explain to you, the lingo of the real estate profession.
Homework: An agent will do homework on the list price the market will bear and on ways to market your property.
Information: You will have someone to turn to for the questions that will arise.
Juggle Showings: Your agent will schedule and arrange for buyer showings.
Keeping Track: It isn’t an easy task to track the showings and record the comments of potential buyers. When an offer is presented and contract is entered into, good tracking becomes even more important.
Laws: Realtors® are required to take real estate law courses and will be up-to-date on the issues that affect sellers and buyers. Issues like property disclosure forms, fair housing and the lead-based paint disclosure pamphlet are mandatory regulations that sellers must follow, with or without a REALTOR®.
MLS: Realtors® have access to the most important method for exposing your property to buyers – the Multiple Listing Service. When your REALTOR® enters your home on the MLS, more than 5,000 REALTORS® in central Ohio will know by the next morning that your house is for sale and calls for showings will begin immediately.
Negotiation: When a buyer makes an offer, the real work begins. Your REALTOR® will help you negotiate price, terms and conditions with the buyer.
Open Houses: Most REALTORS® see great value in holding open houses.
Prospects: An agent has a network of contacts who can produce potential buyers. In the Columbus area, real estate agents meet every day of the week in different parts of town to share information about new listings and the buyers who need specific properties.
Qualified Leads: many sellers who list their homes themselves waste much time with buyers who, they later discover, don’t financially qualify to purchase the property. A REALTOR® will qualify buyers before they take too much of your time.
REALTOR®: The term REALTOR® is a trademarked name, used only by members of the National Association of REALTORS®. These professionals adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.
Suggested Price: Through a market analysis, your agent will help you arrive at a list price. Without setting the right price form the beginning, sellers can cause their property to lose momentum and sit on the market much longer than necessary. Not only that, buy many savvy buyers automatically subtract a large percent of the sales price before making an offer on a “for sale by owner,” knowing that a REALTOR® commission will not be paid.
Time: Most people have very little time to schedule showings and handle all the negotiations and paperwork that come with selling a home.
Unbiased Opinion: Owners are too emotional about their home to be objective. Showings are very difficult for sellers, and buyers often are reluctant to tell the owner the problems they have with the house.
Valuable Tips: Before your home goes on the market, your REALTOR® can give advice on how to make it look its best.
Wisdom: An agent can offer the wisdom that comes from experience and helps bring a sale to a successful closing.
X’s: When it comes to “signing by the X,” an agent is right there with you, from the signatures on a listing agreement to the purchase contract and sitting beside you at the closing table.
Yard Signs: Serious buyers are attracted to the professional yard signs that REALTORS® use. It is a comfort for them to know that a professional real estate agent is on the other side of the transaction.
Zeal: A REALTOR®, who typically isn’t paid until your home is sold, will be determined to work until a buyer is found.