You might have noticed that there are many people out there with licenses to sell real estate, but not all of them are part of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The term REALTOR® is a special mark that only real estate professionals who are NAR members can use. These professionals are committed to a strict Code of Ethics and always treat everyone in a transaction honestly. They are experts in their local communities, keeping track of real estate trends, sharing neighborhood concerns, and being actively involved in local affairs. They are not just real estate agents; they are good neighbors who genuinely want to help people buy and sell homes.
If you're planning to buy a home, a REALTOR® can be a great asset. They can help you figure out how much home you can afford and suggest ways to gather the down payment or explore alternative financing methods. With their knowledge of the local market, a REALTOR® can give you information about real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services, and potential zoning changes that might impact your decision. They can also research homes that match your needs through a Multiple Listing Service, even if you're moving from another city. When it comes to house-hunting, they will show you homes that suit your preferences in terms of size, style, location, schools, transportation, and shopping. They might even offer creative ideas to make a home more suitable for you, which can improve its value.
Selling a home? A REALTOR® can provide you with up-to-date information about the market and help you determine a reasonable asking price that will get your home sold quickly and at the best price. They can suggest repairs or cosmetic improvements that will make your property more attractive to potential buyers. By listing your property on a Multiple Listing Service or other marketing networks, a REALTOR® will expose it to other agents and the public. They know the best ways to advertise your property effectively. When it comes to showing your home to potential buyers, a REALTOR® will often pre-screen and accompany them, so you don't have to let strangers into your home.
One of the most important roles of a REALTOR® is to help you navigate the negotiation process, ensuring that both you and the buyer are satisfied with the agreement. They have the expertise to objectively evaluate proposals and write a legally binding agreement that will lead to a successful closing. Additionally, they can assist you with all the necessary paperwork and handle any issues that may come up during the transaction.
Real estate transactions involve a significant financial investment, and the REALTOR® you work with can be a valuable resource throughout the process. So, when you're working with a real estate agent, don't forget to ask if they are a REALTOR®!