Why work with a REALTOR

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS.  Many are just Real Estate Agents.  The term REALTOR is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate profession who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.  When looking at all the factors that an agent influences it's easy to see how important it is to choose the right one for you.  There are factors that affect you financially and emotionally, as well as security issues.  Here's why it pays to work with a REALTOR:

1.  Navigate a complicated process - Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosures forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds and multipage settlement statements.  A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2.  Information and opinions - REALTORS can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools and more. They'll also be able to provide objective information about each property.  A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property most likely have a good resale value when I'm ready to sell?

3. Help finding the best property out there - Sometimes the property you are seking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR to find all available properties.  Discuss with the REALTOR what sources they use:  MLS, new construction, FSBO, etc.

4.  Negotiating skills - There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment.  In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before yu are bound to complete the purchase.  Your REALTOR can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5.  Property marketing power - Real estate doesn't sell due to advertising alone.  In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner's contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family.  When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR, you do ot have to allow strangers into your home.  A REALTOR will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6.  Someone who speaks the language - If you don't know a CMA from an appraisal, you can understand why it's important to work with a professional who is imersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7.  Experience - Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase.  Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change.  REALTORS, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career.  Having an expert on your side is critical.

8.  Objective voice - A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security - it's not just four walls and a roof.  Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaing.  And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they'll ever make.  Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.