The vast majority of homeowners and soon to be owners have the right idea. Almost 90% of buyers and sellers over the last 5 years have used a REALTOR®. National Association of Realtors®
What it Means to be a REALTOR®
A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Working From a Code of Ethics
Working with a REALTOR ® ensures that you are partnering with an individual that is not only a professional and expert in their field, but will operate according to a code of ethics. The strict code of ethics that REALTORS® adhere to has been in place for over a century. It ensures that all consumers are treated ethically and with an unmatched level of professionalism through all transactions.
The Code establishes baseline principles that come from the collective experiences of REALTORS® since the Code of Ethics was first established in 1913. Those principles can be loosely defined as:
- Loyalty to clients
- Fiduciary (legal) duty to clients
- Cooperation with competitors
- Truthfulness in statements and advertising
- Non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients.
Designation as a REALTOR®
To earn a designation, a REALTOR® a real estate agent has taken coursework and demonstrated specific skills, performance and knowledge in a particular area of the real estate industry.
Negotiations and Contracts
Contracts can currently be as long as 50 pages. This is without including addenda and riders. This is where the real work begins and a REALTOR® can help direct you through these intricate documents and develop an attractive offer that works to your benefit. Once a contract is in, negotiations began and this is where your REALTOR® becomes your advocate and can act as your objective voice.
Pricing a Home
With a variety of sites that provide an estimate on the price of a home, you run the risk of using a calculation that is based on very few components. A site calculation cannot attribute for a newly remolded kitchen, privacy fence, updated pool, or new roof to name a few. Online estimates are commonly off by as much as 35%, and often rely on tax information that can be over 6 months old. Having a real estate expert that knows the local market, will have access to the most up-to-date data, and will be able to price your home in line with its most accurate market value. Pricing your home right at the start will most likely provide the largest offers in the shortest amount of time.
Finding the Right Home
REALTORS® are immersed in real estate, and are capable of sharing information about a local area and residence that you as a buyer wouldn’t know otherwise. Knowing all the pros and cons of a home will ensure that you make the right decision. Agents can tell you about issue with polybutylene piping (materials prone to bursting), the perils of FRT plywood (known to spontaneously combust in high temperatures), or any number of other issues that may arise.
Annually evolving laws and variations from state to state makes buying or selling a home different from all other purchases. With people purchasing a home, on average, every 7-10 years, and many things can change and usually do. A REALTOR® lives and breathes real estate and must stay current with every update and regulatory, law, contract, and practice changes.