Why Choose A REALTOR®
Can a real estate agent really help me in buying property?
The answer is YES!
When you’re ready to think about buying or selling your property, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Do you have the time, energy, sources of information, and contacts to do the job yourself? If you were one of the do-it-yourself people, would the results be as good or better than they would be if you had professional assistance? Would it have gone smoother? Would it have given you more personal time? Would you have purchased for less, or sold for more, if a real estate agent was involved? Read the following information and learn how a real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about a real estate transaction.
The Buying Process
The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus borrowing capacity. If you give a real estate agent some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, they can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders – banks and mortgage companies – offer many choices.
Once you know how much you know and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties that most nearly fit your needs. This is the time to choose a real estate agent. When picking a real estate agent look for one who is also a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a real estate association, and all members agree to abide by a 17 article Code of Ethics. A REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in that search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
Your job is to make the final selection of the right property for you. This is when excitement and emotion run high. Your real estate agent can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
There are a myriad of negotiating factors, including, but not limited to price, Financing terms, date of possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property, this could include inspections for termites, lead, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank, and well tests, just to name a few. Your agent can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitation; for example, easements (access right) for utilities. Your agent, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing begins. Your agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
Closing or Settlement
Finally, there is the closing, or settlement, as it is known in different parts of the country. Every area has its own unique customs. In some areas, the title or escrow company will handle this process. In other parts of the country, an attorney does it all. Again, your real estate agent can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?
Real estate agents or brokers are generally paid by the listing broker through the commission received from the Seller when the transaction closes. Agents have expenses and financial obligations just like you, so it will be to your mutual benefit if you choose a real estate agent and stick with that person. The agent will respect your loyalty and respond with a sincere commitment to you.
Why A REALTOR®?
All real estate licensees 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. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor® again.
Using A REALTOR®
You Be the Judge!
Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $200,000. If you had a $200,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $200,000 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®!