You’ve got a life, we let you live it. We’re REALTORS®, Real Estate is our life.
Can a REALTOR® really help me in buying or selling 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 or information, and contacts to do the job yourself?
- If you are 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 far less, or sold for more, if a REALTOR® was involved?
Read the following information and learn how a REALTOR® can help you understand everything you need to know about a real estate transaction.
Pricing: This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
Marketing: The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other REALTORS®/real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other REALTORS®/real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The National Association of REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, friends and family, and personal contacts.
Security: When the property is marketed with REALTORS® help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. REALTORS® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
Negotiating: The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing—a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Monitoring, Renegotiating and Closing: Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
Can a REALTOR® really help me in buying and selling 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:
- Buying Real Estate: The process of buying a home or investment generally start with determining your home buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® 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 limited choices.
- Finding Properties: Once you know how much you can 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 licensee. When picking a real estate agent look for one who is a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® , a real estate trade 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.
- Selecting: 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 information 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?
- Negotiating: 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.
- Due Diligence: With a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests. Just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired to confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitation; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might problems at a later date.
- Financing: As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing begins. Your REALTOR® 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, and attorney does it all. Again, your REALTOR® can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.