1:55 pm ET
December 31, 2013 December 31, 2013
Before placing a home on the market or setting out to find the perfect new home, you should identify REALTORS® in your community who can assist with the sale.
While realtor.com ® is the largest real estate site online, it’s great place to find a REALTOR® to fit your needs.
Realtor.com® lists realty professionals nationwide, and you can find those active in your community through extensive directories and property listings.
Why Use a REALTOR®?
More than two million people nationwide have licenses to sell real estate, of which more than one million belong to the National Association of REALTORS®. Only N.A.R. members are entitled to use the term REALTOR®.
N.A.R. members must adhere to a strict code of ethics. By joining N.A.R. individuals have access to a wide range of classes, seminars and certification opportunities. Local REALTOR® groups are active in community service, economic development, local politics, and other neighborhood organizations.
In essence, local REALTORS® are the community experts. They track real estate trends, share neighborhood concerns and participate in local matters. They’re good neighbors who are in the business of helping others buy and sell homes.
How Do You Choose a REALTOR®?
Whether you’re a first-time seller or someone who is looking to buy your first home, there are several ways to find a local REALTOR®:
- Use the “Find a REALTOR® ” search engine on realtor.com® to find individuals who actively sell in your community.
- Get recommendations from friends and family members who have bought or sold their properties recently.
- Look for REALTOR® signs in your community.
- Attend open houses and see if you connect with a REALTOR®.
- Call your neighborhood real estate brokerages.
Buyers and sellers have different needs. In some cases, sellers elect to meet with one REALTOR®, while a buyer might elect to test a couple of agents before deciding to work with one exclusively.
Whatever your preference, there will be a number of questions you will want to ask:
services do you offer?
- What type of representation do you provide?
- There are various forms of representation in different states. Some brokers represent buyers. some represent sellers. some facilitate transactions as a neutral party, and in some cases different salespeople in a single firm may represent different parties within a transaction.
- What experience do you have in my immediate area?
- How long are homes in this neighborhood typically on the market?
- Be aware that because all homes are unique, some will sell faster than others. Several factors can impact the amount of time a home remains on the market, including list price, changing interest rates and local economic trends.
- How would you price my home?
- Ask about recent home sales and comparable properties currently on the market. If you speak with several REALTORS® and their price estimates differ, that’s alright—but be sure to ask how their price opinions were determined and why they think your home would sell for a given value. Request a written Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), as well.
- How will you market my home?
- At listing presentations, brokers will provide a detailed summary of how they market homes, what marketing strategies have worked in the past and which marketing efforts may be effective for your home.
- What is your fee?
- Brokerage fees are established in the marketplace and not set by law or regulation.The commission is the agent’s rate for handling your transaction. Ask if there are other fees you will have to pay such as a early cancellation fee, marketing fee, MLS fee or any other cost that is not included in the commission rate.
- What disclosures should you receive?
- State rules require brokers to provide extensive agency disclosure information, usually at the first sit-down meeting with an owner or buyer.
What Should You Expect When Working With a REALTOR®?