A real estate transaction involves one of the biggest financial investments that you'll experience in your lifetime. You'll need help with pricing, making connections with buyers/sellers, staffing and marketing open houses, inspections, and help with negotiations to obtain the best price with all of the protections you need and deserve.
As you enlist the assistance of a real estate agent, make sure to use a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® belongs to the National Association of REALTORS®
and is expected to maintain a high level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. They can help you determine your borrowing capacity as a buyer and refer you to the best lenders. They also know the neighborhood and can help you as a seller set your sales price to generate a sale.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®
, only half of the agents out there are REALTORS® who carry with them specific knowledge, expertise and ethics in real estate. Each REALTOR® must abide by the REALTOR® "Code of Ethics."
Just like doctors have a Hippocratic Oath that binds them to work ethically, so does your REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® owes a duty of loyalty and a legal duty to you, the client. Your REALTOR® must always act truthfully whether in advertising, working with the public or their peers.
You want someone that you can trust. Did you know that a REALTOR® cannot mislead a seller as to the value of the property just to get the listing? REALTORS® cannot accept a rebate or commission without the client's knowledge and consent. And your REALTOR® will submit all offers and counter-offers as quickly and objectively as possible as mandated by the "Code of Ethics."
Again, not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. Ensure that you're using a REALTOR®, not just an agent, by looking for the REALTOR® Badge on his/her web site.
The REALTOR® Badge is a real-time widget that links to a REALTOR®'s personal information. Why is that important? You'll want to find someone that is familiar with your community and unique transaction type.
A REALTOR® is confident with his/her experience and specializations and is proud to display them openly to any web site visitor. Click "Learn More About Me" on the REALTOR® Badge to obtain the REALTOR®'s office information and affiliated local Association of REALTORS® and to learn their unique specializations such as fluency in a foreign language or experience in working with commercial transactions.
You'll also be able to view the REALTOR®'s professional designations, certifications and areas of expertise. Have you ever wondered what those letters after a REALTOR®'s name mean? The REALTOR® Badge will give you a full description of each designation and certification. A designation or certification is earned after required courses have been fulfilled, and in some cases a certain amount of transactions worked on.
Your REALTOR® belongs to the national, a state and a local Association of REALTORS® that provide the information and tools necessary to help the REALTOR® serve your needs. Licensing information is also linked to the profile to give you a complete view of the professional that you're working with.
If you don't see it, ask your REALTOR® to show you their badge!