Using a Real Estate Agent Brings a Little Reality to Realty
Buying or selling a home is no easy task, especially if you are unfamiliar
with the intricacies of the housing market. Knowledge of area housing
prices, zoning restrictions, and lending practices are all crucial to real
estate transactions. Having someone to guide you through the twists and
turns of home sales can be a definite advantage in getting a good value,
whether you are moving into, or out of, a home.
Choosing a real estate agent that is the best match for your needs is
important. A little research on agents at the outset of your hunt will reap
great benefits as you buy or sell your home. Begin your research by talking
to friends to get referrals on the good agents in your area. Interview
several real estate agents and consider your rapport with each of them.
Which agent do you trust? Your agent will be dealing with tens of thousands
of dollars of your hard-earned money--if you have the slightest bit of doubt
about an agent's reliability, keep looking.
If you are selling a home, ask to see a marketing plan. This plan will show
you how the agent intends to publicize the sale of your home. It describes
the kind and frequency of advertising the agent will use, and the time frame
within which your agent will work.
Whether you are buying or selling a house, inquire about the coverage their
office provides. Does the phone number listed on the advertisements steer
potential customers to a person who can provide the interested caller with
information on the house, or simply to an answering machine?
Also, be aware that the term "REALTORŪ" is a trademark of the National
Association of Realtors (NAR). Permission to use this term is granted only
to members of the NAR. Membership requires a pledge to adhere to a Code of
Ethics and Standards of Practice created by the Association. Many REALTORSŪ
have one or more professional designations from affiliate institutes of the
NAR. The organizations within the NAR provide a wide-range of programs and
services to assist members in increasing skills, productivity and knowledge.
Designations are awarded by each organization to acknowledging experience
and expertise in various real estate sectors. If an agent lists a
designation, find out what it means, and what the agent had to do to obtain
Whether determining your buying power, or knowing the best method to spread
the word about selling your home, an agent is a good resource to gain
insight on the marketplace, to recognize good value in property and to link
you with the right business representatives to make your transaction flow
smoothly. Choose your agent wisely!
Sources: Julie Garton-Good, The Washington Post, Barbara Voorheis, Weichert
Realtors, and www.realtor.com.