HOW IS A REALTOR® DEFINED?
We’ve all heard the term “REALTOR®” used to describe a professional individual who helps others buy or sell a home. However, those who are a REALTOR® are a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and are committed to a higher standard of excellence. In the state of Texas, a REALTOR® is licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. REALTORS® also earn specific designations that allow them to offer a specialized knowledge base and experience to their clients. From a Code of Ethics that must be followed, to knowledge of the most current housing laws and codes, hiring a REALTOR® will save you time, money, and stress.
FIND THE RIGHT REALTOR®
When setting out to find the right REALTOR® to buy a home, make sure you don’t choose your agent based only on compensation. There are many other factors to consider other than their rate, for example, the specific designations the REALTOR® holds. Another thing to consider when hiring a REALTOR® is his/her reputation–ask around and don’t be afraid to interview more than one agent.
INFORMATION AND OPINIONS
Your REALTOR® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: 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?
HELP WITH FINDING THE BEST PROPERTY
Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should 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.
A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security—it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying can be an emotional undertaking. For most people, a home is the biggest purchase they will ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
Last, but certainly not least, is finding out how your agent will communicate with you. Be sure to discuss this with the REALTOR® to make sure that his/her communication style will mesh well with yours. Do you prefer phone calls? Texts? E-mail? How often do you wish to communicate with your agent? These are all important questions to address before hiring a REALTOR®, because it prevents communication from being a barrier during final negotiations.
Finding the right REALTOR® is important, and we hope these tips will help!