Buying a home is a complex and stressful undertaking; getting an expert to help will save you time, money, and aggravation. The advantages of working with a REALTOR® are:
Looking out for your best interests
By asking a REALTOR® to act on your behalf during the purchase of a home, you create an Agency Relationship.
Getting the best deal
What have similar properties sold for in the immediate area? How long were they on the market? How does this one compare? Is it over-priced, under-priced, or fair value? What type of market is it - is it a Seller's, Buyer's or a Balanced market? By having this information at your fingertips, you are in a position to negotiate the best price and take advantage of any opportunities that may show up.
While a REALTOR® does many things, one of his or her most important functions is to negotiate on behalf of their clients. When you purchase a home, you want the best deal possible. Your REALTOR®'s job is to facilitate this by drawing up legally binding contracts, assisting in negotiating offers, offering advice and perspective and, if needed, acting as a mediator during any potential disputes between you and the seller.
Finding the right home and neighborhood for you
REALTORS® spend a lot of time and energy making sure they know their local market inside and out. They are familiar with the current market values of properties in the areas you are looking and are your best resource for finding the right home.
A REALTOR® brings to the table all of his or her knowledge, training and negotiation skills, and will explain exactly what you can expect from the buying/selling process. He or she will be able to explain your rights and obligations, help organize and strategize, and even discuss financing options.
All REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). This organization requires all of its members to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standard of Business Practice. The Code and Standards are very important because they assure that all REALTORS® offer the highest level of service, honesty and integrity possible. All REALTORS® are subject to constant professional monitoring that keeps them directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve. NAR also ensures that all of its members are knowledgeable and highly trained in order to better serve the public, and offers ongoing education courses so that REALTORS® continue to meet the highest professional standards in a constantly changing industry.
Determining your "wish list"
What is it that you want from your new home? A particular style, design, lot type? Proximity to schools, services, work? A pool? A two-car garage? A specific price range? A REALTOR® will help identify exactly what it is you are looking for and ensure that you get to see all the homes that meet your criteria.
Assist with financing needs
REALTORS® are familiar with all of the complexities involved in the pre-qualification, approval and negotiation of mortgage rates. Like many industries, banks are experiencing quite a bit of competition and are often willing to flex from their quoted rates. Experienced REALTORS® can often assist in finding the most competitive rates and terms available.
Access to Multiple Listing Services
REALTORS® have exclusive access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS system also allows a REALTOR® to examine all properties for sale and short-list the ones that are right for you. This not only offers more choices but also saves you valuable time and effort.