There are more than 2 million people nationwide
who have licenses to sell real estate, of which about 750,000 belong to the
National Association of Realtors (NAR). Only NAR members are entitled to use the
term "REALTOR." NAR members must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. By joining
NAR, individuals have access to a wide range of classes, seminars and
certification opportunities. Local REALTOR groups are active in community
matters, and individual members are routinely involved in PTAs and other
neighborhood organizations. In essence, local REALTORS are 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 has sold many homes, there are several ways to find a local REALTOR: Get
recommendations from past sellers. Look for REALTOR signs in your community.
Check the classifieds in local newspapers and "shopper" publications. Look at
the listings in local real estate magazines. In some cases, sellers elect to
meet only with one REALTOR while other owners elect to meet with several.
Whatever your preference, there will be a number of questions you will want to
What services do you offer?
of representation do you provide?
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.)
do you have in my immediate area?
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 changing interest rates and local economic trends.)
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 OK, but be sure
to ask how their price opinions were determined and why they think your home
would sell for a given value.
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. Typically, brokers who list homes are compensated on a
performance basis - that is, the broker is not paid unless the home sells
under the terms and conditions that are acceptable to you.
happens if another REALTOR locates a purchaser?
That is, who will that broker represent, and how will he or she be paid?
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.
do you want to list your home?
agreement is a contract that shows the broker's obligations and outlines the
terms under which your home is being made available for sale. The length of
the agreement is a negotiable matter.
should you expect when working with a REALTOR?
Once your home is listed with a REALTOR, he or she will
immediately begin to market your home according to the most appropriate
conventions for your community.
Your REALTOR should keep you informed as the
marketing process unfolds and as expressions of interest are received. In time,
the marketing plan may be modified to reflect buyer reactions and changes in the
marketplace. In real estate there are written offers and oral offers.
Oral offers ("Would they take $225,000 for the home?") are not
acceptable because they generally cannot be enforced ("Gee, did I say $225,000?
I was sure I said $215,000"). Written offers created by the
REALTOR with assistance from qualified attorneys address numerous issues, are
consistent with local requirements and provide the foundation for an actionable
Provided by the National Association of
REALTORS and Realtor.com