Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with a broker in the past and you aren’t cherishing the idea of using another one. Switching over to a realtor can make selling or buying easier as they’re bound by certain codes. Note: Not all real estate agents are realtors but all realtors are real estate agents. In order for an agent to become a realtor, he or she must be a member of the association of realtors.
Realtors are real estate agents bound by codes of ethics laid down by the association of realtors. There are strict guidelines they must follow to protect both the interests of the association and that of clients. They may charge a higher fee than agents but what you get is quality service and assurance that your interests are fulfilled.
A big advantage realtors have over agents is the right to list properties on MLS (multiple listing service) systems. This means that whether you’re buying or selling property, it will be visible on real estate websites and given to members who distribute it to search for buyers or sellers. Therefore, the chance of buying or selling is increased manifold.
Another advantage is opportunity for recourse. If a realtor behaves questionably, you can approach the local board or the national association and bring him to notice. Since the reputation of the board, association and realtors in general is held in high regard, questionable behavior is taken very seriously and issues resolved quickly.
Now that you know what you stand to gain by hiring a realtor, let’s look at what you, as the client, must do to make the selection of a good realtor work to your interest.
• How much time can he dedicate? Whether you’re buying or selling, the realtor you choose must dedicate enough time to find a lead. You don’t want someone who works too many jobs as he may not have the time to cater to you. Realtors may work in real estate as a hobby, part-time or full-time. What should matter is the time dedicated to fulfill your interest.
• What tools does he use? Aside from the traditional methods, you want a realtor who’s tech-savvy and makes full use of the internet. Social media sites facilitate networking and a realtor with a wide network base can find a lead faster.
• Does he specialize in a location? If you’re a buyer, you might have a preference for certain locations. You should choose a realtor who specializes in that location as he’ll be more abreast of listings pertaining to that area and can give you valuable insights into whether the place is worth investing in.
• Is there a personal connection? By personal we mean a bond. This professional is tasked with helping you and you’ll be working closely so it’s important to have an amiable relationship. A rule of thumb is that if you don’t feel comfortable working with someone, walk away and choose another.
• Is he open? A good realtor will tell you if there are additional questions you should ask him once you’ve dispensed with the usual qualification, license, referrals etc. He’s willing to share information and accommodating of your probes. He won’t hesitate to discuss fees, what happens if you aren’t happy with the service and whether the contract can be cancelled, and whether he’s willing to find other professionals if you desire. He will also advise you what to do if you happen upon a piece of real estate you’re considering investing in.