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How To: Choose a Realtor

November 13, 2009

Buying or selling a home is a major decision in most Americans' lives, and it may also be the biggest purchase they make in their lifetimes. Having a real estate professional -- with their training and experience -- available will be a terrific asset to help guide you through what is a complicated process. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than two million people hold real estate licenses in the United States, but only 750,000 of them have earned the distinction of Realtor. Through membership in their national, state and local Realtor associations, Realtors enhance their educational and professional development and are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Realtors will work to make the process of buying or selling a home as smooth a transaction as possible.

Realtors for Buying a Home If you are buying a home, a Realtor can help estimate how much home you can afford to buy.

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Realtors also help buyers to get pre-qualified for loans. They are also experts on current financing options, and are very good sources of information about the community to which you intend to move. Local Realtors know a lot about their communities, from the best neighborhoods to the best school districts for children. Perhaps most importantly, Realtors are negotiators. They will help you and your family get in contact with interested sellers. They will work to help you receive the best asking price for the home, based upon the neighborhood and previous selling prices of homes in the area.

Realtors for Selling a Home Most Americans will use the services of a Realtor when selling a home, in part because Realtors have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS). MLS is an important marketing tool used by other Realtors to inform others in the business of available properties.

They will also use such marketing tools as holding open houses and obtaining referrals from other Realtors and homeowners. They use their negotiating skills to develop offers and counteroffers, in order to obtain the most reasonable price for your home. Selling a home is a complicated legal agreement which requires adherence to many local, county and state laws. Realtors are familiar with such regulations.

How To Select a Realtor Finding a Realtor may be as simple as asking a friend, colleague or coworker. Most home sales are done through references, according to the NAR. If someone you trust refers you to a Realtor in your area, perhaps you should take their advice. What if you are new to the area? Contact your new state's Association of Realtors. The California Association of Realtors, for example, has more than 100,000 members, and they have received training to conduct real estate transactions in this state.

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