How A Realtor Can Help You

A RealtorŪ is not just a real estate agent.  A RealtorŪ is someone who belongs to the RealtorŪ association which has a code of ethics and standards they must live up to.  Check to see if your real estate agent is a RealtorŪ.

Information.  An experienced RealtorŪ has information at their fingertips that you may not have such as property tax records, previous sale prices, and homes currently for sale, sold, or are no longer available.  These facts are important when making an offer. 

MLS.  Most importantly, a RealtorŪ has access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  This is the system where all Realtors must place their listings (unless the owner forbids them) within a certain time frame.  The MLS is accessed by all RealtorsŪ within a large area.  In a "hot" market, many times properties barely make it to the computer before they're sold...that's why it pays to be working with an agent.  Your agent can also put you into the computer so that the minute the property you're looking for becomes available, your RealtorŪ will be notified.  

Knowledge.  An active RealtorŪ knows about properties coming onto the market that haven't been put into the computer yet.  They may also know about people who want to sell, but have chosen not to list their properties with a RealtorŪ yet.  If you're looking for a house in a "hot" neighborhood, you could get the first chance to view and/or make an offer on a home if you're actively working with one RealtorŪ.    

Neighborhoods.  RealtorsŪ can educate you on changes and trends in a neighborhood or for a particular property.   You may not be aware of changes in zoning, new developments planned, length of time homes are taking to sell, prior history of a house, and much more.

Negotiating.  One of the biggest reasons for having an agent, is for having a second party negotiating for you.  Many times when purchasing a home, emotions get involved.  It pays to have someone who is not emotionally connected to a house, to fight for the best deal for you.  Many Realtors will not negotiate in the purchase of their own properties for the same reasons.  An experienced agent knows the ins and outs of negotiating and how to get the best deal for you.  

Time.  Having a RealtorŪ working for you saves you time.  Agents attend open houses held during the week to see what's new on the market for you.  They also preview new listings in their offices, so they know what's on the market and can give you the chance of being the first to see a new listing.

Details, Details, Details.  What a Realtor spends most of their time doing is following up with lenders, title companies, attorneys, inspectors, etc. to insure that everything gets done in a timely manner according to your contract and done correctly.  This saves you countless phone calls and hours of your time.  Your agent should make the transaction as easy as possible for you.