Realtor Can Do For You
Buying or selling a house is the largest financial investment
most people make, and it’s one of the most complex. You need to think about
financing, appraisals, zoning regulations, short sales, repairs, and
more. Realtors are here to help.
Realtors and Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent’s job is to help guide you through the
complexities of buying or selling a property. But not everyone with a real
estate license is a Realtor. A Realtor is not just a real estate licensee, but
is also a member of the National Associate of REALTORS.
What’s the difference? Realtors must meet stricter education
requirements than the law requires, and they’re bound not only by the law, but
by the higher standard of the REALTOR Code of Ethics.
That’s why only Realtors are allowed to use the famous Realtor
Your Realtor is committed to protecting your interests
throughout the entire transaction with the integrity, honor, professionalism,
and expertise that meets the high standards set by the “Realtor” name.
And Realtors have access to more and more sophisticated tools to
help sellers market their properties to the right audience, help buyers find
just the right home, and make the entire process run smoothly.
You’ll find your Realtor isn’t just an expert on your local real
estate market, but also a trusted advisor who can help you navigate a complex
What Will a Realtor Do for Me?
Realtors can be invaluable to buyers and sellers in a number of
If you are buying, your Realtor can…
§ Help you get and
understand any homeowner association documents
appraisal and other issues your lender will require
§ Help you determine
what inspections are necessary, such as mold, the condition of the roof and
septic tank just to name a few
§ Explain earnest
money deposits, escrow accounts, and closing costs
§ Go on a final walk through
to make sure everything is in order and any repairs have been made properly
§ Work with you and
the seller’s agent to reach a smooth and problem free closing
If you are selling, your Realtor can…
§ Go over the market
conditions to help you set the right price for your home based on everything from size and condition to recent
sales in your neighborhood
§ Find the best
places to market your property including the local Multiple Listing Service and
other channels that may not be available
to the general public
§ Help prepare or
“stage” your home for sale by suggesting small improvements that can make a big
difference everything from arranging furniture to choosing the right paint
§ Take professional
photos and make sure they’re included in your home’s advertising
inspections, appraisals, and other issues to ensure a smooth closing
§ Provide negotiating
expertise, and help resolve any issues that arise with the buyer that could
delay closing or void the contract
§ Work with you and
the buyer’s agent to reach a smooth and problem free closing
The Nuts and Bolts of Working with Your Realtor
You choose your Realtor the way you would choose a doctor,
accountant, or other professional: Meet with several, take a friend or
colleague’s recommendation, or respond to an ad for example.
Once you’ve found the Realtor you want to represent you (as
either a buyer or a seller), you enter into what’s called a “brokerage
relationship”. In order to work together, you and your Realtor need a written
“brokerage agreement” that outlines at a minimum what services the Realtor will
provide, how long he or she will be providing those services and what fee (if
any) and how it’s paid.
This agreement might be for a single day, to see a few houses or
several months. For sellers, the fee is typically a percentage of the sale
price, while a buyer might see “Fee to be paid by seller’s agent.”
In most cases, your Realtor will act as what’s called a standard
or “full service” agent, providing you with the wide range of assistance and
all the advantages of having a trained real estate professional working for
There are other options available to you, including hiring a
Realtor as a limited service agent or as an independent contractor; your
Realtor can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each relationship.
Remember that you and your Realtor will decide what kind of
working relationship works best for you.
Whatever you and your Realtor agree to, once you’ve signed that
brokerage agreement, your Realtor can start working for you and representing
Whether you’re buying or selling your home or just checking out
your options you need the expertise of someone whose job it is to know your
local market inside and out. You need a Realtor.
Why Do I Have To Sign a Brokerage Agreement?
The short answer is that Virginia law requires it in order to
The longer answer is that having something in writing whether it
covers a single property or a month’s long relationship ensures that both you
and your Realtor understand exactly what’s expected from each other.
Be sure to discuss your options with your Realtor, and make sure
all your questions are answered.
Also you can visit the “Virginia Association of Realtors” to learn
more about how Realtors can be an invaluable resource to you when you’re buying
or selling real estate and learn about issues specifically affecting homeowners