Maybe you’ve had your eye on that house by the lake, nestled between two popular mountain ranges. What’s your first step? The prospect of buying or selling any property can be daunting, even for the most sophisticated buyer or seller. Perhaps that’s why the vast majority of buyers and sellers rely on realtors. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2012, 89 percent of buyers used real estate agents, as did 88 percent of sellers.
NAVIGATING THE QUAGMIRE
John Powell, Owner/Broker, Help-u-Sell Galleria Realty, Tucson, Arizona, says, “The role of the realtor is to represent buyers or sellers, while helping them achieve their goals and navigate the quagmire of the real estate market.”
Realtors are an important go-to source of information. They help their clients deal with contract details, including titles, inspections, condition of the property, disclosures and financing. They also explain the closing process, including associated costs and fees, and they are with their clients at the closing.
“You need to make sure the agent has experience in the type of property you’re buying — investment, commercial or residential. Remember that your realtor’s market knowledge affects whether or not you make a good investment."
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
All real estate agents must be state-accredited and pass a test before activating their licenses. Additionally, brokers, who are typically in charge of real estate offices, must have at least three years of experience in order to qualify to take the broker’s test and become a broker. Powell emphasizes that although the accreditation processes are fairly standard from state to state, not all real estate agents are equally effective, nor are they all sufficiently client-oriented. There are certain traits to look for. Powell cites expertise, experience, market knowledge and the ability to listen as desirable traits.
He says, “You need to make sure the agent has experience in the type of property you’re buying — investment, commercial or residential. Remember that your realtor’s market knowledge affects whether or not you make a good investment. And when it comes to being able to listen, the realtor must keep his or her personal likes and dislikes out of it. ”
LIVING THE DREAM
NAR’s 2013 Housing Pulse Survey reveals that 80 percent of all Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision and that most renters still hope to become owners.
By: Nicole Gray