Working with a REALTOR®

What is a REALTOR®?

REALTORS® are licensed real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, the New York State Association of REALTORS® and their local board or association of REALTORS®. They must abide by a strict code of ethics, and their job is to ensure you get what you need throughout the entire home buying and selling process.

For more information on what a REALTOR® can do for you throughout the buying and selling processes, read the information below or contact a local board or association of REALTORS® in your area. Not all real estate brokers and agents are REALTORS®. Look for the REALTOR® “R” when you hire a real estate professional.

Home buyers benefit from using a REALTOR®

Buying a home is probably the biggest single investment you’ll ever make. When purchasing a home, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with knowledgeable people within the real estate industry, including a true professional – your local REALTOR®.

  • A REALTOR® helps a buyer determine how much home they can actually afford. Often a REALTOR® can suggest additional ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
  • A REALTOR® has access to thousands of listings and can evaluate those listings in terms of affordability and suitability – size, style, features, location, etc. A REALTOR® will not waste time showing homes that do not meet their needs.
  • A REALTOR® can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of proposed zoning changes that could affect a consumer’s decision to buy.
  • A REALTOR® can often suggest changes within an available home that could make it more suitable to a buyer’s needs.
  • A REALTOR® has no emotional ties to available homes, therefore, he/she can point out advantages and disadvantages in an objective manner.
  • When a REALTOR® is acting as a buyer’s agent, he/she will negotiate the most favorable price and terms on behalf of the buyer.
  • A REALTOR® usually knows the local money market and can tell a buyer about financing options.
  • A REALTOR® can explain the closing process in advance and tell a buyer if local law requires an attorney to be present. A REALTOR® can provide the buyer with a list of qualified attorneys if the buyer doesn’t have one.

Want to figure out the estimated cost of purchasing that dream home? Use this worksheet.

Not too sure what to look for when walking through an open house? Here’s a handy checklist.

Sellers benefit from using a REALTOR®
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, in New York, the typical FSBO home sold for $68,000 compared to $165,000 among licensed agent-assisted homes. Selling a home is a complex transaction that takes time, effort and expertise.

  • A REALTOR® can help set a realistic competitive price for the seller and figure the approximate net proceeds for the sale based on types of loans, the seller’s outstanding loan balance and closing costs.
  • A REALTOR® is familiar with the local home loan market, knows if seller assistance is advisable and can help a seller decide the type of financing that’s best to expedite the sale.
  • REALTORS® ensure potential buyers are “qualified” as to their affordable price range prior to showing them a seller’s home.
  • A REALTOR® can list the seller’s home in a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and can work with other REALTORS® to assure the seller a wider range of prospective buyers.
  • A REALTOR® will advise prospects of all aspects and conditions of the seller’s home, even faults the seller doesn’t intend to fix. This will protect the seller from later objections.
  • A REALTOR® handles most all aspects of the selling process including: phone inquiries, making appointments, open houses and showings along with potential buyer follow-ups.
  • A REALTOR® is a skilled salesperson who knows how to merchandise a seller’s home efficiently. A REALTOR® knows how to add sales appeal to a seller’s home at a low to moderate cost.
  • If a REALTOR® is the seller’s agent, he/she maintains objectivity in responding to criticisms by the buyer and in presenting offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached.
  • A REALTOR® will familiarize the seller with the closing procedures in advance and often attend the event to explain any questions.

Want to estimate the proceeds of selling your home? Use this worksheet.

Is your house ready to put on the market? Here’s a handy checklist.

REALTORS® work for home buyers and sellers
Let your broker work for you. A qualified real estate professional can answer questions on price, terms, possession, etc., and maintain objectivity in resolving buyer objections. REALTORS® bring buyers and seller together to negotiate an agreement satisfactory to both parties. Before the first showing and beyond the final sale, you’ll get the know-how and service you deserve when employing the services of a New York REALTOR®.

For more information on how to pick the best REALTOR® for your needs, check out the Realty Times article “Choosing Your Agent.”