Why Use a REALTOR® When Buying a Home?

A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about
the home buying process.

Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the
REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR " ®" trademark
on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.

REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction
honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are
expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and
selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers
would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments of
most people’s lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $250,000. If you had a
$250,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help
of a certified professional accountant? If you had a $250,000 legal question,
would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small
upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be wise to work with a
professional REALTOR® when you are buying a home.

If you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are
more reasons to use one:

  1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine
    your buying power
    - that is, your financial reserves plus your
    borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information
    about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you
    to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders - banks and mortgage
    companies - offer limited choices.

  2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to
    assist you in your home search.
    Sometimes the property you are seeking
    is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some
    investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

  3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the
    selection process by providing objective information about each property.
    Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of
    informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community
    information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you'll want
    to know: First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or
    investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

  4. Your REALTOR® can help you with
    negotiations and inspections.
    There are many negotiating factors,
    including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and
    often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The
    purchase agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections
    and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the
    purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections
    are recommended or required.

  5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence
    during the property evaluation.
    Depending on the area and property,
    this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty
    structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your
    REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible
    professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written

    You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property
    title. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing
    status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will
    have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities.
    Your REALTOR®, title search company or attorney can help you resolve
    issues that might cause problems at a later date.

  6. Your REALTOR® can help you understand
    different financing options and identify qualified lenders.

  7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the
    closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.