What is a REALTOR® and why should I use one?
Only real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) can call themselvesREALTORS®. AllREALTORS® adheretoNAR's strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. That's why all real estate licensees are NOT the same.
Dedicated to serving America's property owners at both local and national levels, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, is the largest professional association at over one million members strong. So, whether you're buying or selling a home — it pays
to work with a REALTOR®. Look for the REALTOR® logo when choosing your real estate agent.
What Do Recent Home Buyers and Sellers Say About REALTORS®?
The 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers provides research results on the experiences home buyers and sellers had when purchasing or selling their home. The majority of the respondents used a REALTOR® (a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®). Here's what they had to say:
• Sellersreportedthatanagent'sreputationwasthe most important factor in their selection process.
• 65%ofsellersreportthattheywould "definitely" use the same real estate agent again.
• Thetopfourhomesellerexpectationsofrealestate agents are: 1) price my home competitively (23%); 2) find a buyer for my home (21%);
3) help market my home to a potential buyer (20%); 4) sell my home within a specific timeframe (19%).
• 87% of buyers would probably or definitely use their real estate agent again.
• The benefit most buyers say they receive from their agent is help understanding the process.
• 86% of buyers were very satisfied with their agent's knowledge of the purchase process.
• 83%ofhomebuyersusedarealestateagent and/or broker to complete their transaction.
The Code of Ethics: A Commitment to the Public
The Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is the promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate agent that is a REALTOR®, they can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction- related matters. Only REALTORS® pledge to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics and only REALTORS® are held accountable for their ethical behavior.
Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:
• Protect and promote your client's interests,but be honest with all parties.
• Avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, and concealment of pertinent facts. Do not reveal facts that are confidential under the scope of your agency relationship.
• Disclosepresentorcontemplatedinterestinany property to all parties.
• Avoid side deals without your client's informed consent.
• Accept compensation from only one party, except with full disclosure and informed consent.
• Keep the funds of clients and customers in escrow.
• Assure, whenever possible, that transactional details are in writing.
• Provide equal service to all clients and customers.
• Be knowledgeable and competent in the fields of practice in which you ordinarily engage. Obtain assistance or disclose lack of experience if necessary.
• Do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
REALTOR® Designations— The Mark of Expertise and Service
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has a variety of affiliates that provide designations acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors. NAR also offers designations and certification programs to its members, including:
ABR® – REALTORS® with the ABR® (Accredited Buyer's Representative) designation understand the special needs of buyers. By working with an ABR®, you'll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer- representation services.
CIPS – The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation prepares REALTORS® to service foreign investors, helping local buyers invest abroad, or serving an immigrant buyer locally. It is awarded to practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.
GRI – A REALTOR® with the Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation is trained in many areas, including legal and regulatory issues, professional standards, the sales process and technology. A minimum of 90 hours of training is required to achieve the GRI designation.
e-PRO® – e-PRO® certification indicates that a REALTOR® has been trained on social media strategies and technology tools required throughout the real estate transaction.
SRES® – When looking for a real estate professional that will respond to your specific 50+ real estate needs, look for a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designee.
SFR – REALTORS® who have earned the Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification are trained to help buyers and sellers maneuver the complexities of these transactions.
GREEN – A REALTOR® awarded NAR's Green Designation is trained on a variety of sustainable topics including green materials, energy-efficient technology, green ratings, green design, green living, green incentives and more! If you are overwhelmed by going green, an NAR Green Designee can help you.
To access information on the family of REALTOR® designations and certifications, visit: www.REALTOR.org/edmatrix
REALTORS® provide sellers invaluable services, and there are many reasons to work with one. A REALTOR®:
• Can give you up-to-date information about the market, prices, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties.
• Will market your property to other real estate agents and to the public.
• Will know when, where and how to best market your property.
• Can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position.
• Can help close the sale of your home.
REALTORS® provide critical assistance with the home buying process. A REALTOR®:
• Has many resources to assist you in your home search.
• Can provide objective information about each property.
• Can help you negotiate.
• Can help you determine your buying power.
• Provides guidance during the evaluation of the property.
• Can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
The following list of online resources can assist you in the home buying and selling process:
• www.REALTOR.com – The world's largest database of homes for sale. Search online for homes in your area and select the Real Estate 101 section under Homebuying Tools to learn more about the home buying and selling process.
• www.REALTOR.org – Select the Home Buyers and Sellers section for complete information on the home buying and selling process. Also locate additional information on the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and designation programs.
REALTORS® provide you with invaluable services when buying or selling a home.
Make the right choice — work with a REALTOR®.