The number of real estate licensees across the country exceeded 3 million in 2020. But only 1.6 million of those agents are REALTORS.
And I bet up until now, you didn’t know there’s a difference.
This article provides you with 3 key factors to consider when choosing a REALTOR. But for those new to real estate, it’s helpful to first understand the difference between an agent and a REALTOR.
REALTOR vs Real Estate Agent
To become a real estate agent, you have to pass your state’s licensing exam to assist home buyers and sellers. Real estate agents must abide by the laws in their state. But their professional behavior isn’t tracked to a set code of ethics and high standards.
REALTORS are real estate agents who become members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). This organization promotes a code of ethics and standards of practice for its members including:
- Duties to clients and customers
- Duties to the public
- Duties to other REALTORS
The NAR’s code of ethics may be higher than those mandated by law. So when picking with a REALTOR rest assured you’re receiving above-average representation.
How To Find a REALTOR
Your Google search will turn up thousands of REALTORS with similar deal closing stats. But finding a realtor you feel comfortable with could prove challenging. So here are 3 questions to ask when assessing representation:
1. Are They Highly Recommended?
If you have friends and family in the area, ask for recommendations. Some of them may have a REALTOR with whom they’ve worked and would call on again. Depending on the size of the community, your network may have used the same REALTOR.
But what works for some buyers and sellers doesn’t work for all. So probe what qualities of their REALTOR earned them such high regard. Get a feel for their personality so you can decide if it’s compatible with yours.
2. How Well Do They Know the Market?
A reputable REALTOR knows the current market trends in your area of interest. So if you’re buying a home, they can advise you of available houses on the market that meet your requirements. And if you’re selling a home, they can offer REALTOR tips for marketing and positioning your house for a quick sale.
It takes experience to know the ins and outs of the real estate market. But don’t discount broker agents new to the profession. It’s possible they’ve done their research or learned as an apprentice to the best in the business.
3. Are They Effective Communicators?
Both quality and quantity of communication matter when you’re buying or selling a home. This is a big life decision and your REALTOR should keep you abreast from start to finish. You also deserve to have your questions answered within a short time.
It’s understandable that a REALTOR gets busy and can’t be at your beck and call. Since they’re so good, you’re likely not their only client. But they should respect your time by checking in and putting your mind at ease.
Advice for Choosing a REALTOR
Take the pressure off yourself when choosing a REALTOR. Ask yourself these important questions to find the right skills and knowledge. You may spend a lot of time together, so make sure their personality is agreeable to you too.
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