Finding a REALTOR® who's right for you is vital to enjoying a relatively pain-free real estate transaction. And let's face it, there are going to be highs and lows during the process, but this is such an important decision that you want to be thorough. And a good REALTOR® can make the highs more frequent and the lows less frequent.
It's important to keep in mind that the best REALTOR® for you doesn't necessarily work at the largest brokerage, close the most transactions or make the most money. The best REALTOR® for you is a professional who will listen to your needs, conduct himself or herself in an ethical manner and know your market. Your ideal REALTOR® will professionally guide you in the process from start to finish.
Remember that all REALTORS® are licensed to sell real estate as an agent or a broker, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The most important distinction is that REALTORS® pledge to follow a code of ethics, a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice that establish levels of conduct more stringent than ordinary business practices or those required by law. Less than half of all licensees, believe it or not, are REALTORS®.
The core business for many REALTORS® comes from satisfied clients who refer them to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Ask the people around you who they have used and ask them to describe their experiences. There are hundreds of websites that will refer REALTORS® to you but that is no assurance of quality. One suggestion is to search the top real estate companies in your area of interest, go to those sites and look up profiles of individual REALTORS® at offices near you. Veteran REALTORS® will let you know that they're experienced, which is often a plus. On the other hand, REALTORS® newer to the business may have more time to spend with you. Our suggestion? Look for testimonials from previous customers.
Purchasing real estate, whether it's your first home, your third home or a commercial property, involves lots of little details in addition to the big ones, details that can easily be overlooked. Enlisting the services of a REALTOR® to professionally guide you increases your odds of a positive buying or selling experience.