Working With an Official Realtor at Sowell & Company
Every Agent at Sowell & Company belongs to the National Association of realtors, the world's largest professional trade association, and adhere to the NAR's highest standards of ethical conduct.
Official realtors subscribe to a Code of Ethics, which often go beyond state law, and in most areas realtors share information about homes they are marketing through a Multiple Listing Service. When you join with a realtor who belongs to an MLS, you increase your access to homes for sale or potential buyers. And when you work with a realtor from Sowell & Company you are connected to a closely knit team of 39 realtors with an average of 15 years of experience and networking, who consistently cooperate to exceed their clients' expectations.
How a Realtor Can Assist You When Buying a Home
It is important to have a realtor's assistance when buying a home for a number of reasons. A realtor will
- Research your housing needs in advance
through a Multiple Listing Service—even if you’re coming from another
city. A realtor has many resources like MLS to help assist you in your
home search and can find homes homes that are not actively advertised.
- Make the most of your time.
With professional knowledge, your realtor will show you homes best
suited to your needs and wants: price, size, style, features, location,
accessibility to schools, transportation, and shopping, etc.
- Help you
determine what you can afford. He or she can suggest ways to accrue
the down payment on a home and explain alternative financing options
- Be familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
- Suggest simple imaginative changes to make a home more suitable for you and improve its value.
- Help determine your buying power and refer you lenders best suited to you.
- Know the local money market and can tell you what information to bring when applying for a loan.
- Be sensitive to the importance you place on this major commitment and
facilitate the negotiation of a win-win agreement between you and the
seller. A realtor can help you negotiate a large number of factors
with the seller, including price, financing, terms, date of possession,
and the inclusion or exclusion of repair and furnishings or equipment.
He or she will also negotiate the purchase agreement, a period of time
for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property
before your are bound to complete the purchase.
- Provide diligence during evaluation of property, helping you find qualified responsible professionals to do most of the inspections.
- Guide you through the closing process and make sure it all flows together smoothly.
Choosing an Agent
Having the right real estate agent working for you before attempting to buy is ideal. Although many people see an advertised home they like and then call about it, they should carefully select their agent before they begin their search. When people call in to inquire about an advertised home, they seldom buy that home, but they usually team up with the agent they contact, regardless of whether or not that agent is a good match for them.
Make inquiries before you select an agent or broker and conduct interviews. Find a realtor with the credentials, experience, and character that will be to your best advantage. Commissions are usually substantial, so some agents will try to sell anything. The key is finding someone who will consider your wants, needs, and financial ability and assist you properly in your home search.
What a Realtor Can Do for You When Selling Your Home
- Walk you through the process of selling your home from beginning to end.
comparable information about the prices for which other properties have
sold and analyze data for you to gain a true comparison.
- Supply information regarding local customs and regulation you may want to consider.
- Sharing information about your home through the Multiple Listing Service and on the Internet.
- Place advertisements for you home.
- Field phone calls to "qualify" potential buyers to make sure they would be financially able to buy your property.
- Negotiate the sales contract.
- Alert you to potential risks.
- Comply with the disclosures require by law.
- Provide you with an estimate of the closing costs you will incur.
- Help you prepare for a smooth closing of the transaction.
How to Find an Agent to Sell Your Home
Finding a suitable Agent often involves conducting interviews with potential realtors. Your potential realtors visit your home and present you with a "listing presentation." The listing presentation will provide you with information about the realtor's expertise, what they will do to market your home, and why you should list with them.
Look for an agent who:
- Is a member of the local board or association of realtors.
- Explains and discloses agency relationships (the role of the agent, i.e., who they are representing--the buyer or the seller) early on the process.
- Advises you on how to prepare your home for the market.
- Shows some enthusiasm for your property, listens attentively, instills confidence, operates in a professional manner, and has a complementary personality style to yours.
- Has already researched your property in the public records and the MLS.
- Brings data on nearby homes that have sold (or failed to sell) recently.
Important Questions to Ask a Potential Agent
- Are you a realtor?
- Do you have an active real estate license in good standing?
- Do you belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer's search service?
- If there's no nearby MLS, how often do you cooperate with other local brokers on a sale?
- What have you listed or sold in this neighborhood lately?
- Do you cooperate with buyers' brokers?
- What share of the commission will you offer a cooperating broker who finds the buyer?
"What a Realtor Can Do for You." Realtor.com. National Association of Realtors. 1 Feb 2001. Move, Inc. 28 April 2010. <http://www.realtor.com/Basics/AllAbout/Realtors/CanDo.asp?source=web>