BUYERS / SELLERS INFORMATION
REAL ESTATE AGENTS and BROKERS -- THE PROVEN PROFESSIONALS
It's always a good market in real estate -- when you know what you're
doing. Structuring transactions, arranging financing and finding the
right buyers are some of the keys to success. There are few entities
that know as much about the trends in today's market as your local real
estate agent or broker.
Real estate has become a very complicated business. Selling (or buying)
a home can be one of the most important financial transactions in your
life. That's why it pays to work with a professional who specializes in
this field -- a licensed real estate agent or broker.
Becoming a licensed agent or broker requires thorough training and
examination. Several states require continuing
education in real estate for license renewal. These specialists are
compensated on their ability to sell properties quickly and cost-efficiently
-- and their expert abilities are chargeable only when a transaction is
Why It Pays to Use a Professional
- When you use an agent, you'll get the benefit of professional
experience from the moment you consider selling your house. Your agent
will help you establish a fair market value from his or her daily dealings
in your neighborhood, and arrange financing terms that make it easier to
obtain a quick sale in today's market -- helping you receive the equity
in your home.
- If you wish to participate in financing the purchase of your property,
your agent or broker can structure a workable plan that helps reduce risk
from unusual terms -- and give you an estimate of the anticipated yield
from carrying a property-secured financing plan.
- Real estate agents are professionals at marketing properties -- that's
their job. They can choose the media -- and the message -- that brings
interested prospects to your home. They'll interview and qualify buyers
for you. They'll use their sales skills and negotiating techniques to help
you receive the best possible return on your sale.
- Every brokerage office has a steady stream of prospects that no
individual can match. National referral networks and multiple listing
services also help to reach buyers from out of town -- or out of state.
Many corporate relocation clients may be working with a broker before a
move is made.
- When you work with an agent or broker, they will follow-up with other
agents who have shown your property and share their constructive comments
on cosmetic repairs, financing arrangements, or re-evaluating your list
- An agreement between buyer and seller is just the beginning of a final
transaction. From that point on your agent or broker can handle the details
and paperwork necessary to make it complete: from building and termite
reports to fire insurance and closing arrangements with the escrow
company, title company or closing attorney.
- As an expert in real estate, your agent or broker will give you
advance estimates of your closing costs and net proceeds from the sale,
as well as keeping you informed of the details to assure a smooth and
When You Make the Sale
A vital part of any sale is title insurance. Lenders usually require a
loan policy to protect their interests, and buyers need an owner's policy
to protect their equity. Be sure to ask your agent or broker for
protection from Alamo Title®. Your title insurance policy will be backed
up by the resources of Alamo Title, the strongest title insurance family in the
industry. Your Alamo Title Account Manager is an integral part of your
agent's or broker's closing team.
If You Are Buying a Home
For most of us, a home is the single biggest purchase in our lives. The
enormity of the financial transaction aside, finding the right home to
fit our particular needs and wants is no easy undertaking. Just as you
wouldn't buy a car, computer or camcorder without doing some research into
various models and prices, you shouldn't consider purchasing a home without
some expert advice and guidance. Though some people may think of using the
services of a REALTOR® only when selling their homes, a REALTOR® can be
invaluable when buying one as well.
For instance, a REALTOR® can help you determine how much home you can
afford based on your financial situation, help you get prequalified for
a loan, and even inform you about available financing options. A REALTOR®
also is an expert on the neighborhood, and can provide detailed information
about schools, transportation, local taxes and community characteristics.
Using a REALTOR® also means gaining access to homes listed in Multiple
Listing Service (MLS), an important marketing tool used by REALTOR® to
inform other REALTOR® about available properties. That means a REALTOR®
can give you information about a wide range of available homes from which
to choose. When it comes to finding out if you're paying too much, a
REALTOR® can provide you with market analyses comparing asking and selling
prices of homes in the neighborhood. Finally, a REALTOR® can serve as the
liaison between you and the seller, bringing to the table negotiating
expertise and knowledge about required disclosures and the housing
If You're Selling a Home
Here's a Quick Read on How a REALTOR® Can Help You Realize Your Goal.
You probably know that working with a REALTOR® is an indispensable part
of selling your home. For one thing, your REALTOR® can list your property
in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), providing your home with
incomparable exposure and ensuring you have as many REALTORS® as possible
helping to find a buyer. But that's not all a REALTOR® does to market your
home. He or she knows how to specifically target advertising to reach
buyers for your home, and uses all the marketing tools available to ensure
that your home is sold expediently. Additionally, a REALTOR® conducts a
variety of other marketing efforts on your behalf, from holding open
houses and handling phone inquiries to showing your home to the
What does a REALTOR® do for you besides find buyers? Plenty. A REALTOR®
provides information on local market conditions to help you price your
property realistically and fairly, and keeps you abreast of changes in
the market which may affect your property. And let's face it: buying or
selling a home means paperwork, lots of it. When it comes to closing
escrow, a REALTOR® can be invaluable, leading you through the paper trail
with a steady hand, and familiarizing you with escrow, insurance, property
disclosures and inspection procedures, to name a few. So, Where Do You
Find a REALTOR®?
Like finding any good professional, the best way to locate a REALTOR® is
through recommendations from friends or those who have bought or sold homes
recently. Ask for references and check each thoroughly. Also, interview
several REALTOR® before you decide on one.
It's important to find a professional who is a REALTOR®. Why? A REALTOR®
is someone who, as a member of the local, state, and national trade
associations, adheres to a strict code of ethics. Recently, the National
Association of REALTORS® commissioned a nationwide survey to determine
whether REALTORS® were doing their job professionally. The results were
impressive: 97 percent of respondents indicated they received "excellent"
or "very good" service from their REALTOR®.