Why Use A Real Estate Agent?


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 complete.

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 price.

  • 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 timely closing.

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 Ticor Title. Your title insurance policy will be
backed up by the resources of Ticor Title, the strongest title insurance family in the industry.
Your Ticor 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 market.

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
prospective buyers.

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®.