Real Estate Agent or REALTOR?

What does a realtor doWhen Is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?

When you go to buy or sell a home in Minnesota, you’ll probably hire someone to help you! Between setting the right asking price or budget, setting up open houses, staging a home, finding homes to look at and deciding what to place or accept as an offer – there’s a lot of work that goes into home ownership. And that’s before you even move in!

That’s were a REALTOR® comes in. But chances are you’ve seen some people listed as real estate agents in Minnesota. So when is a real estate agent a REALTOR®?

What is a REALTOR®?

A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she joins a local, state and national REALTOR® association. REALTORS® also must be affiliated with a broker who also has a REALTOR® membership. Members also abide to the National Association of REALTORS® strict Code of Ethics. Many REALTORS® also have special designations that they’ve earned through continuing education and classes. You’ll find these designations as letters after the REALTOR’s name.  If you’re interested in becoming a REALTOR in Minnesota – click here.

Why Use a REALTOR®?

If you’re about to buy or sell a home in Minnesota you might be wondering why you should hire a REALTOR® or what a REALTOR® does.. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments you will experience in your lifetime. What if you had a $100,000 tax problem or legal question? You wouldn’t try to deal with it without an accountant or attorney.

Top Reasons to Hire a REALTOR®

Here are six reasons to use a REALTOR® in Minnesota:

1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.

2. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a lot of information about your area. REALTORS® can help you with information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you sign for the property. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

4. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can help you find qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title, or ownership, of the property. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

5. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding financing, closing and the marketplace. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.He or she will guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

6. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will make your home more appealing to buyers. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, more than 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 19,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry. REALTORS® are dedicated to home ownership and helping people looking to buy and sell homes in Minnesota.

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