As a homebuyer, you may wonder why you should work with a REALTOR®. The short answer is that an agent can help you through the three main phases of buying a home:
- Finding the right property for you and your family
- Making an offer and negotiating if necessary
- Getting all the closing documents ready for a successful final purchase
But not all real estate agents are alike, and not all real estate agents are Realtors. Learn why this special designation matters, and how the right Realtor will help you with everything from open houses to tough negotiations to the final closing paperwork.
What is a Realtor? How are they different from a real estate agent?
In order to become a real estate agent, you have to take licensing classes and exams that are prescribed by the state; you also have to take continuing education courses to remain certified over time.
Realtors must do all of this, plus they go one step further by taking a pledge to abide by a strict code of shared ethics.
Why are ethics important in a real estate transaction? Well, any real estate professional will be privy to your private information and records as they help you navigate a significant financial transaction. They will also be responsible for helping you make a fair bid and to negotiate a final sale. By hiring a Realtor, you’ll know that you are in capable hands, with someone who is representing your best interests while keeping your information confidential.
Wondering how to find a Realtor? Hire one of ours! All Edina Realty agents are Realtors who have agreed to work by the shared code of Realtor ethics.
A Realtor can help you pick the right house
Realtors often specialize in specific cities or neighborhoods, so they can provide insight about the locations you’re interested in, as well as the types of homes and typical pricing for the area.
A Realtor is also trained to help you find a home that meets your specific requirements, including properties that:
- Are in a specific school district.
- Are near your favorite local parks and shops, or that will make your commute easier.
- Are ready for move-in, or that need some fixing (depending on your preference and budget).
Plus, if you’re having trouble choosing between two (or more) great properties, Realtors can can point out potential pros and cons about each property — from the location, to the layout, to the age of the appliances and roof — to help you make the right decision.
A Realtor can help you bid and negotiate
After you find your dream property, you’ll have to put it in an offer on the property. This is where your Realtor will really shine.
Because they know details about the local market, and the area where you are hoping to buy, they can help you decide if you want to:
- Offer the full listed price of the property
- Make a lower bid on a property that is overpriced or in low demand
- Make a higher bid on a property that is underpriced or will be in high demand
When a market has low inventory, it’s common to see seeing bidding wars between competitive buyers. If you enter a multiple offer situation as a buyer, your Realtor can provide expert advice on how much to offer without going over.
A Realtor can help you close quickly and with less stress
In the weeks before closing, buyers and their agents have to finalize several different processes, including:
- An official inspection
- A detailed financial and credit check, and final mortgage approval
- The final title research and approval
- A final buyer walk-through
In a perfect world, all of these pieces will keep moving on their own. More realistically, a hiccup will occur somewhere. Whether your lender has trouble getting access to your down payment accounts, your title agent finds an outstanding lien on the property or the inspector comes in with bad news about the plumbing, your Realtor can help keep things moving. (They can also help you negotiate or terminate your purchase agreement if that is warranted.)
Ready to meet your Realtor?
Whether you’re hoping to buy in downtown Minneapolis, southern Minnesota or Wisconsin lake country, we can help. Edina Realty has more than 2,300 licensed Realtors available to represent you as you purchase a home in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.
Reach out now to get connected with an Edina Realty Realtor.