Posted in: Buying a home, First time homebuyer tips

Why homebuyers and sellers should work with a REALTOR®

Why hire a realtor

Key insights:

  • When working with a REALTOR®, rest assured that every home detail is handled – from open house notes to closing table negotiations.
  • A licensed Realtor is mandated to hold your best interests above their own, and they are bound by strict confidentiality terms.
  • The real estate market is constantly changing, but your Realtor is up to date with the most current trends that could impact your home purchase or sale.

Whether you’re a prospective buyer searching for your first home or you’re ready to sell and buy a bigger residence, it will be in your best interest to work with a Realtor. Why? Because your agent will help guide you through every phase of your buying or selling journey, from open houses to tough negotiations to the final closing paperwork.

However, not all real estate agents are alike, and not all real estate agents are Realtors. It may seem minor, but the designation of Realtor matters – here’s why.

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, along with continuing education courses that uphold your certification over time.

Realtors must do all of the above, and more. In fact, every Realtor takes an extra step and pledges to abide by a strict code of shared ethics; this code of ethics is overseen by local, statewide and national Realtor associations.

Why are ethics an essential component of a real estate transaction?

Any real estate professional that you work with 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 negotiate a final sale. By hiring a Realtor, you’ll know that your home transaction is represented by a capable professional who, above all, will maintain your best interests and confidentiality.

Wondering how to find a Realtor? Hire one of ours! Unlike other companies, Edina Realty only works with agents who are Realtors. That means when you work with Edina Realty, you have the benefit of working with a true local expert who has agreed to work by the shared code of Realtor ethics.

How Realtors help buyers pick the right house

If you’re ready to sell your current home or are already in the market to buy a new property, finding the right Realtor is essential for a successful transaction. Realtors often specialize in specific cities or neighborhoods, so they can provide insight on the locations you’re interested in. Plus, they’ll have deep knowledge of the types of homes and typical pricing for the area, so you’ll know if you’re making an accurate bid when buying or getting a fair price at closing.

A Realtor is also trained to help you find a home that meets your specific requirements in a city that best suits you, including properties that:

  • Are in a specific school district.
  • Are near your favorite local parks and shops.
  • Will make your commute easier.
  • Are ready for move-in, or that need some fixing (depending on your preference and budget).

If you’re buying a new home and having trouble choosing between two properties (or more), a Realtor can point out potential pros and cons about each home — from the location, to the layout, to the age of the appliances and roof — to help you make the right decision.

A Realtor helps buyers and sellers bid and negotiate

Your Realtor will really shine when it’s time to put down or accept an offer on a home. Because they understand the intricacies of the housing market and know the area where you are located, they can help make final decisions around the listing price of the home.

Specifically, Realtors can help buyers determine:

  • What initial offer or counter offers they should make on a property.
  • What terms a seller may be willing to negotiate, including timelines or inspection.
  • What could make their bid more attractive, like timeline flexibility, guaranteed financing or paying closing costs.

When representing sellers, Realtors will help them:

  • Identify potential pre-sale home updates to generate an even higher offer.
  • Set the best price for a seller to list their home on the market.
  • Determine whether to accept or reject an incoming bid.
  • Make the call to reduce their home’s price if it’s not selling.

Keep in mind, when a market has low inventory — as it does now — it’s common to see bidding wars between competitive buyers. This is when a Realtor can really shine, by helping buyers to stay competitive to win the property, and to help sellers price their home to draw in multiple offers.

A Realtor helps buyers and sellers understand the changing market

Even when the housing market quickly changes, as it has several times over the last few months and even years, Realtors remain in the center of the action. Because they’re so in tune with the current housing market, a Realtor can sense shifts before they’re reported on the news – and can help buyers and sellers successfully navigate the local trends that could impact their purchase or sale.

The housing market is complicated, but your Realtor is an expert in this space. Whether buying or selling, here are some scenarios where your Realtor will be extra help:

A Realtor helps buyers and sellers close quickly and with less stress

In the weeks before closing, agents work alongside their buyers and seller clients to finalize several different processes, including:

  • An official inspection
  • A detailed financial and credit check
  • Final mortgage approval
  • The final title research and approval
  • The disbursement of funds
  • A final buyer walk-through
  • The exchange of keys, manuals and other essential information

In a perfect world, all the pieces of a home purchase or sale would keep moving on their own. More realistically, roadblocks pop up that need to be handled by an expert. 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 the home transaction rolling toward the closing table. (In more extreme cases, they can also help you negotiate or terminate your purchase agreement.)

Ready to meet your Realtor?

No matter if you need help negotiating a sale price or would like an extra set of eyes at an open house, Edina Realty has more than 2,300 licensed Realtors available to represent you.

Moving forward, reach out to Edina Realty or your agent. Working alongside a licensed Realtor will help ensure successful transitions through each stage of buying or selling a home.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings