When Is It Time to Choose A Realtor?

Sometimes the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) method of selling a home does not work. Below is a list of questions and answers that may help you in determining whether or not it is time to hire a Realtor.

What exactly is a Realtor?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.

When is the right time to choose a Realtor?

That depends on each seller's personal circumstances. If you are relocating to a completely different area, you may need to sell your home faster than someone who just wants to downsize and has time to test the market. That brings up another point, "The market" is it a buyer's market or seller's market? You may want to contact a few REALTORS® to give you a market analysis so you have an idea what price to start at when selling your home. In many industries, three estimates can give you a good idea of where you need to start. If after marketing your home yourself you feel it's time to hire a Realtor, you will have already established a rapport with a REALTOR®. When selling your home, a 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.

What can a Realtor do for me?

A REALTOR® will market your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, a REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. A 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 REALTOR® Code of Ethics guides REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

A REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. A REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
A REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. A REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

A REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. A REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

What are CRS & GRI designations?  Do I need to consider them when choosing a REALTOR®?

The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation is recognized industry-wide as the symbol of excellence in residential sales and is the highest designation awarded in the residential real estate sales industry. The most successful real estate agents are those professionals having the coveted CRS designation. The CRS designation singles an individual out as a leader in the industry. It confers upon that individual the highest level of professional achievement and recognition as the most experienced and educated in the specialized field of residential sales. Less than 5% of all REALTORS worldwide have been awarded the CRS designation.

How can a CRS help me?

Every CRS has undergone a rigorous, specialized course of detailed training aimed at making residential transactions as smooth and worry free as possible.

A CRS brings special qualifications to your needs:

    • Membership in a local Board, State Association, and the National Association of REALTORS®. Every CRS is part of a much larger network of real estate professionals.
    • Successful completion of the courses leading to the Certified Residential Specialist designation, one of the most successful residential real estate education programs in the country. Every CRS is a real estate professional equipped with special expertise, thanks to advanced study in listing, selling, investment, tax and more.
    • A history of demonstrated sales performance through the documented execution of residential sales transactions.
    • Every Realtor® must conform to the National Association of REALTORS® code of ethics.
    • What this means is that when you work with a CRS, you're working with someone who is more connected. more knowledgeable, and more experienced.

REALTORS® Who Hold the GRI Designation

The GRI (Graduate Realtors Institute) Designation was established by the Education Committee of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and approved by the NAR Board of Directors on February 12, 1974. It was amended and approved by the Education Committee in January, 1992.

Graduate Realtors Institute Designees:

  • Have dedicated their time and money on real estate education to bring you quality service.
    Graduate REALTOR® Institute designees have made the commitment to provide a high level of professional services to their clients. The GRI curriculum incorporates a common body of knowledge for progressive real estate professionals. A REALTOR® who possesses the GRI designation has not only completed a course of study required by the program, but also subscribes to the Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
  • Have taken at least 90 hours of specialized real estate related courses.
    Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) is the designation awarded by state associations to members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® who successfully complete a predetermined course of study.
  • Are up to date on the latest real estate trends and issues.
    Any person awarded the GRI designation must be a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and must maintain that membership to retain the designation.
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