Select Why Realtor

FAQ and Real Estate Information
 
Hints on Selecting a REALTOR®

Information About Brokerage Services

Don’t Go It Alone: Use a Pro to Sell Your Home

For Sale By Owners: Is it really worth going alone?

What can you afford?

Deciding what you need and want.

Making an offer

Closing the Transaction
 
 
Hints on Selecting a REALTOR®
As a buyer, it is just as important for you to carefully select a REALTOR® who can guide you through the buying maze.
 
Is the agent a REALTOR®?
To handle sales of homes for others a license is required from the Texas Real Estate Commission, but every licensee is not a REALTOR®. A broker who is a REALTOR® has pledged to uphold a Code of Ethics and is a member of the REALTOR® organization on the local, state and national levels.
 
Before working with a REALTOR® you should know that the duties of the REALTOR® depend on whom the REALTOR® represents. The REALTOR® who lists the property for sale represents the owner. You may decide to choose a REALTOR® to represent you in the purchase of a property. This REALTOR® would be known as the buyer’s agent. You may also choose to work with a REALTOR® without having the REALTOR® represent you. For example, you could negotiate directly with the listing agent knowing that the listing agent represents the owner. You may also work with a subagent. A subagent is an agent who is not associated with the listing broker (probably employed in a different real estate firm) and who works with the buyer but represents the listing broker and seller in the transaction. A11 brokers must treat you honestly and fairly regardless of whom they represent.
 
If you choose to have a REALTOR® represent you, you should enter into a written contract that clearly establishes the obligation of both parties and specifies how your REALTOR® will be compensated. Many times REALTOR® who represent the buyer will enter into a buyer representation agreement with the buyer. Click here to find a REALTOR® in your area.
 
Showings
The REALTOR® will arrange showings so you can see what is available in your price range and preferred location. On the houses that interest you most, it’s wise to take notes – address, listing price, number of bedrooms, and other features. Keep your priorities in mind. Compare your notes to the needs and wants list you made earlier.
 
Impromptu visits
When you begin narrowing your selection or you find that you’ve fallen “head over heels” in love with a certain house, you may want to visit the neighborhood in the evening or on a weekend and talk to the people who live there. Take a test drive from the house to your work place during rush hours to get a feel for traffic. Observe other houses in the area. Are they well kept? How many have ³For Sale” signs out front? Note how far it is to schools, parks, theaters, restaurants, and convenience stores. Will you be comfortable living here?
 
Information About Brokerage Services
Please read this information carefully and retain this document for your records.
 
The following information is provided by the Texas Association of REALTOR® for your information:
 
* Real estate brokers and salesmen are required by law to make properties available without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.
 
* Prior to entering into a contract, a buyer may find it useful to pre-qualify for a mortgage loan. Loan programs, fees, interest rates and requirements vary among lenders.
 
* Brokerage fees are negotiable and are not fixed or controlled.
 
* In many transactions, including most residential sales, a seller will deliver a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to a buyer on or before the effective date of a contract to purchase the property. The notice provides important information about the seller’s knowledge of the property condition.
 
* Buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants are encouraged to have a property inspected by licensed inspectors or lawfully authorized persons to determine: (a) the condition of the property; (structural, mechanical, and electrical items); (b) any environmental conditions; (c) feasibility of use; (d) compliance with laws or regulations; (e) presence of termites or wood-destroying insects; and (f) any other matters. Brokers are not qualified to perform such inspections.
 
* Residential service contracts are available to buyers and sellers of residential property. In a residential service contract, a residential service company agrees to, subject to the terms of the contract, repair the appliances, electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling or other systems in the property.
 
* Buyers are advised to obtain a policy or title insurance or have an abstract of title reviewed by an attorney of buyer’s choice before purchasing a property.
 
* Buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants are advised to seek the advice of an attorney of their own selection before entering into a binding agreement.
 
Don’t Go It Alone: Use a Pro to Sell Your Home
When the time comes to sell your home, you must decide whether to seek assistance from a real estate professional or attempt to sell it yourself. Take a tip from the Texas Association of REALTORS® : You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by listing your home with a broker.
People who try to sell their own homes are denying themselves the benefit of a real estate professional who is trained to sell real estate on the terms most advantageous to the party he or she represents. In fact, studies show that very few homeowners who attempt to sell their homes by themselves end up doing so without the help of a real estate professional? and, of those who do, 50% say they would never attempt it again because of all the hassles they went through. (See: For sale by owners: Is it really worth all the hassle?)
 
These guidelines can help you find a broker to meet your home-selling needs:
* Choose your agent with care, as you would a lawyer or doctor. Talk with friends, neighbors and co-workers who have recently bought or sold a home in the area. What kind of service did they receive? Would they select the same broker or company again?
* Attend an open house to observe sales associates in action and judge their expertise. Were you shown the home in a professional manner? How familiar were the sales associates with the property?
* Focus on real estate companies that specialize in residential sales. Look for posted ³sold signs. A company with a successful track record warrants consideration.
* Read the real estate section of your newspaper for listings of homes in the same price range as yours. This will enable you to identify companies that market homes similar to yours, and see how your home stacks up against the competition.
* Target companies located in your community. They are more likely to be familiar with the area schools, businesses and places of worship? precisely the type of information that prospective buyers will want.
* Once you have narrowed your selection of potential listing companies to five or less, contact each for an interview. Look for the sales professional who takes copious notes on decorating, construction, landscaping and any personal property to convey with your home.
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The following questions may be helpful in selecting a broker:
* How long have you been licensed?
* How long have you actively worked in the area?
* How many home sales have you closed in the last three months?
* Do you work full time as a real estate professional?
* Can you give me names of three references whose homes you’ve recently sold?
* How will you work to actively seek buyers for my home?
* Will you participate in a cooperative listing service?
* Are you a member of the Texas Association of Realtors® ?
* Have you earned any specialty professional real estate designations?
* What professional course or training session have you recently attended?
³Any good real estate broker keeps the clients’ interest in mind at all times, provides frequent status reports, and has a clear understanding of the housing market and financing terms,² said John Walton, 1999 president of the Texas Association of REALTORS® . ³To maximize exposure and minimize problems, enlist the services of a broker. Your peace of mind and a great deal of money are at stake. With professional assistance, the home-selling process can be made much easier.