NAR – most bang for buck
THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION: GETTING THE MOST FOR YOUR MONEYTrue or false? You want to buy or sell a home, so you hire a real estate professional and let him or her do the work. Although that might be the scenario that comes to mind for many, things are not so clear-cut today.Given the significant growth real estate has experienced in recent years, new companies are entering the business all the time. As such, there are many factors reshaping the way consumers buy and sell real estate. The Internet, for example, puts real estate information at our fingertips. Just as users can make everyday purchases, arrange travel plans and manage financial investments online from the comfort of their homes, they can also access real estate information and services on the Web.In addition, nontraditional or “specialty” real estate brokers are growing in number. New options such as fee-for-service and discount realty are now available to people looking to buy or sell a home. Such alternatives are heavily marketed to consumers empowered by the knowledge they gain online.Too many choices leads to confusionNo one would argue that it’s good for the consumer to have options. But sometimes the more choices we have, the more confused we become. How do today’s consumers make the best choice when it comes to their own real estate transactions? According to the Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS® it’s important to understand what you get for your money.In many cases, a Realtor (or other real estate professional) provides all the services necessary to buy or sell a home. Such services may include developing a property marketing plan, performing a comparative market analysis, advertising, providing signage and brochures, offering MLS placement services, coordinating open houses and assisting with forms and other technical matters.”Today’s Realtor recognizes that some consumers want to handle certain aspects of the real estate transaction,” explains Shannon Kyle, president of the Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS. “So an alternative to a traditional full-service relationship may be a fee-for-service arrangement. “In such cases, an agreement is drawn up for the Realtor to receive payment for handling specific services while the client takes on other responsibilities.” Discount brokerages offer specific service packagesAnother trend in the real estate industry is discount brokerages, which are often confused with fee-for-service agreements. The latter usually offer both buyers and sellers a wide range of optional services on an unbundled or “menu” basis. In this case, consumers know exactly which services they need and how much they’re paying for them. Discount brokerages typically offer sellers a specific service package at a reduced rate. Consumers pay less upfront and agree to handle certain aspects of the transaction. “No matter how the market is faring, selling or buying a house requires effort,” says Kyle. “Consumers should learn the complexities involved in a real estate transaction, find out the value of a Realtor’s services, and then decide which arrangement is right for them.” Kyle recommends that people looking to buy or sell a home find a Realtor who knows their local market and can explain the various options available. She offers the following tips on how to find the best Realtor for you: • Get referrals from friends and family.• Interview at least three Realtors before you make your decision.• Check out the “For Sale” signs. If you’re interested in a particular neighborhood, yard signs help you find out not only which houses are currently on the market but the names and numbers of Realtors representing sellers in the area.• Look for Realtors who understand your particular situation, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a second-home shopper or someone who requires assistance with your credit history. In all cases, full disclosure in writing is essential to limit the risk for either party in a transaction, adds Kyle.The Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS® is one of more than 1,600 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice of Real Estate,” representing more than 970,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.The Glenwood Springs Association of REALTORS® is one of more than 1,600 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice of Real Estate,” representing more than 970,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
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