Find a REALTOR®
When buying a home, you need a real estate agent familiar with the local market who can provide the proper mix of professional skills and services to meet your needs and who has helped other people just like you buy and sell homes.
What is a REALTOR®?
In order to receive compensation for the sale or purchase of real estate in Tennessee, a person must hold an active real estate license with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. Not all real estate agents are the same. Some agents only choose to meet the state's licensing requirements. Others choose to go one step further and become a REALTOR® (NAR) and agree to abide by NAR's strict Code of Ethics, which in many cases goes beyond state law. REALTORS® have access to a vast array of educational programs, research and resources.
What does a REALTOR® do?
A REALTOR® will talk to you and your family to find out what you want in a house. He or she will ask questions about the neighborhood, size, type and price range of home you want and can afford and then show you homes that fit your requests. A REALTOR® will help you make an offer on a home and explain all the paperwork involved.
All agents can represent the buyer and the seller, but sometimes an agent will work with just one party. It is best to have someone working just for you. A listing agent is the person who has a contract (or listing) with the seller of the house to advertise the property for sale and represent the seller when offers are made. A buyer’s agent finds the home that meets the buyer’s needs and then helps navigate them through the process of purchasing the home.
An agent is paid a commission from the money a seller makes from the house sale. The commission is a percentage of the price of the house.
Why You Need a REALTOR®
- A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
- Selling or buying a home is time consuming. Homes in Memphis typically stay on the market for an average of 92 days. And it can take another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted.
- Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
- REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical.
- REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
- REALTORS® are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade organization of more than 1.2 million members nationwide, 22,000 in Tennessee, and 4,700 in the Memphis area. REALTORS® subscribe to a stringent Code of Ethics that helps guarantee the highest level of service and integrity.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. www.REALTOR.org/realtormag