Benefits of Using a Realtor

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of residential buyers and 88% of residential sellers used a REALTOR® in 2014. We at Streett Hopkins are REALTORS®, meaning you will get professional services at the national standards.

As market experts we’ll be your advocate in buying or selling a home quickly and professionally. Our properly educated and well-experienced agents will ensure you get the best results. Not only do we use the Multiple List Service—along with Loopnet and CoStar—to market our listings with other brokers, but we also work within a professional network that buyers and sellers don’t have access to.

When you work with us, you will benefit in these ways:

  1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process.
    Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
  2. Get objective information and opinions.
    REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  3. Find the best property out there.
    Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
  4. Benefit from their negotiating experience.
    There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
  5. Property marketing power.
    Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  6. 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 a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
  7. Experience.
    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. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
  8. Emotionally unattached third party.
    Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an 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 stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
  9. Ethical treatment.
    Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.

You can read more in this realtor.org article.

Behind the Scenes

Here’s what we do as your real estate professionals:

  1. Listen to Your Needs and Find Opportunities to Match
    • Determine whether you need to sign any contracts or agreements in order to work together
    • Start a file that details your requests, preferences, concerns, and expectations
  2. Give You an Overview of the Market
    • Offer insight into the real estate market, both locally and nationally
    • Inform you of the sold price for similar properties
    • Help you identify the reasons for home price variations (e.g. homes located within a specific school district or proximity to public transit go for a premium over others)
    • Share details about neighborhood amenities, traffic statistics, and more (in compliance with the Fair Housing Act, and other federal and state laws)
    • Send updates based off housing, finance, and economic reports, and much more
  3. Search Far and Wide for the Right Property
    • Find property listings that match your needs by scanning the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), driving through neighborhoods, looking at classifieds, soliciting home owners, and contacting other real estate professionals
    • Set up appointments, research listings, confirm appointments, follow up on opportunities, obtain lockbox codes
    • Drive you to appointments and inform you of opportunities
    • Guide you towards experts who can help identify property land use codes, deed restrictions and zoning requirements
    • Compile research on listings
    • Maintain a record of your meetings and listing reviews
  4. Help You Place a Competitive Offer
    • Inform you of the sold price for similar opportunities
    • Recommend experts to help you ensure inspections and disclosures are in order
    • Assist you with determining the property’s fixtures versus real property (i.e. what stays with the property and what goes with the seller)
    • Guide you in negotiating a competitive offer and determining whether a counter-offer is warranted
    • Assist you with negotiating the terms of the contract
    • Guide you to experts for help with reviewing the terms of any neighborhood or home owner’s association covenants
  5. Make Sure the Contracts Are in Order
    • Verify tax, utility, and home owner’s assessments
    • Help obtain property inspection reports and necessary disclosures
    • Ensure that the seller completes property disclosure documentation
    • Assist you in pursuing title clearance and ensuring the- property is in good standing
    • Work with attorneys to ensure contracts follow the signing and approval process
  6. Connect You to the Resources You Need to Settle in to Your New Home
    • Help you identify and connect to neighborhood amenities
    • Remind you to pull together paperwork, warranties, and set up utilities bills
    • Remind you to keep closing documents in a safe off-site location

Streett Hopkins Real Estate

(410) 879-7466
118 S. Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014

Questions About Real Estate?