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, 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. All brokers must treat you honestly and fairly regardless of whom
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 REALTORS® who
represent the buyer will enter into a buyer representation agreement with the
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.
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 "For Sale" signs out front? Note how
far it is to schools, parks, theaters, restaurants, and convenience stores.
Will you be comfortable living here?