Not all real estate agents or brokers are Realtors® – there is a difference. ~ Realtor.com
The most important thing to consider when choosing a real estate professional is his or her integrity. Put simply, you need to find someone you can trust. When visiting with prospective real estate agents, the first question you should ask is whether the agent is a Realtor. What’s the difference you ask?
The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes. ~ the National Association of Realtors
Aside from the obvious, “What is your listing fee?” there are other pertinent questions to ask:
- Do you have an active real estate license, and is it in good standing? This information can be verified by checking with the Fort Smith Board of Realtors.
- Is real estate your full-time occupation?
- How long have you been involved in real estate?
- Do you hold any special real estate designations?
- Do you participate in the Fort Smith area MLS? The MLS is a real estate listing service that combines the listings for all available properties in the Fort Smith area – and is a critical tool in marketing your home.
- What other methods will you use to market my home?
- How well do you know my neighborhood?
- How many homes did you and your office sell last year?
- Which party will you represent – me or the buyer? A true professional will give you a complete explanation of they types of agency and let you know where you stand.
- How can I reach you? You want to know that your Realtor is accessible and responsive outside of regular business hours.
- Can you give me at least three references?
By the end of your visit, you should have a pretty good feel for the prospective real estate agent’s business sense, capabilities and professionalism.