How do we find that expert we can trust? First let’s be clear as to who we are dealing with.
Real Estate Agent: A real estate agent is an individual who is licensed to negotiate and arrange real estate sales. An agent is a person who can represent a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction, in exchange for a commission. Agents are generally licensed but must operate under the supervision of a real estate broker.
Real Estate Broker: A licensed professional that is permitted to manage all legal intricacies of real estate transactions, both the buying and selling. Brokers also can hire agents to work for them while they manage the whole process. To be a broker one has to pass a longer more intense exam and have either: several years of experience – depending on the states requirements or have a bachelor’s degree. In most states more course work is required as well. A broker also has a higher level of exposure to liability.
Realtor: A Realtor can be a Broker or Agent. Of all the real estate professionals all over the world only about 1 million are members of the NAR – National Association of Realtors and can use the designation of REALTOR. According to the NAR “The term ‘REALTOR’ is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NAR and abides by its strict Code of Ethics.”
So what insures my real estate professional will adhere to the “code of ethics” and deserves to be trusted? There are three key elements.
#1 – Educator – A real estate professional must be willing to share his/her knowledge and build your confidence. They should be willing to educate you on the buying/selling process and market, so that you can make a well informed decision. They should welcome your questions and respect your wants, while also making sure you have all the information needed.
#2 – Clarification – As with any good relationship it’s important for expectations and responsibilities to be clearly defined. To build trust you must clarify your wants and needs. That means being clear as to your budget limitations, desired location, price range, loan preapproval, size and features. You can’t blame an agent who never shows you a condo when you said from the outset that you only wanted a house. You want a real estate professional who will question you and help you stay on course, this is how trust is built.
#3 – Reliability – To me this is huge and simple. Does the real estate professional do what they say they are going to do? Do they clearly communicate? Do they deliver on promises and take responsibility without making excuses. Are they timely and honest? Being a real estate professional is not a 9-5 job so an agent should be responsive to you, however they also deserve a break. For example if your agent/broker says to you, “I will take your call whenever possible, however my family time starts at 8:00 pm so please text or email me and I’ll respond as soon as possible,” respect it. Defined boundaries are the sign of a healthy relationship.
Really to me, the bottom line is do you understand what your professional expects from you and do they know what you expect from them.
Learn more about real estate investing at OTA Real Estate.
Diana Hill – email@example.com