Choosing A Realtor

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Find the right Realtor when you move to Houston with these simple tips.

The right realtor can save you thousands. Buying or selling a house involves real estate law, title insurance policies, home warranties, home-lending practices, appraisals, inspections, hazard insurance, surveys and other issues; the services of a realtor are highly recommended. Especially for people new to the area, a realtor can save time and money and provide local knowledge.  A realtor can swiftly locate homes that fit with your lifestyle, price range, educational needs, and location.

How do you choose the right realtor? First, understand the difference between a real-estate agent and a realtor. Only professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (and other local associations) can use this designation and they must abide by a strict code of ethics based on competency, fairness and integrity. A realtor who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® cannot discriminate against someone based on race, religion, gender, handicap, family status or national origin. 

Talk to a number of realtors before making your decision, talk to some of their previous clients and review their current and recent listings. You might want to ask the following:

• How long have you worked in real estate?

• Is real estate your full-time job?

• Do you prefer to work with buyers or sellers?

• Do you specialize in a particular area or neighborhood?

• What is the average price of properties that you close?

• How many closings do you have each year?

• Do you work on a team?

• Do you have any designations, certifications, awards or special training?

Realtors with the CBR (Certified Buyer Representative) are exclusively committed to providing excellent buyer representation and know current real-estate practices. Realtors can also be certified as Texas Affordable Housing Specialists, which recognizes training in green technologies that can make a home more affordable. Realtors certified by Earth Advantage are trained to spot and understand the advantages of green construction. An EcoBroker designation means a realtor has extensive training in conservation and green energy.

Your realtor should be someone who is an expert on the area and the industry. But she should also be easy to work with and willing to listen – the process should be enjoyable as well as productive.