What to Look for in a Realtor

A realtor, also written with all capital letters, is a licensed real estate agent who belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Agents who belong to NAR are called REALTORS(r).


Realtor Tampa facilitates property sales. They carry offers and counteroffers between buyers and sellers, and they help their clients with questions about closing procedures.

A realtor is a real estate professional who works on commission for facilitating home sales. They earn a percentage of the selling price, and they also have to pay fees for memberships in local boards or associations, access to the multiple listing service and other business expenses.

A good real estate agent puts the client’s interests first. That means being open and direct with clients by providing the information they need to make informed decisions. It also means helping them understand the complexities of real estate transactions. Real estate negotiations don’t always work as smoothly as they do on TV, and a real estate agent should be able to help their clients navigate the realities of the process.

One thing that sets a Realtor apart from a real estate agent is that a Realtor is a member of the National Association of REALTORS and must adhere to their Code of Ethics. That might seem like a subtle difference, but it’s important to know the difference because it can impact the outcome of a real estate transaction.

Another difference is that while any licensed real estate agent can use the title “Realtor,” only a Realtor can be a member of NAR. This is the biggest distinction that consumers should be aware of, because it can impact how a Realtor conducts themselves during the transaction.

A Realtor will typically have a strong local knowledge of real estate market trends, prices and housing inventory. This can be very useful for buyers who are looking to buy a home in a specific area or for sellers who need to maximize the sale of their home. A Realtor can also offer helpful advice when it comes to mortgages, zoning laws and utility costs.

For buyers, a Realtor can help them get pre-approved for a mortgage and find out what they can afford. This can save them a lot of time by eliminating homes that are outside their price range and can help them focus on properties they can realistically afford to purchase. A Realtor can also advise buyers on issues with a property before they sign the purchase agreement, including termite inspections, dry rot or asbestos, roof condition and septic tank tests.

Finding a Realtor

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, finding the right realtor can be crucial to the success of your transaction. However, with dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of real estate agents in every area, choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few key things you can look for in a good realtor that will help you make the right choice.

The first step in hiring a realtor is to do your research. Check out online reviews, and interview several potential realtors. Find out what types of homes they typically help buyers shop for, the neighborhoods they work in, and how many homes they sell each year. You may also want to find out if they’re licensed by checking your state’s real estate regulator agency.

Ask friends and family in the area for referrals, and look up agents online who have a lot of positive reviews. You should also visit open houses in the area to meet and talk with realtors face-to-face and see how they treat potential buyers.

While learning about an agent’s experience and strategies is important, it’s equally as important to find if you have the right chemistry with them. Buying or selling a home is often an emotional process, and you need someone who will place your needs as their top priority while being understanding and compassionate to the highs and lows of the transaction.

During your interview, don’t be afraid to turn down an agent who doesn’t seem like a good fit for you. If you’re not getting along, that can quickly derail your entire transaction. If they’re never available when you need them, or if they constantly change their schedule or communication methods, this is a red flag that they’re not the right person for you. Find a great agent who puts your needs first, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience.

Working with a Realtor

If you’re in the market to buy a home, an experienced Realtor will be able to guide you through the process from start to finish. They can help you understand different financing options, assist with the loan approval process and explain the closing costs. A real estate professional can also answer questions about local neighborhoods, resale values and schools.

Most Realtors(r) know the local area they work in well, including neighborhood characteristics, recent sales and upcoming events. They’re constantly keeping up with the latest market trends and are a wealth of information when it comes to local knowledge.

They’re not just a source of information, but also an advocate for their clients. They can help you establish criteria for what your perfect home might look like, and they’ll take the time to listen to your concerns and needs. They can also recommend other professionals you might need, such as a mortgage loan originator or an attorney to help with the transaction.

It’s important to remember that a Realtor(r) isn’t your employee, and they’re not paid by the hour. They’re compensated based on the commission they receive when the sale closes. This means they need to be thoughtful about how they use their time.

For example, if you call or text a Realtor(r) frequently, you may interrupt their other client appointments. It’s best to schedule showings and appointments in advance if possible, and be considerate of their limited availability. It’s not unusual for a Realtor(r) to be on the phone or working outside of regular business hours.

When it comes to buying or selling a home, there are often many issues that can arise. Having an experienced Realtor(r) on your side can save you time and money. They’ll be able to identify potential problems and come up with solutions for them. They can also help you set up inspections (septic, mold, termite, etc) and interpret the findings, and they’ll be familiar with the steps of a complicated real estate transaction. They can also help you determine how much to offer for a property and address issues that arise during negotiations such as bidding wars.

Buying a Home

Buying a home is a big financial commitment, and there’s a lot that goes into making it happen. A real estate agent can help you navigate the process step-by-step, answering any questions you have along the way. They’ll explain terms you might not recognize (like “pending” and “contingent”) and take care of all the paperwork for you. They’ll also walk you through any steps you need to take before you finalize a deal, such as arranging for an inspection and submitting disclosure forms.

Before you even start looking at homes, your real estate agent will work with you to determine your ideal property and location. They’ll also help you understand the mortgage approval process and make sure your finances are in good shape to make the commitment. They’ll also point out any potential problems with a home that you might not have considered, like a noisy neighbor or high property taxes.

Once you find a home that you love, your real estate agent can help you submit an offer and negotiate with the seller. They’ll use their knowledge of the market to assess how much the home is worth and whether it’s priced fairly. They’ll also give you insight into the seller’s motivation – for example, if they need to move quickly or if they’ve recently had offers on their home.

When it comes to putting together your offer, your Realtor will also be able to guide you through the escrow process and answer any questions you might have. You’ll need to pay an earnest money deposit, which can be 1% – 3% of the purchase price. This is held in escrow until the closing date and applied to your down payment and closing costs.

In addition to being experts in their field, Realtors also have a Code of Ethics they must abide by. This outlines their commitment to act with competency, fairness, and integrity in all business dealings. It also obligates them to refrain from engaging in activities that could damage the public’s trust in the profession. For this reason, it’s important to choose a reputable Realtor who follows the NAR’s ethical guidelines.