There are more than 2 million people nationwide who have licenses to sell real estate, but only about 1 million belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). 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®. Only NAR members are entitled to use the term “REALTOR®“.

NAR members must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and are committed to treating all parties to a transaction honestly. Local REALTORS® are community experts. They track real estate trends, share neighborhood concerns and participate in local affairs. They are good neighbors who are in the business of helping others buy and sell homes.

If you are buying a home:

A REALTOR® can help you determine how much home you can afford. Often a REALTOR® can suggest ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.

A REALTOR®, in addition to knowing the local money market, also can tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan.

A REALTOR® is already familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.

A REALTOR® can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service — even if you are relocating from another city.

A REALTOR® can show you only those homes best suited to your needs — size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping and other personal preferences.

A REALTOR® can often suggest simple, imaginative changes that make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.

A REALTOR® is sensitive to the importance you place on this major commitment you are about to make. Look for a real estate professional to facilitate negotiation of a win-win agreement that will satisfy both you and the seller.

If you are selling a home:

A REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties so you can determine a reasonable asking price to get your home sold quickly at the best price.

A REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property.

A REALTOR® will expose your property to other real estate agents and the public and give out information on your property by placing it on a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks.

A REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property.

A REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property so you are not allowing strangers into your home.

A REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position and help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through to closing or settlement.

A REALTOR® is the best person to assist you with required paperwork for a real estate transaction and to help you resolve any issues that may arise.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. The REALTOR® you work with could be one of your most valuable resources. So, ask your real estate agent if he or she is a REALTOR®!