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Realtor View: Remove stress from real estate process by using Realtor

December 8, 2017 GMT

It’s possible you are considering buying a home in the new year. And it’s possible that very thought is stressing you out. Real estate transactions can be stressful.

To be sure, they are full of nuances, subtleties and loads of paperwork. Aside from that, every transaction is different because every single one involves the ultimate variable - people.

Every real estate professional that you may meet is a unique person. Each has had different experiences and possesses various specializations and interests.

Looking for an agent can be tricky and confusing, but don’t let that stop you. Your needs are important and you should take the time to assess your situation and find the right representation for you.

Are you a first-time home buyer who needs a little extra attention? Many agents enjoy thorough involvement in the transaction and enthusiastically educate their clients about each step of the home-buying process.

Has it been a while since you bought or sold real estate? If you have some experience but are unsettled about real estate in today’s world, I can hardly blame you. There is so much information out there that it is easy to get overloaded.

Are you technologically adept and expecting to rely heavily on web-based searches and tools, as well as social media? You likely want someone who is equally adept and willing to communicate with you quickly, correct? When you’re interviewing your agent, make sure they know these considerations are very important to you.

Suppose your house is beautifully remodeled and priced to sell. What good is that if no one sees it? Before you hire an agent, ask how they plan to market your property. Agents have different marketing strategies that range from online, MLS, print ads, open houses, staging and other means. Make sure you’re comfortable with the efforts planned for your property.

Do you live out of town and need a local representative to completely handle the transaction? Some agents work mostly with people who relocate from out of town.

Maybe you’re looking for the perfect commercial space to build your business. You can hire someone who deals exclusively with commercial real estate. There are even sub-specialties within commercial real estate.

Perhaps a vacation home is in your plans. Guess what? There are agents who make this their niche.

What if you prefer to handle most of the legwork yourself, but need an agent to help with the marketing or contract negotiation? There’s an agent for you.

It’s important for you to know that not every real estate broker or salesperson in Texas can call themself a Realtor. Only those agents who are members in the National Association of Realtors, the Texas Association of Realtors and the Houston Association of Realtors or one of the other local associations around the state may use the term “Realtor” on business cards and in marketing material.

Choosing to work with a Realtor means you are relying on someone who is committed to continuing education, professionalism and integrity. In addition, Realtors are sworn to uphold a strict code of ethics and to treat all parties fairly. It’s a difference that matters.

Many Realtors hold one or more certifications or designations, each one indicated by an acronym behind the agent’s name. These letters signify that the holder has not only undergone advanced or specialized training in real estate, but is also committed to his own professional development.

Some of us specialize in residential listings, buyer representation or investment property. Others concentrate on international or commercial real estate.

There are all kinds of real estate agents out there, and there’s one for you, no matter what your situation or what level of service you seek. There are lots of ways to find agents - HAR.com, the Houston Chronicle real estate section and good old-fashioned referrals, to name a few. Regardless of how you find your agent, though, if you’re looking for a higher level of professionalism, I recommend you make sure whomever you hire is a Realtor.

For all your Texas real estate needs, visit HAR.com.

Cindy Hamann, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, is 2017 chair of the Houston Association of Realtors/HAR.com.