Consumer Resources


There are many reasons to use a REALTOR®. REALTORS® are real estate professionals who belong to the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate brokers and agents are REALTORS®. To be sure you are working with one, look for the federally registered membership mark, REALTOR®.

When buying a home, you can learn from the knowledge and skill of a REALTOR®

  • A REALTOR® helps you determine how much home you can actually afford. Often a REALTOR® can suggest additional ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
  • A REALTOR® can help you work out a realistic idea of the home best suited to your needs- size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, and other personal preferences.
  • A REALTOR® has access to a listing of available homes, can evaluate them in terms of your needs and affordability, and doesn’t waste your time on unsuitable homes.
  • A REALTOR® often can suggest simple, imaginative changes that could make a home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.
  • A REALTOR® can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of proposed zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
  • A REALTOR® most often is the seller’s agent but acts as a liaison between you and the seller to present offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached.
  • A REALTOR® can tell you if local law requires an attorney at closing and most can provide you with a list to choose from if you don’t have one.
  • A REALTOR® usually knows the local money market and can tell you about financing.
  • A REALTOR® also can tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when you apply for a loan.

A REALTOR® can help familiarize you with the closing process by explaining it in advance.

Tips for Home Buyers and Sellers

Tips for Buyers

Get professional assistance. Hire a REALTOR® to help you evaluate homes in terms of value and price. With the housing market in a constant state of change, hiring a professional can really assist you.

Understand the costs of homeownership. Make sure you know the total cost of owning the home you like and are comfortable with it. Remember costs are more than just the purchase price of the home (e.g. utilities, regular maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.).

Get qualified for a mortgage. Make sure you are fully qualified to purchase the home in the price range you are looking at based on an interview and pre-approval from a lender.

Get a home inspection. Always have a professional home inspection as a part of the contract so you know the condition of the home you are buying.

Understand the forms. Make sure the Seller’s Property Disclosure is properly filled out and that you understand every entry on it.

Tips for Sellers

Price at TRUE market value. Price is everything. If you do not price your home correctly in the beginning, it will sit on the market and not sell. REALTORS® are trained professionals who can assist you with pricing your home correctly.

Remove clutter. Place extra “stuff” into storage, etc. Buyers want to imagine their furniture in your house. This is difficult if your home is too cluttered.

Go neutral. Paint and refresh your home to make it look well-cared for, and fix obvious problems such as leaking faucets, broken windows, etc.

Clean everything. And, do not forget the outside of your home. Clean up leaves, refresh the mulch, trim bushes and trees, and mow the lawn if needed.

Have a plan when a showing is scheduled. Clean up and get out of the house. Cage animals or take them for a ride or walk. When someone is viewing your home, you only have one chance to make a first impression. That starts the moment they drive up.

Useful Links