You’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to hiring a qualified Realtor and you’re still on the fence. How do you decide?

According to the National Association of REALTORS, these folks aren’t just agents. “They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR difference for home buyers,” the organization reports:

  1. Ethical treatment.
    Every REALTOR must abide by a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client, NAR states.
  2. An expert guide.
    Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of industry terms involved, so you should choose to work with a professional who can decipher the language.
  3. Objective information and opinions.
    REALTORS can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORS can use that data to help you decide if the property meets your criteria. By understanding your needs and search area, they can also direct you to neighborhoods you may not know about but could fulfill your needs better than you anticipated.
  4. Awesome search power.
    Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and also help avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but aren’t on the market.
  5. Knowledge to negotiate.
    There are many factors when negotiating a deal. A REALTOR will look at every angle from your perspective, including creating a purchase agreement that lets enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the ho,e before you are bound to finish the purchase.
  6. Tons of experience.
    Many people purchase only a few homes during their lifetime, typically with a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. Qualified REALTORS handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  7. Help during emotional moments.
    A home is more than walls and a roof; for most people, property represents the largest and most important purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party such as a REALTOR may help you stay focused on what’s important to you.

So, when you set out to find a REALTOR to help you either buy a home or sell a home, you may want to consider hiring a professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS.