Buyer & Seller Resources

Grievance Process+

Value of a REALTOR®+

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:

1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power -- that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders -- banks and mortgage companies -- offer limited choices.

2. Your REALTOR® has many resources  to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company, or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

8. When selling your home, your 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. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The National Association of REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

Find a REALTOR®+

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Initial Agency Disclosure Pamphlet+

Helpful Links+

Construction Contractors Board
The CCB is a state agency that protects consumers by regulating construction contracting businesses. Find a licensed contractor through their web site.

Fair Housing Council of Oregon
The Fair Housing Council provides education and outreach services explaining fair housing laws, as well as enforcement and investigations following complaints of fair housing violations.

Fannie Mae
Provides financial products and services that make it possible for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families to buy homes of their own. Fannie Mae offers a list of resources for homeowners on their site.

Freddie Mac 
Provides financial products and services that make it possible for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families to buy homes of their own. Freddie Mac provides homeowners with many helpful resources.

Home Builders Association
The HBA is a trade association for the building industry. Their web site provides consumer information on choosing a builder or remodeler.

Homeownership Opportunities Northwest
Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (PMAR) site on homeownership opportunities

HouseLogic is a free source of information and tools—from the National Association of Realtors®—that can help you make smart and timely decisions about your home. With content covering home improvement, maintenance, taxes, finance, insurance, and even ways you can get involved in and enrich your community, HouseLogic can help you increase and protect the value of your home by helping you make confident decisions.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
The federal agency is responsible for national policy and programs that address America's housing needs, and for enforcing fair housing laws. Their site offers useful information on becoming a homeowner.

Multifamily NW
MMHA is committed to promoting a high degree of professionalism for rental housing providers. They sponsor educational courses, deliver the most comprehensively reviewed set of forms in the state, and advocate to local and state governments on behalf of the industry to ensure members the best operating environment possible.

National Association of REALTORS®
Find a home with the Internet's most populated guide to listings, choose a REALTOR® or a lender, and get helpful tips for home buyers and sellers and much more on this comprehensive site from NAR geared towards consumers.

Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service
The Oregon State Bar can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in real estate matters. The referral service is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 1-800-452-7636.

Oregon Real Estate Forms, LLC
OREF creates and manages real estate forms for the state of Oregon, including the sales agreement, seller's property disclosure, and more.

Oregon Real Estate Agency
OREA is the state agency responsible for regulating real estate activity, including licensing of real estate brokers and property managers.

Oregon Association of Home Inspectors
A regional chapter of America's largest and most recognized organization for home inspectors, this site offers consumers information on home inspections, as well as guidelines on choosing a professional home inspector.

Real Estate Tips
This is a monthly column published by the Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® with practical and timely tips for homebuyers and sellers.

Real Estate Today

Real Estate Today is a national, weekly radio show presented by the National Association of REALTORS® with information relevant to the entire life cycle homeownership. In Oregon, it airs in the Portland and Central Oregon markets on the stations listed below.



Station: KUFO 970 AM
City: Portland
Time: Sunday 11AM-1PM

 Station: KWLZ 96.5 FM
City: Warm Springs
Time: Sunday 4PM-6PM

Station: KBNW 1340 AM
City: Bend
Time: Sunday 4PM-6PM

REALTOR® Designations & Certifications+

Designations demonstrate the additional training and professional development that a REALTOR® has attained after getting their initial license. They serve to differentiate members in a competitive market. But it can seem like alphabet soup sometimes when you see all the letters after a REALTOR®'s name. Find out what it all means with this guide to designations and certifications from the National Association of REALTORS®.