Real Estate Consumer Information


Important Information for Anyone Planning to Buy or Sell a Home

If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, most likely you’ll soon meet a real estate broker or salesperson. There are many services a broker can offer you without making an obligation but before long you should discuss broker representation. It’s the first thing you need to know about buying or selling a home.

  1. BROKER REPRESENTS SELLER: If the broker is the seller’s agent, then the seller is the broker’s client and you are, in effect, a customer.You can buy a home in this situation just as you would purchase a product from a salesperson – that is, without professional representation by an agent of your own. Even though the broker is employed by the seller, the broker can still work closely with you, providing information about properties and financing procedures. A broker representing the seller can even help you prepare and present your offer to purchase the seller’s home. But as the seller’s agent, the broker’s primary loyalty is to the seller. Therefore, you may not want to reveal certain information about yourself, such as your urgency to move or your willingness to increase your offer.
  2. BROKER REPRESENTS BUYER: If you wish, you can retain the services of a broker to help you buy a home -just as you would hire an accountant or attorney. You become a client, and your broker represents you exclusively when you purchase your home. You gain the benefits of your broker’s experience and expertise. If you decide to use a broker as your agent, select one carefully. Discuss the services he or she can provide, and whether you will be charged a fee. This should be put in writing. You may decide you don’t need your own broker. The seller’s agent may be able to provide you with all the information you require to buy the home you want without representation. 
  3. BROKER REPRESENTS BOTH BUYER AND SELLER: It is also possible for a broker to represent both buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. However, state law requires that the broker inform both parties of the dual representation, briefly describe the type of representation to be offered, disclose all facts relevant to each party, including any possible conflicts of interest, and obtain their written consent. The reason for this law is to clarify at the outset the financial relationships and responsibilities of each party in a dual agency situation. Knowing the facts will help you decide how much personal information you wish to disclose to the broker. The above information was made available by the Hawaii Real Estate Commission brochure.

Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Below are some compelling reasons why having an expert on your side is critical.


9 Reasons to use A REALTOR®

1. A REALTOR® has the most information in one place about what is on the market, including homes listed by other REALTORS®. You won’t waste time looking at unsuitable homes.

2. A REALTOR® helps you determine how much home you can afford, how you can acquire the down payment and what financing options may be open to you.

3. A REALTOR® can help you find the home best suited to your needs – size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, etc.

4. A REALTOR® can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services, zoning and facilities.

5. A REALTOR® can suggest simple changes that could make a prospective home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.

6. A REALTOR® has no emotional ties to a home, can be objective about it and can point out its advantages and disadvantages.

7. A REALTOR® is a skilled negotiator that acts as an agent between you and the seller to present offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached. Negotiations can get complicated when you consider factors such as price, financing, terms, date of possession, inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, equipment, the inspection process, and other known or unforeseen issues.

8. A REALTOR® is knowledgeable expert that will help you prepare the best deal and avoid delays or costly mistakes. 

9. A REALTOR® is bound by a Code of Ethics and pledged to protect and promote the interest of the buyer by providing fair treatment for all parties involved in the transaction.


10 Reasons to use A REALTOR®

1. A REALTOR® is bound by a Code of Ethics and pledged to protect and promote the interest of the seller by providing fair treatment for all parties involved in the transaction.

2. A REALTOR® is knowledgeable of the market and gives you the quickest exposure to the maximum number of buyers.

3. A REALTOR® qualifies prospects as to their affordable price range and housing needs.

4. A REALTOR® knows current real estate values and can help you set a realistic, competitive price. This skilled professional knows how to merchandise you home effectively.

5. A REALTOR® is familiar with the local home-loan market and can help you determine whether seller assisted financing may expedite your sale.

6. A REALTOR® can figure the net proceeds from your sale, taking into account your outstanding loan balance, closing costs and possible owner financing.

7. A REALTOR® can tap an even larger market through referrals and marketing techniques.

8. A REALTOR® frees you from the problems associated with showing your home. The REALTOR® handles phone inquiries, appointments, showing and negotiations of the contract. Your home is shown only to serious, qualified buyers.

9. A REALTOR® maintains objectivity in presenting offers and counter-offers.

10. A REALTOR® can familiarize you with the closing procedures by explaining them all in advance.

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