Playing With The Big Guys
Just like any other business, real estate companies come in all sizes from the local, neighborhood agency to the gigantic, nation-wide franchise. General consensus among real estate agents and the public is "the bigger, the better." This idea is easily dispelled when you compare the level of service you receive in return for the commissions and fees charged by those franchises. Bigger does not mean better customer service.
Practicing real estate in an industry where customers have so many choices can be intimidating to a small brokerage, however, small businesses in any industry have to work even much harder to prove their credibility and gain the trust of the public. Small businesses give more personalized attention to their clients because they have to work harder to create a respectable reputation. This is the same for real estate agencies; bigger is not always better. The big guys have inflated overhead costs that they have to pass to their clients as added service fees and higher commissions. The biggest myth ever told to the public or even fellow agents is that the larger franchises have more leverage in the market for assisting buyers and sellers, but this is simply not true!
All real estate agents who belong to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and who subscribe to a multiple listing service (MLS), conduct business on equal playing ground. A REALTOR® belongs to the NAR. The
The NAR is the world's largest professional association and requires its members to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and standards of practice. With a membership of over one million, it also provides a resource for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members. Not to mention that all REALTORS are required to take continuing education classes regardless who they work for.
An MLS is an expansive database of homes that are for sale. A REALTOR® uses this information to search for a home for a buyer or to advertise a home for sale for a seller. The bottom line is that most REALTORS use the same tools to assist their clients regardless of the size of their agency. This means that an agent working for a smaller company is aligned to network with the larger franchises in the same manner. What makes one agency shine over another is the customer service a REALTOR gives to its clients, and this is where Arter PROPERTIES has a huge advantage over any name brand company. After all, a company is made up of employees, and a company is only as good as those who represent it.
Arter PROPERTIES is a small, concierge practice that only works with a handful of clients at a time specializing in single-family homes. Buyers and sellers are not "assembly lined" through a transaction. Instead, each client is given personalized attention from the beginning to the end by assessing client needs and simply being there to help in any way possible. From pre-listing to post-closing, Arter PROPERTIES is
exceptional in meeting client needs.
In summary, when deciding on which real estate agency to use, look for the REALTOR and MLS trademarks, choose someone you can trust will look out for your best interests, and require your real estate agency to disclose all fees and charges up front. Discuss what your agent will do to give your home the best possible chance to sell. Finally, ask what other services they provide such as lock-out assistance, home checks, garage sales, staging, organizational help, and contractor and services coordination. Your agent should be there to help make buying or selling a home a more pleasant experience by assisting in any way possible. ■
More information concerning the NAR can be found at: www.Realtor.org
Since its inception in 1908, the NAR® has worked successfully to advance home ownership, real estate investment, and private property rights in the halls of Congress.
Today, it is widely recognized as one of America's strongest, most effective trade organizations.
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