Working with a Realtor is advised

Q: What are the pros and cons of selling your own home versus using a Realtor, especially in today’s housing market? — Debbie H., Las Vegas

A: I’m am happy to answer in my debut column. First, let me thank the Review Journal for giving me and the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors the opportunity to answer questions in this column throughout the year.

As for the pros and cons of working with a Realtor, I have to start by admitting my obvious bias. I’ve been working in this profession in one way or another since 1975. I’ve had a Nevada real estate license since 1979. So, you can imagine how strongly I feel about the advantages of working with an experienced, educated and ethical Realtor.

Keep in mind there’s a difference between being a Realtor and simply having a valid real estate license from the state. I think it’s important to work with someone who has put in the extra time and effort to gain the additional expertise and live up to the ethical standards we require of our Realtor members.

Your question comes at an interesting time. During the housing boom we experienced here in Southern Nevada from 2003 to 2006, many of our clients and members of the public asked us to explain why they needed a professional to help them sell a home when it seemed like homes were selling in days, or even hours.

As I explained at the time, Realtors helped homeowners through the home-buying process then and can be even more vital now. In today’s more challenging housing market, it makes more sense than ever before to work with an experienced Realtor.

For one thing, it is more difficult to sell a home today than it was a few years ago. Today’s sellers must compete with the unprecedented number of bank-owned homes, which are usually sold at bargain prices and now account for about two of every three homes sold here.

Realtors work to get the most money possible in the least amount of time with the least amount of inconvenience for the home you’re selling. As part of doing that we aggressively list and market your home on the Multiple Listing Service, along with many other means.

We prepare a comparative market analysis to help you determine the best price for your home.

We also promote our listings with other Realtors. Many people don’t realize that up to half of all our home sales involve other cooperating real estate brokers.

Realtors qualify and make appointments to show your property to prospective buyers, then present and negotiate offers to buy your home.

Realtors handle details that go into the appraisal, loan approval, escrow and closing process, keeping you informed along the way. Finally, we represent you when you close the transaction.

I think people are seeing the benefit of these services. Our research shows more buyers and sellers than in past years are choosing to work with a Realtor today.

For more information, visit lasvegasrealtor.com or contact an experienced local Realtor.

Sue Naumann is the president of the GVLAR and has worked in the real estate industry for nearly 30 years. GLVAR has more than 14,000 members. To ask her a question, e-mail her at ask@glvar.org.

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