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Published: Thursday, 3/18/2004

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If you're in the market to buy or sell a home, you're first move should be contacting a real estate professional...a member of the Toledo Board of REALTORS.

That's not just industry hype, but rather advice stemming from a survey of buyers and sellers. In response to a survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS, consumers give high marks to real estate agents for the expertise and professionalism they bring to the real estate transaction.

In the ultimate sign of satisfaction, the survey found that more than 67 percent of agent-assisted sellers and 67 percent of homebuyers said they definitely would use the same agent again in future transactions.

Other findings of the "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers" survey: Almost 79 percent of sellers chose a real estate agent to sell their-home; only 13 percents old their home themselves-a number that has bee decreasing in recent years.

Nearly seven out of 10 homebuyers used a real estate agent in their home purchase. More than 67 percent of buyers say they expect real estate professionals to help them find the right house

to purchase.

Almost four out of five homebuyers used a real estate agent as an information source during their home search, and 87 percent of consumers surveyed said they expect to use a real estate agent as an information source in their next home purchase.

Today, homebuyers and sellers need real estate professionals more than ever to guide them through the complexities of the transaction. It's true that the Internet and other information technology puts a wealth of information about real estate at your fingertips. However the real estate transaction itself is becoming more and more complicated. Even with so much information so easily available through the Internet, more and more consumers are turning to real estate professionals to assist them in the transaction.

In fact, home buyers who use the Internet to shop for a home are more likely to use a real estate professional (77 percent) than traditional home buyers (64 percent), according to the survey.

Increasingly, real estate professionals are moving from being the providers of information to being Interpreters of information.

Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two-page contract. Now consumer-mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other legal documents have made home transfer very complicated. The typical sale of a home today involves more than 20 steps to complete the transaction. Real estate professionals work with contracts daily and can fully understand which points are harmful and/or beneficial to their customers and clients.

As the study indicates, consumers continue to find value in having a real estate professional help them through the home buying and selling process. The wide variety of services real estate professionals provide are proving ever more valuable in real estate transactions, especially in light of new financing twists and sales contract intricacies.

So whether you're looking to buy...or sell...you're first move should be contacting a real estate professional a member of the Toledo Board/Association of REALTORS.

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