Realtors and MLSs foster competition and help clients, but many consumers don’t realize that. Through NAR’s toolkits, local Realtors have an easier way to explain it.
CHICAGO – For buyers and sellers, a Realtor® is the key that opens a door to the world of real estate. But most U.S. consumers don’t understand the advantages of working with a Realtor beyond, “It’s too confusing to do this alone.”
Many people also don’t understand the importance of Realtors to the U.S. economy. Of 1.5 million U.S. Realtor firms, 88% are small businesses and 65% of Realtors are women. They make up 4% of all small businesses, and 78% work in single-office locations. Realtors represent a solid section of the American middle class with a median gross income of $54,000.
To help Realtors spread the word to customers and others, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) created three toolkits that can be downloaded through NAR’s website.
- Realtors As Champions
- Fostering Competition
- Consumer Access & Opportunity
Realtors as Champions toolkit points
- Realtors are everyday working Americans who champion homeownership and property rights for their communities.
- Realtors are entrepreneurs, often small business owners, who exemplify the spirit of America.
- Realtors are committed to building their communities and advocating for fair housing.
- For homebuyers and sellers, Realtors help take the stress out of the process. For many clients, a real estate transaction is one of the most complex and important transactions in their life.
- Realtors help consumers by providing insider community knowledge, advising on financial aspects including lenders and mortgage rates, and legal matters, such as helping buyers manage required state and federal forms and closing documents
- Realtors are bound by a strict code of ethics based on professionalism, consumer protection and the golden rule.
Fostering Competition toolkit points
- Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) are independent broker marketplaces focused exclusively on residential real estate in local markets.
- Independent, local broker marketplaces foster innovation and create competitive markets. They provide a friendly environment for businesses of all types and sizes, including small businesses and new market entrants.
- Individual brokers input information into one or more MLSs around the country, which creates hubs of local real estate market information. That gives all broker participants access to the same data.
- An MLS gives all participants access to inventory and widespread advertising. The practice in which a listing broker pays a buyer brokers’ compensation incentivizes participation and creates for consumers the largest, most accessible and most accurate source of housing information.
- An MLS levels the playing field among brokerages. It allows smaller brokerages to compete with larger ones, and enables competition among brokers, including those with different service and pricing models.
- Real estate agents, including Realtors, can flourish thanks to the independent, local broker marketplaces that provide equitable access and more complete options for clients.
Consumer Access & Opportunity toolkit points
- Local MLS broker marketplaces ensure equity, transparency, efficiency and market-driven pricing options for homebuyers and sellers.
- MLSs are essentially databases of all homes for sale in a given market, maintained in most cases by local Realtor associations.
- Local Realtor associations make most of this information publicly available for free.
- Each MLS database often provides the source information for online home-search websites.
- A seller gets the largest possible pool of buyers if they list their property in the MLS.
- Sellers also save time and money by working with an established group of buyer brokers.
- Buyers, in turn, can work with any buyer broker to see all homes for sale in one place without hidden or extra costs.
- The free market organically establishes compensation costs within local real estate markets.
- The U.S. MLS model has long been – and still is – viewed around the world as the best value for consumers.
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