Friday, April 28, 2023

Real Estate: Value of Realtor®

By Lisa DiBiase

Choosing the type of agent that will represent you is vital to a successful experience. Let me start with explaining the very difference between a licensed agent and a Realtor®. It may not seem like there is a difference, but there actually is a big difference regarding the service you will receive.

While all Realtors® are real estate agents, not all real estate agents are Realtors. Being a Realtor® is a voluntary designation that agents can choose to pursue. The main difference between Realtors and licensees is that Realtors® are held to a higher standard of ethical and professional behavior by the National Associations of Realtors®, NAR. Additionally, Realtors® have access to a wider range of resources and networking opportunities through their membership in the NAR.

"Your neighborhood Realtor® is a champion able to help you achieve the dream of homeownership," said NAR President Kenny Parcell. I was personally inspired by Kenny Parcell’s message when I attended the NAR Leadership conference last August as I was preparing to become the 2023 Greater Portland Board of Realtors® President. Kenny has made it his commitment to enhancing the value of a Realtor® for all of you, the consumers. I share his sentiment in wanting to spread the message.

The National Association of Realtors was formed in 1908 and formed the first ever business ethical code in 1913. NAR is one of the largest trade associations in the United States. The main objectives of the NAR include service to the public and commitment to professionalism.

The Code of Ethics imposes social responsibility and a patriotic duty beyond a normal licensee. The Code of Ethics must be reasonably and consistently construed with the law. It also restates certain fundamental legal principles such as contract, agency, and fair housing. A section of the Code is Pathways to Professionalism, which is a list of service criteria for the industry and professional courtesies to enhance REALTOR® professional conduct – Respect for the public, Respect for property and Respect for peers.

Local Market update:

According to the Maine Association of Realtors®:

Interest rates and lower-than-normal inventory led to a single-family existing home sales decline of 16.78 percent in March. According to Maine Listings, 858 homes changed hands last month, compared to 1,031 homes in March 2022. The median sales price for homes sold rose 3.85% to $337,500 comparing March 2023 to March 2022.

National Market update:

According to National Association of Realtors®:

● Low-income homeowners built $98,900 and upper-income households built $150,800 from home appreciation since 2012.

● Black homeowners experienced the smallest wealth gains among all racial/ethnic groups but were able to accumulate more than $115,000 in wealth in the last decade.

● Homeowners who benefited from home price appreciation in the last decade were able to drop their debt by 21 percent.

● Middle-income homeowners accumulated $122,100 in wealth as their homes appreciated by 68 percent in the last 10 years.

"This analysis shows how homeownership is a catalyst for building wealth for people from all walks of life," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "A monthly mortgage payment is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter."

What does this mean for you?

Our real estate markets can vary greatly by location and are influenced by a variety of factors, including the economy, interest rates, supply and demand, and government policies. It is always best to do your research and consult with a Realtor® who has experience in our local markets.

In general, if you are looking to buy a house, you may benefit from shopping for the best interest rates and sticking to your budget. On the other hand, if you are looking to sell, you may be able to take advantage of a seller's market with limited inventory and high demand, leading to potentially higher sale prices.

Ultimately, the decision to buy or sell a house should be based on your personal and financial goals. As I have said before, please call a local REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances. <

Lisa DiBiase is the President for the Greater Portland Board of Realtors®. As the Broker/Owner of Landing Real Estate, she and her company represent buyers and sellers in the Greater Portland area. For all your real estate needs contact by email or phone 207-775-SOLD.

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