Real Estate Week: What you need to know before you hire a realtor


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.This week is Real Estate Week on The Morning Show. 

Once you've realized you are ready to sell your home and decided to hire a realtor to do the heavy lifting, there are some things you should know. 

Realtors have the knowledge to guide consumers through the buying or selling process. They are specialists at this role: is their job – they do it daily.  For most people, it’s the largest purchase or sale you will ever make.

According to Marc Jernigan, former president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors states that there are three things you should know. 

As a seller or potential buyer you should know what qualifications they possess. 

1) What professional certifications or designations does your realtor have?

Many realtors continue to increase their knowledge through education courses. There are a multitude of education programs offered through the realtor organization, including those that require completion of specific educational criteria and cover a specific field of study. Those that require completion of specific requirements to achieve a specialist status within a particular area of focus are called designation or certification courses. These programs of study are (most often) conferred by the National Association of Realtors and are indicative of a realtor's advanced education and experience in a particular discipline. These specialty designations are available to realtors only. Here is a link to the current list of certifications and designations. https://www.nar.realtor/education/designations-and-certifications


Home sellers and buyers may utilize real estate agents in various aspects. With that in mind, one should communicate exactly what is expected between the relationship. 


 2) What will be your realtor's role in representing you?

Most states, including Florida, require a real estate agent to explain his or her role at the outset of any conversation. A realtor should promptly provide this type of information, which is called a disclosure. Look for a realtor who:

  • Explains and discloses agency relationships (agency relationships refers to the role of the agent, i.e., who they are representing - the buyer or the seller)
  • Advises you on how to prepare your home for the market
  • Shows interest in your property, listens attentively, instills confidence, operates in a professional manner, and has a complementary personality style to yours
  • Has already researched your property in public records (and the Multiple Listing Service, if applicable based on prior sales)
  • Brings data on nearby homes that have sold, or failed to sell, recently


3) Does your property belong in the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? Assuming so, what have you listed or sold in my area recently?

Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of realtors that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region. For most realtors, this is a given.