Many Americans have seen the advertisements on television, and heard them on the radio. "Did you use a Realtor?" "I don't know, I have a real estate agent - what's the difference?". Yeah, what the heck is a Realtor®, anyway? A Realtor® is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Realtors in Santa Cruz are also members of the California Association of Realtors, as well as the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors. This is a professional trade organization whose goal is to assure that every member Realtor is a trustworthy agent for you to do business with.
Realtors must abide by a strict Code of Ethics if they want to stay a Realtor. Realtors who are in violation of the Code can be reported to their local Board of Realtors. Complaints against Realtors often result in the Realtor facing a review board, and possibly being expelled from the organization.
Realtors also must subscribe to the Multiple Listing Service. This is the computer database that holds all the listings of homes for sale in our MLS Area. The Santa Cruz MLS is part of RE Info Link. Listings from members of Real Estate boards in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Jose, San Benito, and Monterey counties will all appear in the same MLS. Anyone can access our local MLS over the Internet, but only a Realtor can access the full MLS, through members-only web sites, and through special desktop software only available to members of RE InfoLink.
How else can a Realtor help? A Realtor can get a Buyer access to many properties, through the use of the Realtor's SupraKey. This SupraKey opens the "key safe" or "lock box" that a property's Listing agent leaves secured to the outside of the property which is for sale. The Buyer's Realtor simply enters his personal code into the SupraKey, and the key tells the lock box to open, releasing the key so that the door may be opened.
Beyond the technology, though, you want a Realtor because you want a professional. Realtors are dedicated students of the market. They can help both Buyers and Sellers navigate the often rough waters of Santa Cruz Real Estate.
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