For more than 110 years, the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR) has served as the Voice of Real Estate in the Charleston area. The organization provides essential services for Realtors in the Charleston metro, including advocacy, education, governance, networking and MLS services. 

Realtors aren’t just licensed agents. Realtors are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge in the process of buying and selling real estate. They are professionals dedicated to providing one of the most important parts of our lives: shelter. 

Realtors know the market — down to the street level data of a neighborhood. As of July 2019, we’ve seen 11,021 residential real estate closings, which is down half a percent from last year. Regional median price is up nearly 5%, to $277,500. Inventory is about 6% lower than it was at this point last year, with 5,634 homes listed as “active” for sale in the CHS Regional MLS database at the end of July. 

Those are all simple market metrics — and won’t tell you a whole lot about exactly how to price your home if you’re selling or the price point you can expect to find your dream home in if you’re buying, but a Realtor can dig deeper into the data to help you get or make the best deal possible.  

Real estate transactions are usually the biggest financial investment people make in their lifetime, so it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable and trusted professional. There are many factors to consider when buying or selling a home and a Realtor can offer invaluable insight — insight that may save you time, money or from making costly missteps in the process. Real estate transactions can be complex; a Realtor can make a difference. 

This is the Realtor difference for home buyers:

An expert guide

Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language. 

Objective information and opinions

Realtors provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. Realtors can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.

Property marketing power

Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a Realtor, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Realtors will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property. 

Negotiation knowledge

There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A Realtor will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step. 

Up-to-date experience

Most people only sell a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. Realtors handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career. 

Your rock during emotional moments

A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you. 

Ethical treatment

Every Realtor must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a Realtor’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. 

Megan Weinrich is the director of communications and marketing for the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors and the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the trusted voice for Lowcountry real estate information for more than 100 years