Learn About the REALTORS® Code of Ethics

The REALTORS®’ Code of Ethics was established in 1913 by the National Association of REALTORS®. It’s a set of rules that were established to raise the standards of professionalism and service in the real estate industry. The rules are divided into three areas: 1) a broker’s duties to his clients, 2) a broker’s duties to his fellow brokers and 3) a broker’s duties to the public. The current Code of Ethics contains seventeen articles.

Over its one hundred year history, the Code of Ethics has been amended and revised to keep up with the changing times. Local REALTOR® Associations are charged with enforcing the Code of Ethics and handing down punishment to those found to be in violation of one or more of the articles.

To keep REALTORS® up to date on the Code of Ethics, the National Association of REALTORS® requires all REALTORS® to take a training course on the subject every four years.

In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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Should I Get a Home Inspection?

There are many good reasons why both a buyer and a seller should get a home inspection. The buyer wants to know if there are any problems with the property that might prevent them from purchasing it. The seller needs to find out if there are any issues that should be fixed prior to placing their home on the market.

Here are some of the more common problems discovered by home inspectors:

Roofing – Many roofs are found to be beyond there normal life expectancy. Most lenders require that a roof have at least three to five years of life remaining, so many times a new roof will be required in order to meet this standard. More minor issues could be popped nail heads or flashing issues around a chimney or in a valley.

Ceiling damage – Most ceiling damage is caused by water. Either rain water that’s leaked through the roof, or a plumbing leak. The source of the leak will need to be determined and fixed prior to repairing and/or painting the ceiling.

Electrical – The most dangerous problems discovered at home inspections can be attributed to electrical issues. Many of the problems found are overloaded circuits, connections not in junction boxes, improper grounding, and no GFI’s to name a few.

Drainage – Improper drainage around a house often leads to water intrusion into the basement area, which can cause wood rot, mold, mildew, fungi and the like.

Wood rot – This is caused by wood being exposed to water for extended periods of time. The wood will eventually loose its supporting strength, and it will need to be replaced.

Fireplaces – Many of the issues with fireplaces and chimneys have to do with firebox deterioration, damper doors not opening and closing properly, improper venting, and masonry cracks. 

Plumbing – The majority of the plumbing issues are usually fairly minor in nature. Many times it’s leaking faucets, toilets, and drain lines. Another common problem is too much water pressure, which is caused by a faulty pressure reducing valve.

Water heaters – Most water heater problems found are improper electrical connections, pop off valve lines not properly routed, and the water temperature set too high.

Mold & Radon – These can be two of the biggest deal killers. You’ll need to hire a professional to test for these items to determine if there is a problem. Once you have the results you can then decide if any action is needed, and what the costs would be to correct it.

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Real Estate Careers on the Rise

More people are securing careers in real estate as the housing market shows signs of improving. Many REALTOR® Associations are reporting an increase in membership applications. The picture of just how many people are making the move into real estate is still unclear at this point.

The real estate industry lost a number of real estate professionals over the last four to five years, because there were not enough sales to support them. Many have remained in the business, but on a part time basis. They’ve been forced to take another job, just to make ends meet. As the market continues to improve, many of these folks will return to the business full time.

If you are considering a career in real estate or returning to the business, then check us out at www.TopofKnox.com.

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Why Choose a LeadingRE Firm?

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a network of over 500 of the very best real estate firms that are located in over 40 countries. These firms have 4,000 offices with 120,000 sales associates. In 2012 these firms had sales of $272 billion dollars representing over one million transactions, which placed Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® #1 in sales volume in the United States.

Sales volume numbers for 2012 were as follows:
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® – $272 billion
Coldwell Banker – $200 billion
Re/Max – $188 billion
Prudential – $126 billion
Keller Williams – $119 billion
Century 21 – $107 billion
Sotheby’s $53 billion
Real Living – $37 billion
ERA – $23 billion
Realty Executives – $17 billion
Better Homes & Gardens – $11 billion

Firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® can offer sellers global exposure of their home in addition to strong marketing expertise at the local level. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has the resources to market your property to the highest possible number of potential buyers. With 120,000 talented associates around the world, they expose your property to buyers on six continents ensuring more eyes are on your property. In addition they receive inbound clients from other affiliates around the globe who are interested in purchasing a home.

If you are looking for the best real estate firm to sell your home, then you need to consider a firm that’s affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.

Source: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

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Another Agent Had This to Say About Ferguson Realtors

An agent that recently joined Ferguson Realtors had this to say:

“I knew it was time for a change and took a chance on a company that was not a franchise. The Ferguson Company has been hands down the most supportive company I have experienced. The broker and staff are always available to answer questions, and I receive numerous qualified leads.”

Note: Ferguson Realtors has been an invited member of the Network and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® for over 40 years.

Check us out at www.TopofKnox.com.

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Make Your Home Stand-out When Selling

When selling your home you need to highlight its strengths and focus on its features. Here’s a list of places to start:

1. Make a lasting first impression – Curb appeal is extremely important. Make sure your lawn and shrubbery are neatly trimmed. The front door should be clean and dust free. If it needs a fresh coat of paint, then paint it.

2. Don’t hesitate to decorate – Faded walls and worn woodwork won’t sell your home. A small investment in paint will do wonders.

3.  Let the sun shine in – Open drapes and curtains. Clean the windows. Home buyers are drawn to bright, cheery interiors.

4. Bathrooms are big sellers – Make bathrooms shine. Clean the sinks and toilets thoroughly. Re-caulk vanity tops and tile as needed. Make sure that you are displaying fresh neatly folded towels.

5. Wake up your bedrooms – Remove excess furniture. Use colorful sheets and bed spreads. Open the drapes and let the light in.

6. Pay close attention to the details – Loose door knobs, sticking drawers, wobbly hinges and stuck windows can all cost you the sale.

7. Call the plumber – Have those leaky faucets fixed. Make sure the drains are running free and clear. Clean those rust stains from the tub and bowls.

8. Buyers love big closets – They look even bigger when they are clean, neat and well organized. Remove as much as possible. Either give it away or place it in storage.

9. Lighten up – By day let the sun shine in. By night turn on all lighting in advance of  showings. Make sure that you replace any bulbs that are not working. Add accent lighting to wall hangings, fireplaces and other unique features of the home.

10. Leave it to the professionals – Let your REALTOR® handle the showings and negotiations. They’ve been carefully trained and will look out for your best interest.

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Here’s What an Agent Says About Ferguson Realtors

I have worked for Ferguson Realtors for 16 years and they have promoted, supported and help grow my professional career in real estate. Ferguson Realtors is always on the cutting edge of technology with high quality video, photos, websites and creative ideas in advertising to get homes Sold! Their ethics and integrity, that is the Ferguson name, is also unparalleled in the business. Ferguson Realtors has a personable and friendly atmosphere to work in, while being one of the leading Realtors in the industry. Ferguson Realtors is a company that I am proud to say that I hold my license with and plan to continue my career with for years to come.

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Come Join Us at Ferguson Realtors

We offer our agents:
•No franchise fees
•Signs and copies at no charge
•Choice of commission plans
•Listings promoted on over 50 high traffic internet domains
•State-of-the-art visual marketing
•High quality on-line training at no charge
•Company generated business
•Managing broker with over 50 years of experience
•Member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Go to www.TopofKnox.com to find out more.

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Views on Housing Vary by Age Group

Younger Americans are more likely to think owning a home is attainable but not necessarily a good investment, while older Americans believe the opposite, according to a Country Financial Security Index survey.

Here’s a breakdown on the survey results:

Think owning a home is attainable for a typical middle-income family by age group 
18-29 / 49%
30-39 / 50%
40-49 / 45%
50-64 / 43%
65 and over / 36%

Think buying a home is the best investment families can make by age group –
18-29 / 37%
30-39 / 37%
40-49 / 44%
50-64 / 48%
65 and over / 51%

Source: Council of Residential Specialists

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