By Carol Kinsley

Whether you are looking for a house to buy or have property to sell, you owe it to yourself to have a realtor help you. Beau Zebley, president of the Delaware Association of Realtors, explains why.

“Imagine having a good friend whom you can rely on to ‘tell it to you straight’ and protect your interests. Even if you have that relationship with someone who offers to help you, that person may not know much about real estate.”

The term “realtor” identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has vowed to treat all clients by a strict Code of Ethics. Not every licensee has taken that vow, Zebley said, but approximately 4,100 members of the Delaware Association of Realtors have.

For buyers, working with a realtor can help to ease the burden of the experience while avoid costly mistakes.

• A realtor is your main advocate, a market expert, and an expert negotiating “tiger” all wrapped up into one.

• A realtor will help you determine your buying power and has access to multiple resources to help you find the right home. 

• A realtor knows the ins and outs of every neighborhood and what’s available in your price range, within parameters that you establish. You may have seen a house online that you like, but your realtor probably already knows that house and can provide objective information. For example, do you know that the street backs up to a railroad track? Or that there are high-powered electric lines nearby? “If we know there are problems with a property, it is our duty to point them out. That’s our obligation to our client,” Zebley said.

• A realtor finds your dream home and protects your right to it.

• A realtor uses the industry’s leading market data to help negotiate the best possible price. 

Sellers also find advantages to partnering with a realtor:

• Access to current market data, prices, financing, and terms and conditions of competing properties, etc.

• Assurance that your property is marketed to other real estate agents and the public

• Analysis of when, where, and how you can best market your property

• Objective evaluation of every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position

• Expert negotiations

• Support during the closing process

Throughout the process, whether you are buying or selling, the extensive engagements realtors forge in their communities — from volunteering to advocating for the rights of property owners — creates a wealth of knowledge and experience that support you. That network can include everything from mortgage brokers to attorneys to home stagers and landscapers, and others. 

To find a realtor, visit and click “consumer” at the top of the page. You will find a wealth of information there to help you.