Everything You Need To Know About Real Estate Agents
Buying or selling a home is often the largest financial transaction the average American will have. That said, it is very important to hire a real estate agent that is experienced, professional, and, most importantly, good at their job. Here's what you need to know.
What is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is a professional who helps people buy or sell property. In most cases, real estate agents work for brokerages, and they are paid a commission for their services.
Is a real estate agent the same as a Realtor?
Yes and no. Both a real estate agent and a Realtor are licensed by the state to sell real estate in your area. The word Realtor is trademarked. Only members of the National Association of Realtors can use the term and, yes, it is capitalized.
Are there different types of real estate agents?
There are many different types of real estate agents, each with a specific job to do, including:
A buyer's agent is a real estate professional who represents the interests of the buyer in a property transaction. The buyer's agent is hired by the buyer to find a suitable property, negotiate the purchase contract on the buyer's behalf, and coordinate all aspects of the home-buying process.
Also called the listing agent, this type of real estate agent represents the seller of a property. The seller's agent is responsible for marketing the property, negotiating the purchase contract on the seller's behalf, and coordinating all aspects of the sale.
In some states, it's legal for one agent to work with both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. This is called dual agency, and it's important to understand the potential conflict of interest that exists when an agent represents both parties.
Sometimes, the listing agent will enlist the help of other agents in their office to show the property to prospective buyers. These agents are called subagents.
A real estate broker is a step up from a real estate agent. While not a 'boss', brokers do oversee the work of the other real estate agents in their office, making sure everything is ethical and helping other agents when needed. A broker generally has more experience and training than an agent. In most states, brokers also have to take additional coursework and pass a higher-level exam in order to get their license.
What does a real estate agent do?
The most important thing a real estate agent does is act as your advocate. A good agent will help you negotiate the best possible price and terms for your home and will look out for your best interests throughout the entire process.
Real estate agents play a vital role in the home buying and selling process. They are responsible for helping to connect buyers with sellers, and they also provide essential advice and guidance throughout the transaction. In addition, real estate agents are often intimately familiar with the local market, which can be invaluable for buyers and sellers alike. If you're considering buying or selling a home, working with a real estate agent is a great way to ensure that the process goes smoothly.