What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

A real estate agent can be described as a professional who assists people in buying and selling properties. There’s much more to real estate than this, it’s said right here. Here is a guide to what real estate agents do (and don’t do) and the roles they can play in real estate transactions.

What does it mean to be a real-estate agent?

Real Estate agents are licensed professionals that facilitate real estate transactions between sellers and buyers. The agent representing the buyer in a transaction is, as you might guess, the listing agent. You can choose to work with a residential or commercial real estate agent when you want to sell or buy a house.

Both sides of the transaction make money by earning a commission. This is usually paid by the seller. The commission paid to each agent is a percentage from the sale price. The combined commission usually totals 5% or 6.

State licensing is required for real estate agents. Agents must pass an exam and undergo training to obtain a license. Agents are required to continue their education in order to keep their license active. Check the website of your state’s real estate commission to verify that an agent has been licensed. You can also search for the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials website.

Additional certifications and accreditations can help agents when selling or buying properties. If you are looking to buy a condo you may want an agent who is a Certified Condominium Specialist. A person who is familiar with the developments in your area and has knowledge of condo transactions could be a valuable asset.

Realtor vs. real estate agent

Many people use the terms Realtor and real estate agent interchangeably. However, that’s like using the term Band-Aid to refer to an adhesive bandage. All bandages may not be Band-Aids and all Realtors are not Realtors. (Remember, Realtor is a trademark licensed by the Trademark Office.)

A Realtor is a licensed agent that is also a member of National Association of Realtors. NAR is the largest U.S. trade association, and many real estate agents are members of NAR. To maintain their NAR status, Realtors must adhere to the code of ethics and standards set forth by NAR.

NAR isn’t the only trade association that agents can join. There are many national associations that include the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, in addition to local and state associations. NAREB, which promotes social justice, housing equality, names its members Realtists.

Real estate agent vs. broker

Agents who have completed additional training and obtained licensing are called real estate brokers. Brokers are required to supervise agents, but they can also work as independent contractors or supervisors within the brokerage. The brokerage model allows the broker to receive a percentage of the agent’s commission.

Ask potential agents if they are a real-estate broker. It’s possible to not want to pursue a high-profile broker only to discover that you will be mostly working with their assistant.

Discount real estate brokers might also be mentioned. These brokerage networks are usually larger and connect home sellers with agents who will take a lower commission. Although it might be cheaper to work with a discount brokerage, there are tradeoffs. These brokers may not offer all the services that a listing agent would.

What all real estate agents do

Your real estate agent can help you with many aspects of the transaction, regardless of whether you are on the selling or buying side.

Here are the things you can expect a real estate agent to do.

  • A deep understanding of the local area. This includes information about the area, including property values and comparable sales.
  • Learn the process. While the basics of selling and buying are obvious, your agent must also be familiar with local and state real property laws and practices. They will tell you what and who you’ll require it.
  • Answer all your questions. You might be unfamiliar with terms and find it difficult to understand if you are buying or selling for the first time. What is the difference between contingent and pending? Why is title insurance necessary? What are the disclosure forms you must complete? It should not be difficult for your agent to explain everything confidently and competently.
  • Make sure you take care of all paperwork. Sometimes, the agent may be responsible for drafting the contract. Although this might not be the case, agents will often review all documents in the transaction. Once you have signed off, the agent will send the paperwork to your name.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Your agent will be your intermediary between buyers and sellers. Buyers and seller rarely meet, which is probably the best. The agent will keep in touch with them on the other side of transactions and guide you through negotiations once an offer has been accepted. The agent will keep you and the other parties informed about the status of the transaction. Closing a home can be a long process and it is easy to get frustrated if you don’t know what’s happening.
  • Offer support. A good agent will offer support. Your agent should be there to give you a shoulder, a reality check, or a pep-talk.

Another thing: Your agent must represent your interests throughout the transaction, so learn more. Depending on whether you are the buyer or seller, the best price can mean two different things. Dual agency is a single agent representing both parties. It’s illegal in certain states. You should also know if your agent holds any interest in the transaction (e.g. if the property owner is a relative).

What buyers agents do

An buyer’s agent assists their clients in buying homes. Although agents can only work with buyers, it is common for them to also help sellers and buyers. A listing agent will often be retained by a person who is selling their house and purchasing a new home. Dual agency is not possible because the home sale as well as the home purchase are separate transactions.

Agents for buyers will:

  • Pay attention to what you like and don’t like. It will allow them to better determine which homes will appeal to you by knowing what is essential and what can be negotiated. Your agent will also need to know your price range, both your maximum and your ideal price.
  • Locate potential homes. You should find new listings through your agent, but it is common for people to scroll through real-estate apps. This means that you will likely also send listings to your agent. You can assist them by viewing the property in the Multiple Listing Service (or MLS). This allows licensed agents to access information that is not available to the general public. These details can include information about the condition of the sale or potential problems with the property.
  • Talk to the listing agents. To answer your questions and arrange showings, your buyer’s agent will contact listing agents. Sometimes sellers might be bold enough to request a copy your mortgage preapproval. Your agent will handle these requests.
  • Refer others. A home sale can involve a surprising number parties. It’s best to hire your own home inspector . However, an agent should be able refer you to other agents as required.
  • Make and submit offers. Your agent will help you create a bid for the home that you like and then submit it to the agent. Good agents will know the expectations of local sellers and be able to discuss considerations with you.

Another important fact about buyer’s agent: Although you will sign a contract with them to work with them in the future, the seller will pay their commission.

What do listing agents do?

A listing agent will help you sell your house. If you are moving to a new home, it is quite common for the listing agent who sold your home to also be your buyer’s representative. You, the seller, are responsible for the commissions of both agents on your home sale. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your listing agent meets all requirements.

While listing agents can handle the same tasks as buyers agents, there are some tasks that are unique to sellers agents.

  • Price your home. To properly price your house, a listing agent will inspect your property and ask questions about repairs and upgrades. They can also show you comparable properties.
  • Pre-sale preparation suggestions. Your agent might suggest some adjustments to help you get the best price for your home. This could include fixing any issues that may be discovered during a home inspection, and decluttering, depersonalizing, or home staging.
  • Promote your home. A professional photographer will take photos of your house and create a strong listing for you on the MLS. Advertising, open houses, and networking with other agents are all possible marketing options.
  • Potential buyers should be vetted. It’s more than just about separating potential buyers from those who are actually planning to buy. To allow buyers to view a property in person, sellers can request a preapproval letter or proof of funds. To assess the seriousness of buyers, the listing agent will meet with them and arrange for in-person tours.
  • We can guide you through multiple offers. It can be exciting to have multiple offers for your home, but also stressful. You should consult your agent to determine the best offer for you. It might not be the most expensive offer or the highest amount of cash. However, certain contingencies and a rent back deal could make a lower offer more appealing.

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