Whether you're planning on buying or selling a home, choosing the right Real Estate Agent is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Whatever your opinions of real estate agents are; they are undoubtedly an important cog in the real estate home buying and selling machinery. What's more, experienced real estate agents usually have contacts with good inspectors, mortgage loan brokers, and others who can make your buying process easier. For this reason, almost all home buyers enlist the services of a Real estate agent or broker to help them with this complex transaction. In fact, barely a real estate deal is brokered without the services of a real estate agent.
Brokers, Realtors and Agents
The terms broker, Realtor, and real estate agent are often used interchangeably, but have very different meanings. A real estate agent is a person licensed by the state to handle Real estate sales. In the U.S., all real estate agents have to be licensed by the state they work for. "Realtor" is a proper noun; it is a title only conferred upon real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. And a real estate broker is a realtor who has yet more training and a different license than either real estate agents or realtors. Most real estate agents are independent salespeople who provide their services on behalf of a licensed real estate broker. These brokers become the sponsor and attest to the integrity of the real estate agents.
Buying a Home
The most important thing you can do when buying a home is to choose the right real estate agent before you start looking. An experienced real estate agent will help you find the home of your dreams and provide you objective information about each property, and give you advice based on years of experience. Good real estate agents must get along well with buyers and sellers. Most real estate agents are seller's agents, meaning they only represent sellers' interests (to the disadvantage of buyers). A buyer's agent is a real estate agent whose primary objective is to get the buyer lowest price possible on the home they want. Any licensed real estate agent in the United States can legally act as a "buyer's agent," although not all have experience doing so. Satisfaction with real estate agents is very high, with 85% of buyers saying they were likely to use the agent again.
Selling a Home
When selling a home, a real estate agent can be an indispensable resource. Determine the value of any home on the market by asking your real estate agent for a competitive market analysis. A real estate agent can also help you objectively evaluate buyer proposals, and then, finally, help you close the sale. In return for selling a house, real estate agents get to keep a small part of the money that the buyer paid for it. Commissions on sales are the main source of earnings of real estate agents and brokers. If the homeowner can market their home effectively they can save the real estate agent commission. Likewise, the amount a real estate agent charges is negotiable.
The real estate agent's commission is a sizeable sum, so be clear on the details. Don't sign anything including a contract for representation by a real estate agent until it has been explained to your full satisfaction. A real estate agent's commission is typically paid by the seller at the house closing or settlement.
Post Agreement Work
Once a person agrees to buy a house, real estate agents still have work to do. A real estate agent will help you negotiate and also steer you through the closing process to make sure everything goes smoothly. Your real estate agent will continue to monitor the loan application process for the buyer and will coordinate appointments with home inspectors and appraisers. Unfortunately, some real estate agents view a thorough and non-bias home inspection as a threat to their sales commission. Though few real estate agents will admit this to sellers. In the world of home inspection, there is an artificial marketplace controlled by real estate agents. Unfortunately many inspectors rely upon real estate agents to steer clients their way. The best way to qualify the relationship is to ask the inspector whether he or she solicits real estate agents for client leads. An inspector who claims to have no real estate agent affiliations doesn't necessarily mean they do not solicit real estate agents for client leads.
Experience is Key
An experienced real estate agent can save or make you thousands, so finding the right agent is important. You want to hire the top-rated real estate agent in your area to represent you.
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