What Is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a qualified professional who lays out real estate transactions, setting sellers and buyers together and acting as their rep in negotiations.
Real estate agents generally are totally compensated by a commission, a percentage of the property’s purchase price, so their income depends on their ability to close a deal. In nearly every state, a real estate agent needs to work for or be associated with a real estate broker (a brokerage firm or an individual) who is more skilled and licensed to a higher degree.
How a Real Estate Agent Works.
Real estate agents usually specialize in either residential or commercial real estate. Either way, they perform varied responsibilities, depending on whether they assist the seller or the buyer.
Agents who work for the seller, also called listing agents, advise clients on how to evaluate the property and prepare it for sale, such as supplying tips on last-minute enhancements that can boost the price or push quick offers. Seller agents market the property through listing services, networking, and ads.
The buyer’s real estate agents look for available properties matching the buyer’s price range and wish list. These agents often look at previous sales data on comparable properties to help prospective buyers propose a fair bid.
Agents serve as mediators for the principal parties, toting offers and counteroffers and other questions to and fro. Once a bid is approved, agents on both sides normally continue to work, supporting their clients through the paperwork, conveying communications, suggesting on inspections and relocating, and commonly guiding the deal to closing.
Consumers need to understand whether a real estate agent works with the buyer, the seller, or both parties; obviously, the agent’s loyalty can significantly influence several details of the transaction, including the final price.
State laws manage whether an agent can stand for both parties in a real estate transaction, technically known as “dual agency.” Agents must disclose their representation to ensure that sellers and buyers take note of any conflicts of interest.
Real Estate Agent vs. Real Estate Broker.
The precise definitions of and characteristics between a real estate agent and a real estate broker vary among states. Typically, however, anyone who obtains a basic real estate license (which involves taking a particular number of approved courses and passing an exam) could be called a real estate agent. A real estate agent is generally a salesperson qualified to help consumers sell or buy a property.
A real estate broker is a step up the professional food chain. Brokers have extra training and learning that have authorized them to pass a higher licensing exam; most states also require them to have a particular amount of previous experience as an active real estate agent.
Brokers handle the technical aspects of the real estate transaction. A consumer signs a contract with a brokerage, not the individual agent. In several states, brokers’ further certification certifies them to handle other legal and monetary components of a deal, such as handling the earnest money deposit and setting up the escrow account.
Brokers typically own a firm or a franchise. They might be solo practitioners, but they must attain another higher-level license if they want to hire agents or other brokers to do the job under them.
As mentioned earlier, a real estate agent often can not work alone but must function through a real estate broker. A few states like Colorado and New Mexico mandate every single real estate professional to become authorized as a broker.
Generally, though, agents work with brokers and split commissions with them.
A lot of real estate brokers and sales agents are self-employed. While they often work irregular hours, many can set up their own itineraries.
How to Become a Real Estate Broker or Sales Agent.
Every state calls for real estate brokers and agents to be authorized. Requirements change by state but typically require candidates to be a minimum of 18 years old, finish a number of hours of real estate or university courses, and pass a certification exam.
How Do You Get A Real Estate Agent?
The best real estate agent is a knowledgeable professional who listens closely to your concerns and knows your local market. That particular person might not always work at the leading brokerage, finalize the most transactions, or make the most money.
Real estate professionals have a saying that 20% of the agents do 80% of this business. Your goal is to find one among that 20% to work with you, but it’s not as tricky as you might think.
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