Real Estate Professionals
What is a Professional Real Estate Agent and What Does He/She Do?
A real estate professional is a career agent. As such, this individual will stay informed on local, national and property related issues. The career agent will know the real estate industry and their clients. A professional will place their clients' interest before their own and will focus on service, not sales.
What is the Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor®?
A Realtor® is a real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors and has agreed to follow their Code of Ethics.
What is the Difference Between a Buyer's Agent and Listing Agent?
The listing agent represents the home seller and has a fiduciary responsibility to protect their financial interests. Likewise, the buyer's agent has a similar relationship and responsibility to protect the financial and personal interests of the buyer.
Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?
Am I Required to Use an Agent?
No. If you have in-depth knowledge of the area, know how to determine property values or can research the sales trends for houses in a particular area in the last few months, feel comfortable drafting and/or signing legal contracts, are confident during financial negotiations and have the time, energy and desire to find a home on your own, you can.
If you decide to fly solo, you will probably be working directly with the listing agent. You should remember the listing agent is hired to protect the seller's interests, not yours. If you want an agent to protect your fiduciary interests, you should use a buyer's agent to represent you and sign an Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement.
Why Should I Use a Real Estate Agent or Realtor®?
Using a real estate professional makes buying a home easier. As experts in the field, professional agents can guide you as you search for your next home, they can offer service and assistance as you enter the maze of home ownership, and they can recommend service providers to get you what you need. By offering you the advice and resources when you need them most, an agent can save you time and money. For example, a real estate agent can:
- Manage the contractual paperwork, forms and other necessary documents
- Offer you impartial opinions on the house's current value based on recent sales for similar homes in the area, the condition of a particular property, and investment considerations — such as future marketability
- Recommend quality professional services — from lawyers and financial officers to contractors and inspectors
- Create a list of properties that meet your criteria and show you those that interest you
- Offer you access to the previous sales and tax data on homes that interest you
- Guide and advise you during the negotiation process
Can I Use The Listing Agent As My Own Agent?
Yes, you may. However, it isn't a good idea… If an agent is serving in both roles, he/she works as a “mediator” and helps the two parties to come to an agreement, but does not help either party in as much depth. As a buyer, you are not benefited by this relationship. Just because the agent is a listing agent for one home doesn't mean that he/she can't be your buyer's agent for a property that he/she hasn't listed.
How Do I Select a Real Estate Agent?
Does the agent listen carefully to your responses and ask further questions to clarify your needs and to determine your desires?
- Is the agent ACTIVELY listening to your responses or have they already “jumped ahead” to showing you homes for sale? An agent should listen intently and then ask additional questions to determine your real needs. For instance, if you have small children, the agent might ask how important it is that you have other children nearby of similar ages. A good agent should help you find a home that matches your life, not just your price range.
Does The Agent Act On The Information You Offer?
- Many agents get excited about a house or a neighborhood they like personally, rather than listening to your needs and determining the best matching homes for your specific situation. The home buying process should be about you and what you want, not about the agent, what the agent wants, or what the agent wants you to have.
Does The Agent Seem To Rush You Or Give You “Sales Talk” Rather Than Service?
- Some agents are pushy and more concerned about making a sale than providing you with the best possible service. A professional real agent is someone who helps you fully define your needs and then works with you to locate options in your price range, in areas that appeal to you, and with the amenities you seek.
Did The Agent Provide You With A List Of References, Without You Requesting Them?
- A professional real estate agent will offer you references.