All About Real Estate Agents

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Who're They...

Real estate agents are professionals instrumental in connecting the customer with the seller.
Additionally, many real estate agents manage rentals wherein they introduce tenants to landlords and oversee taking care of the property for the landlords.
In most areas real estate agents have to be highly educated, licensed and therefore are regulated by a governing body.
Some real estate professionals are also Realtors.
To use the title Realtor, a realtor must be a member of the National Association of Realtors which as well as a number of other requirements, requires Realtors that you follow a strict code of ethics while offering Realtors additional educational and designation opportunities.
Though not necessary by rule or law, it might be a wise decision to get the services of a Realtor.

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What Do They Do....

Real estate agents gather two or more interested parties, perform those steps necessary to successfully conclude a transaction and charge a commission for their services.
For sales transactions, they charge commission to the seller while for rentals, commission is usually charged the landlord.
Real estate agents generally calculate their fee as a percentage of the price tag (in the case of a sale) so when part of the rent to book units.

How Do They are doing It...

People who want to sell or rent their house leave details of their home with the real estate agent.
In addition to all property details the property agent will typically have keys to the house to facilitate showings.
Another interested party (i.e. the buyer/tenant), gets use of this information and to the property by contacting real estate agent.
That's the way the real estate agent becomes a hub of knowledge.
Contrary to some common misconceptions, realtors typically represent the vendor or the buyer but rarely both.

Why must I Use One...

First of all, to protect yourself. Real-estate transactions are highly regulated, highly paper (document) intensive transactions.
Real estate agent possesses an intensive knowledge of the laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and documentation required to successfully complete the transaction for the satisfaction of the buyer, the seller and the law.

Because realtors are most familiar with local real estate market conditions, it is advisable and makes sense to find the advice of one to obtain an idea of the current trends and pricing for properties within that market.
A great real estate agent will know the prices (or cost range) of various properties of numerous types and at various locations inside the region.

Because of the realtor's knowledge and expertise, property sellers are often a few thousand dollars more for his or her property.

Many home seekers, including seasoned property investors use the services of real estate agents to discover the best real estate bargains inside the easiest and quickest manner.

Furthermore, the best agents analyze the needs and wants of a home buyer/tenant and supply valuable input as to the kinds of properties at hand within their budget. Therefore, a great real estate agent will not just present a summary of available properties to the buyer/tenant but will actually discuss their requirements and make suggestions.

The nice real estate agent, working in this way benefits in no less than two ways...
First and a lot obviously, when the realtor is able to successfully complete the transaction the commission is earned and the real estate agent is paid...
and secondly, if they make the customer/client happy they earn a good reputation and often receive referrals (hence more business).

Worth Noting...

It is worth noting that you have a myth floating around that real estate agents only work on behalf from the seller, buyer beware.
This is not written in stone nor is it always the case. Real estate professionals are, in most regions, highly regulated.
With few exceptions, real estate professionals work either for the owner (as is the case with lots of listing agents) and the buyer (as is the case for a buyer's agent).
Additionally, some areas permit dual agency where a realtor can work for both the seller and also the buyer or as a transaction broker the location where the agent represents the transaction itself nor the seller nor buyer individually.
However, when it comes to dual agency/transaction brokerage, note that rule, regulation (law) and ethics usually do not permit the agent to do something in favor of either party during detriment to the other.
If you are unsure of the relationship between you and your real estate agent, do not hesitate to inquire about.