Purchasing or selling real estate, especially residential, can be a confusing and stressful time. In fact, it can be one of the most complicated transactions you might go through in life. This is where a good real estate agent comes to the rescue. Real estate professionals will make sure the process from start to finish runs smoothly. Finding the right real estate professional is very important during the home-buying process.
A real estate agent can represent a buyer, seller, landlord or renter. In order to be a real estate agent, you must be licensed and qualified. To do this, you need to complete the required courses and pass the real estate exam. Real estate agents can choose to specialize in certain areas such as rentals, sales or purchases.
There are two types of real estate professionals in the industry which are a Realtor and a real estate agent. Even though many people think of these two terms as one in the same, they are different.
A real estate agent has completed the courses and passed the exams to become a licensed agent. A real estate agent will have to work for a broker because they cannot work independently. Even though they cannot work as an agent on their own does not mean they have to work certain days or hours. An agent can make their own work schedule.
A Realtor is a real estate agent or broker that has joined the area’s realtor association. The national association in the United States is the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and in Canada it is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). You not only need to be a part of your local realtor association but also abide by the strict ethics and code of conduct. When you are part of the NAR you will have continuing education to make sure you are up to date with the local real estate practices.
A Realtor can also be an agent or a broker. The broker is usually the owner or manager of a real estate company. In order to become a broker, you have to have advanced training and a more extensive license. A broker can also work independently and does not have to be under another broker.
When you hear the term listing agent, this means this is a real estate agent that works with a seller or a landlord. They are responsible for listing the home and marketing the home to potential buyers. A listing agent will be able to set a realistic listing price, have professional photos and videos taken of the home, show you what needs to be updated or fixed before selling, put your property online via MLS (multiple listing service), create marketing materials, find potential buyers, show the property, have open houses, negotiate with the buyer and be the liaison between the seller and the buyer/buyer’s agent.
A buying agent does the same for a buyer. Their main goal is to find a home for their client (the potential homebuyer) that is in the price range and matches their requirements. They will search online and in person for a property, filter out properties that do not match their client’s needs, assist with paperwork, submit and negotiate offers and help arrange home inspections.
Remember using a real estate agent or a Realtor is your best option. They will help you with the process from start to finish getting you the best deal possible. If you do not know an agent, ask around, friends, co-workers, family and neighbors will know of an agent. Remember to always interview an agent and check their references to make sure they are a great fit for you.