There are many things to consider when buying, selling, and moving into a new home. One of the things you have to focus on is finding a real estate agent who best meets your needs. You can do this by comparing the types of real estate agents and studying the different services they can provide.
There are several types of agents available, each specializing in various areas of real estate and the home-buying and home-selling processes. They are as follows:
Real Estate Agents – A real estate agent is a licensed sales person specializing in the selling of real estate. Real estate agents cannot work independently. Rather, they are employed by, and must report to, a real estate broker.
Real Estate Broker – In addition to overseeing the activities of the real estate agents in the firm, the broker handles the sale of real estate and arranges for loans. The broker also oversees purchase contract terms and acts as the intermediary between buyers and sellers during a sale.
Broker Associate – Before one becomes a real estate broker, they often serve as a broker associate at a large broker association. Rather than working independently, broker associates usually work for the broker employing them.
Realtor® – While any Realtor® can be a real estate agent, not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Any agent or broker designated as a Realtor® belongs to the National Association of Realtors®. This organization ensures that its members follow a strict code of ethics regarding the selling of homes.
Listing Agent – Listing agents generally work for the seller of any real estate property. He or she can actually be either a broker or agent who is bound to the seller and agrees to protect their interest.
Transaction Agent – The transaction agent is responsible for overseeing the transaction of the sale. Since some states do not allow real estate agents or brokers to handle the transaction, these agents are necessary for writing the actual offer for the buyer.
Seller's Agent – The goal of the seller's agent is to get the best possible deal for the seller. Since they work directly for the seller, they are only required to provide the buyer with material facts about the property.
Buyer's Agent – Just as the seller's agent aims to get the best deal for his or her client, the buyer's agent works to get the best deal for the party buying a property. The buyer's agent is responsible for informing the buyer of all important information regarding the seller and the property.
Dual Agent – A dual agent works on behalf of both the buyer and seller. Many states do not allow for dual agency, as it is difficult to ensure that both parties will get the best deal possible.
Now that you know the types of agents available and what each of them offers, you can better compare your options. The next step is to locate several agencies in your area or in the area you plan on moving to. You can do this by searching online, going to open houses, or finding listings in your local newspaper.
Once you have a few agents in mind, you can interview them to get a better of idea of how they will handle your real estate needs. Here are some questions to ask any potential real estate agent before making your final decision.
How much experience do you have in the buying and selling of homes?
What is your plan for helping me buy or sell my home?
Do you have references?
Will you help me find other services?
How much do you charge?
Once you have gotten the answers from all of the agents you are interested in, compare the various services and prices they offer you. By speaking to several agents before making a decision, you'll be able to hire the right person to help you find the perfect home.