How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You
When buying or selling a home, hiring a professional real estate agent can help you make informed decisions and prevent costly mistakes.
However, not just any agent will suffice. Here’s how to find the best real estate agent for your needs.
Real estate agent basics
It’s helpful to know what to expect from an agent and some of the terms you’ll come across before you start looking.
What is the role of a real estate agent?
Real estate agents help people buy and sell homes. They inform their clients about current market conditions, walk them through the process step by step, and refer them to other specialists such as home inspectors and real estate attorneys. Their titles are determined by the client they are representing in a real estate transaction.
A buyer’s agent assists purchasers in locating and shopping for available houses, preparing competitive offers, and negotiating with sellers.
A listing agent assists sellers in setting the price, listing, and marketing their houses, as well as negotiating with purchasers.
An agent can sometimes represent both sides in a single transaction, however, it’s advisable to have someone who is exclusively on your side.
Real estate agent vs. realtor
A Realtor is not the same as a real estate agent. Realtors are licensed agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Members agree to follow the association’s code of ethics and standards.
All real estate agents must be licensed in the states in which they work and must follow all applicable federal and state rules. Agents must complete a specified amount of training and pass an exam in order to be licensed. To find out if a certain agent is licensed, go to your state’s real estate commission’s website.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?
A real estate broker has completed further training in order to obtain a real estate broker license. To get licensed, brokers, like agents, must finish state-mandated courses and pass an exam. A broker can supervise other real estate agents, work under the supervision of a managing broker, or work on their own.
How to find and interview real estate agents
How to find and interview real estate agents Examine the agents’ websites and online profiles, as well as client reviews, to learn more about their expertise and experience.
Select at least three agents to interview and learn more about how they would work with you.
What questions should buyers and sellers ask real estate agents
Whether you’re buying or selling a house, here’s everything you need to know.
Will the agent act in my best interests?
You might believe that whichever real estate agent you hire will exclusively represent your best interests. However, real estate agents aren’t always required by law to represent only the buyer or seller in a transaction. A “dual agent,” for example, represents both the buyer and seller in the same transaction, while a “transactional agent” works with both parties but has no fiduciary duty to either.
Understanding the nature of the agent’s role when working with you is critical. The Consumer Federation of America recommends asking prospective agents if they will serve just your interests throughout the process and requesting a formal document that discloses the relationship.
What is the agent’s background and training?
What training or recognition does the agent have, and how long has he or she been working with clients? Look for an agent that has experience working with people who are similar to you.
Will the agent or assistants work with me?
Agents sometimes have a staff of helpers working for them. Will you prefer to work with the agent or the assistants? A well-oiled staff can take care of your needs, but make sure you have enough direct contact with the agent.
What will the commission be for the agent?
The real estate commission is usually paid by the seller, and the listing agent splits it with the buyer’s agent. A typical real estate commission ranges between 5% and 6% of the sale price.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, as the seller, you may be able to negotiate a reduced rate, especially for a high-priced property. You can request a refund of a percentage of the buying agent’s commission as the buyer.
It’s possible that agents will refuse to budge on the commission, but it’s worth asking.
Were recent clients satisfied?
Were recent clients satisfied? Were they happy with the job of the agent? What went off without a hitch, and what didn’t? How did the agent handle challenges? Recent customer conversations will reveal whether or not the agent is a suitable fit for you.
For all of your real estate needs around Flagler County, contact Kim Sunshine at http://kimsellssunshine.com