☞ SELECTING AN AGENT
Selecting the right real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home is crucial to a smooth transaction. Ultimately, you can expect your agent to guide and assist you through this journey. Your agent will help you avoid pitfalls, and in the end, hand you the keys to your new home.
Working with an Agent:
- Agents have a vast knowledge of the real estate market, including price trends, real estate law, zoning issues, financing, taxes, insurance, and negotiating. A good agent is also aware of the anxiety involved with a real estate transaction and is there to help alleviate it.
- During your initial meeting, an agent helps you determine your needs and wants in a home. The agent will help you learn how much home you can afford, assist in obtaining financing, and let you know what to expect as you shop for a home.
- You and your agent will tour suitable properties and discuss countless details (including a home’s key selling points, floor plans, neighborhood crime rates, and proximity to schools, work, shopping, and entertainment).
- A well-priced property is important for a quick sale with maximum net return. A real estate professional knows what properties like yours have sold for and whether the market is heating up or cooling down. Based on your home’s features, condition, and location an agent can tell you whether your home can bring in more or less than similar listings.
- Selling a well-loved home can be an emotional event. A salesperson can help you stay focused, provide valuable feedback on changes or repairs, and act as a buffer during negotiations. Your agent is there to assist with any questions or concerns, or refer you to someone who can help.
- Despite what some people believe, homes don’t sell themselves. A real estate agent will put your property on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). He/she will also market your home to a broad audience of potential buyers through brochures, ads, websites, and open houses.
- Selling a house is complicated and having an agent can help avoid delays and costly mistakes. There are disclosures, inspection reports, deeds, mortgage documents, and insurance policies. The agent is responsible for obtaining these documents and coordinating the dealings of your lender, attorney, and other professionals involved in your purchase. When it is time for the closing your agent will accompany you to finalize the deal.
☞ REAL ESTATE AGENCIES
It is important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction.
- A seller’s agent is responsible for representing the best interests of the seller. The seller’s agent is typically responsible for paying out the commission.
- A buyer’s agent is responsible for representing the buyer in a real estate transaction. The buyer’s agent works in the buyer’s best interest throughout the transaction. Buyers can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyers’ agent may be paid by the seller or by a commission split with the listing broker.
- Dual agency occurs when an agent represents both the seller and the buyer in real estate transaction. It also can occur when the seller’s agent works for the same real estate firm as the buyer’s agent. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it is important that all parties give their informed consent, and in some states it is required in writing. The dual agent is required to treat both the buyer and seller honestly and impartially.