A real estate agent, real estate broker, or realtor is someone who brokers or represents buyers or sellers of property. While an agent can work on his/her own, most often an agent will work under a licensed real estate broker to represent individual clients. These individuals are typically represented by a broker, and the broker’s license is granted through the local board of licensing in their area. Brokers must maintain a certain level of professionalism while representing the buyer or seller and abide by certain rules that are set forth in their contract with their clients. Real estate agents cannot perform transactions on their own, nor can they advise potential buyers or sellers of properties. Instead they are an independent sales representative who works directly with the clients to find them a suitable property and help them find any necessary financing for purchasing the property.
A real estate agent can also help the buyer and seller to come up with a realistic sale price based on the current market value of the home, as well as any comparable homes within a certain geographic location. In many instances, they will represent the buyer at closing. During the closing process, an agent will meet with the buyer and walk him through the entire process of buying the property, from finding a qualified buyer to working with a real estate attorney to getting the deal closed. Most agents also prepare and follow all the paperwork needed for the sale, which saves the client time and money in the long run.
Due to their extensive knowledge and experience, real estate agents often represent a very large number of buyers and sellers. Because of this, it is very important that they remain in close contact with all their clients, answering questions and helping them find the perfect home. The majority of real estate agents work on a contingency basis, so when the client does not buy the house on their own, they receive no compensation. In some cases, they will receive a percentage of the final selling price if the buyer is unable to close the deal.
While most agents work on a commission basis, they also have their expenses. Expenses such as real estate inspections, marketing material, legal fees, and other miscellaneous expenses must be paid in order to be a full-time professional. They may also receive stock options or other perks for selling a property, such as discounted rates on loans or insurance. These perks are usually contingent upon the length of their employment with the agency.
The third type of broker is the independent real estate agents. Although they work with a brokerage, they operate on their own, so expenses and commissions are generally not paid. However, many realtors to choose to become independent brokers due to the fact that they are more knowledgeable and have a broader range of services available to them. They also are able to provide a more personal touch to their clients’ transactions, especially compared to a brokerage, which is more standardized.
Whether you work with brokers, realtors, a franchise, or independent agents, you need to take your time and research before signing any type of contract. The real estate industry is highly competitive and there are many different aspects to the industry to focus on. By being prepared before entering the industry, you can ensure that you are successful.