For first time home buyers there are a lot of people involved in a transaction which may seem mind boggling at first. Usually the first two people they are to meet are the buyers and sellers agents who represent the seperate parties involved.
Just what are their specific roles in a real estate transaction and how can they benefit a home buyer or seller?
A seller's agent can benefit the consumer who is selling their home. A seller's agent will list a family's home for sale, market the home on the MLS and through other marketing resources, show your home to potential buyers, provide tips and helpful information as to how to present your home in the best way to maximize your home's sales price, and handle the legal aspect of preparing a purchase agreement and handling the sale of your home. While many Americans try to sell their homes on their own to save the hefty charges that real estate agents charge, most are unsuccessful and end of utilizing the services of a Real Estate Agent to sell their home.
A real estate agent is their to help a consumer find a home of their liking and guide them thru the tricky process of a home purchase...Keep in mind the more that's paid for a home, the more they make so make sure you are happy with the deal they work out for you...
A buyer's agent will represent you directly. Though this may sound silly from a consumer's point of view, it protects you by requiring the Realtor to disclose everything to you and act in your best interest. Not in the best interest of the seller or even the broker. A good buyer's agent is well worth the protection.
Real estate agents should be knowledgeable enough to guide your through the home selling or buying process. When interviewing an agent be sure to ask what you can expect of them beyond a listing or a home showing. You will have many questions and your agent should be available and able to answer them. A real estate transaction can be overwhelming and stressful, with the right agent it can alleviate the pressure.
A real estate agent can also provide you with good commercial or investment property. The problem is that there are a lot of residential agents who aspire to be commercial agents and have no idea of what they are doing. Check for some specific designations when looking for investment properties and GRI is a Graduate, Realtor Institute. CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), RIAOC (Real-estate Investment Association of Orange County), in Orange county a member of OCCAR (Orange County Commercial Association of Realtors. Commercial real estate agents are also real estate investors, it goes hand in hand. Don't buy real estate from a real estate agent who doesn't own his own real estate and don't buy commercial real estate from an agent who does not own commercial real estate. How would expect that they would would have any understanding of your situation.
GRI designation (now ther is also a Master GRI) indicates that a real estate agent is a Realtor (a member of the National Association of Realtors) and has attend specialty classes which teach things like financing, appraisal, real estate law and many others. A GRI has a much greater understanding of the real estate buying and selling process.
A Realtor is a member of the local Board of Realtors who usually manage the local MLS system. Realtors enjoy many special benefits, if an agent is a Realtor the agent has access to forms systems, free legal support, access to other Realtors in an integrated system designed to place all the necessary service to support transfer of property in a logical and integrated system with educational opportunities and a code of ethics with professional standards enforcement. Agents who are not Realtors operate on the fringe. This is not wholly true in the commercial field where most agents are independent but the National Association of Realtors is now making inroads into the field of commercial real estate.
Make sure that you understand the difference between a buyer's agent and a seller's agent. The seller's agent has an obligation to the seller, and advice they give to a prospective purchaser may not necessarily be in their best interest.
A seller's agent is paid a commission upon the sale of the home. If the buyers have an agent, the seler's agent splits the commission with the buyer's agent. If the sellers do not have a real estate agent, the seller's agent keeps the whole commission. It is very rare for a seller or seller's agent to reduce the selling price because the buyers don't have an agent.
Some buyers are under the misconception that it costs money to work with a realtor to help them find a house, and they don't want to pay money if they do not find a house that they like.
This is false.
The only time a realtor gets paid is when a house sells, and the realtor commission is paid by the seller, not the buyer.
It costs a buyer nothing to work with a realtor.