While you may feel confident to carry out the transaction of selling or buying a property, hiring a real estate agent can often be more beneficial. Think about it: when you hire a real estate agent, you resort to a plethora of accumulated knowledge and experience. Real estate agents have a unique ability to put their emotions aside and bring the most value to your home. For the inexperienced buyer or seller, a real estate agent can walk you through the entire procedure. They will gladly assist you with all the paperwork and answer any questions you may have. Nowadays, with the different types of real estate agents emerging, you can choose a real estate agent to diligently serve your specific needs.
How can a real estate agent help real estate investors with a transaction today? What are the different types of real estate agents out there? And how can real estate investors maximize the benefits of hiring a real estate agent?
All of these are questions that may arise when considering real estate investing and resorting to professional help. Don’t worry, that’s where we come in. Below we will explain to you the different types of real estate agents to suit your needs and transaction.
Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who negotiates and arranges the sale and/or purchase of a property. Generally, real estate agents work for a real estate broker or realtor who has additional training and certifications. Becoming a real estate agent is the very first step in becoming a representative of real estate investors. Real estate agents that seek to advance in the real estate business and become more competent become Realtors shortly after.
Of the common types of real estate agents is the broker. A broker is usually a licensed real estate professional that assists a seller or a buyer of a property. A broker’s key responsibilities include:
- Determining market values while conducting real estate market analysis
- Listing and advertising properties for sale
- Showing properties to potential buyers or real estate investors
- Negotiating prices so as to drive maximum utility for the buyer or seller
- Advising clients with offers and other related matters
What differentiates brokers from other types of real estate agents is that brokers can operate separately from an agency or a brokerage. A real estate agent, however, must work for brokers. A broker can be a real estate agent, but a real estate agent cannot be a broker without a broker’s license. The income that a broker earns is a commission fee that she/he makes from a transaction. The fee is often split or shared with a brokerage if working under one.
A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. A realtor generally enjoys more roles than the normal real estate agent; he/she can be a broker-associate, a managing broker, or even an exclusive buyer’s agent. Realtors charge higher fees than other types of real estate agents and tend to be more prestigious. Why should real estate investors pay higher fees and hire a Realtor instead? Well, what distinguishes Realtors from other types of real estate agents is the Code of Ethics that Realtors pledge not to breach. The Article that glorifies Realtors and makes them desirable is the one concerning honesty. Under this article, the Realtor must pledge to put their client’s interests above their own. The Realtor is indebted to servicing their clients with utmost transparency and sincerity.
A listing agent can also be referred to as a seller’s agent. This is because the listing agent represents the seller. While a seller’s agent fees might be as high as 6% of the total value of a property, their services are far more valuable and outweigh the fee. A seller’s agent will prepare and market the property, show it to potential buyers, and ensure sound transactions. A seller’s agent can also list your home or property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database to allow buyers and their agents to easily find it.
Seller’s agents’ fees, moreover, are not always as high as 6% of the purchase price and can further be negotiable. Try to look for seller’s agents who charge a flat rate as this will help your budget immensely. You do not need a seller’s agent in two cases: when you have a buyer and when you are in a seller’s market. When you are in a seller’s market, selling a property tends to be easier than if it were in a buyer’s market. The number of buyers outweighs the number of properties available for sale thus creating leverage for sellers.
A buyer’s agent is a real estate agent representing a buyer’s fiduciary interests in a real estate transaction. Buyer’s agents understand the local real estate market and know what to look for when viewing houses. They can help real estate investors negotiate and come to terms with both parties as far as price. They will pretty much be your negotiator. You should hire a buyer’s agent when buying a property because:
A buyer’s agent will help you evaluate properties and secure financing
They have access to experienced professionals you may need to resort to
They organize and keep a transaction on schedule.
When selecting a buyer’s agent, consider their schedule, availability, what neighborhoods they specialize in, and how long they have been in the business for. Make sure to assess their personality. Are they calm and focused? Competent to drive negotiations and transactions? Keep those in mind!
If you are looking for property and want to get a glimpse of the market, click here to explore homes in a desired neighborhood.
A dual agent, of the less preferable types of real estate agents, is a real estate agent that represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. So to say, if you were buying a property in Albany, NY, your real estate agent helping you purchase a property will also be representing the seller you are purchasing the property from. For agents, dual agency is more desirable because this way they avoid splitting the fee with another real estate agent. For beneficiaries or real estate investors, dual agency might not work in your favor. This is because it will be difficult to both represent the seller’s and buyer’s interests in one transaction.
As a seller, you want to find a real estate agent to sell your property for you quickly and for as much money as you can get. While as a buyer, you want to attain property for as little as possible. Both interests contradict one another and that may eventually lead to injustice. Stay away from a dual agent when you are buying or selling a property.
The aforementioned are the different types of real estate agents that are available to real estate investors today. If you are looking for an agent with long-lived experience and multiple certifications, consider hiring a Realtor. While if you are looking for a specialized agent to assist you with a purchase, then consider a buyer’s agent. Of the different types of real estate agents, we recommend that you do not hire a dual agent as your interests will not be fully and equally represented.