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Let’s Talk About Realtors – Real Estate Defined / Part 2

December 21, 2009

Ready to get off to a great start?  Here is Part 2 of my 3-part series “Real Estate Defined”

Whether you’re simply thinking of buying a new home or actually ready to make your move, working with a Realtor ensures your real estate buying process is a great one.  You can count on us to find your ideal neighborhood, help you find the perfect house, and be there when you close the deal.

Real Estate Agent:  A real estate agent is a professionally trained and licensed real estate expert who is involved in real estate sales and transactions. Though it is not required to hire an agent when buying or selling a property, the tasks an agent performs can be extremely complex and time-consuming. Therefore, it is in a consumer’s best interest to work with a seasoned real estate professional who can offer invaluable expertise and assistance, as well as insight into the local real estate market and neighborhoods of interest.

  • A Seller’s Agent: An agent who is hired to sell a home is responsible for marketing the home to potential buyers as well as other agents who are working with buyers. The seller’s agent ensures that the property is in proper viewing order and that he/she is familiar with everything about the property.  Some specific responsibilities include:
    • Assisting the seller in pricing the property appropriately
    • Suggesting any necessary repairs to be taken care of prior to listing
    • Exposing the property to a maximum number of buyers; arranging showings and providing feedback from prospective buyers
    • Explaining all the contingencies, helping the seller to remain objective and make informed decisions based on current trends, market data, and individual needs
    • Presenting and negotiating offers on the seller’s behalf
    • Following through on the contingencies all the way to closing (e.g. making sure that the mortgage loan is applied for and granted within a certain timeframe, the home inspection is done according to schedule, and any necessary repairs are made prior to closing).
  • A Buyer’s Agent: An agent representing a buyer will need to focus on what the buyer’s needs are, establish what amenities the buyer is looking for, what geographical area(s) are being considered, how prepared the potential buyer is to buy and how much he/she is willing to spend. A buyer’s agent must also have a firm grasp of the surrounding area’s real estate market so that he/she can recommend alternative properties to the buyer. Once the home buying process begins, a buyer’s agent will be responsible for the following:
    • Providing an honest analysis of each property, including both good and bad points
    • Preparing an offer to purchase the property with terms favorable to the buyer
    • Negotiating with the seller to obtain the property at the best price and terms for the buyer
    • Providing the buyer with an estimate of the costs involved in the transaction and assisting the buyer in contacting the professionals necessary to complete the purchase, including mortgage services, title insurance and escrow companies, and home inspectors  
    • Monitoring performance of all others involved in the transaction to make sure all services are promptly and professionally carried out
    • Accompanying the buyer to the closing to verify that all terms and conditions of the purchase agreement are met

Commission:  Commission is the compensation or fee that a real estate agent charges for performing the agreed-upon terms under a brokerage contract.  The commission due for a real estate transaction is negotiable and usually paid from the seller’s funds at closing.  The fee is typically calculated as a percentage of the total sales price and commissions vary from market to market.  Commission is shared between the listing agent and the agent who represents the buyer, but the division is not always a 50/50 split. (Also, agents split their commissions with their brokers.)

In short, a realtor commits and delivers time and effort to make your total homeownership experience extraordinary.  Let me talk with you further about how I can help find or sell the home that’s just right for you!

Stay tuned for Part 3 when we discuss ‘the process’ and what the terminology means to buy and sell real estate …..

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