To buy a house with or without a realtor is one of the things you have to determine when beginning the home-buying process.Because of increased popularity and maximized use of different search engines online, people are utilizing the help of different information found on real estate websites when buying a home.
Although there’s nothing wrong with that idea, a realtor or a buyer’s agent can be of greater help.
They can help you find the property that fits you most and in your behalf, negotiate with the seller to acquire the best price.
In this article you will find the meaning of a real estate broker, real estate agent, and a realtor and their similarities and differences. You will also be given tips on how to find a trusted one.
What is a broker, an agent, and a realtor?
If you have decided to start the home-buying process with the help of a realtor, then finding a trusted one is the first step.
Since realtors are the ones who are supposed to help and assist you along the process, finding a legit and trusted realtor is as crucial as finding your new home.
To start, let us first define what is a broker, an agent and a realtor -their similarities and differences.
A real estate broker is superior to a real estate agent. A broker can act as an agent but never an agent act as a broker. Brokers can hire a real estate sales representative.
They may also work independently. In some cases, there are brokers who have chosen to work with larger real estate agencies or network instead of working by himself. Such persons are called broker associate.
A real estate agent is someone who works as a sales agent under an employing real estate broker. Unlike real estate brokers, agents can never work independently.
Real estate agents are licensed salesperson. Their actions are under the supervision of the brokers.
A realtor is a title given to a person who belongs to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Not all realtors belong to NAR.
All members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are submitting to the Code of ethics and they are paying annual dues. A realtor can either be a real estate agent or a real estate broker.
To further understand how different real estate persons work, let us look at some examples of agents that you might possibly encounter along.
If an agent is someone who represents a seller, they are called listing agent. They can either be a real estate agent or real estate broker.
Since they are representing the seller, they are working in behalf of the seller and they cannot work without the seller’s permission. Under their fiduciary relationship, a listing agent submits to a listing agreement with a seller and is accounted to protect that interest.
A buyer’s agent is an agent who works with the seller. They are the selling agent or the buying agent.
While listing agents are compelled to sign a listing agreement with the seller, a buyer’s agent on the other hand are not required to have a buyer’s broker agreement.
They may or may not choose to have a signed agreement depending on the existing custom or laws in their place. An exclusive buyer’s agent never works with a seller.
An agent is a dual agent when he/she decided to work with both buyers and sellers.
When dual agency is not permitted, transaction agents are the one facilitating the transaction. They neither represent the buyer nor the seller. They simply facilitate the transaction.
How To Find A Trusted Broker
Here are some tips on how to find a trusted broker.
In present time, exchange of information is readily obtainable. Any information is only one click away through the help of the internet. There are different real estate sites that we can visit online if we are currently starting our search for a trusted broker.
We can search for online listings. Also, we can involve ourselves on different online forums where we can throw questions and readily receive answers in return. The existence of social media is also a great help.
You may visit Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages of different real estate networks and effortlessly find helpful information for you to know about them.
Ask for family and/or friends’ referrals.
Referral from someone whom you trust can save you much time and effort. If you have a friend or a family member who happens to work with a realtor, you can freely ask them about it.
This is very helpful especially when your friend or family member who referred is a satisfied client of an excellent broker.
Ask for recommendations from professionals.
Real estate is a big world. If the service you need happened to be not a specialty of the one who is referred to you, you can always ask for a recommendation.
Some are specialized in residential property sales while some are in commercial or investment property. Some are in resales while some are working with new home constructor.
As they say, “professionals tend to refer professionals also”.
Are they trustworthy?
Trustworthiness should be a priority. Working with a broker in buying your new home means trusting that broker not just your time but also your resources.
Some of your personal information that may or may not be sensitive might also be brought up along the process. So, make sure that the one you are working with is trustworthy.
Make sure that they are not giving you false hopes.
Figure out their level of experience.
Find out if your chosen broker’s experience in real estate business. It is good if you can find out the different specialties of each members of that network.
Know if the can provide value added services like financial, tax and legal advice.
Know if the they have legitimate credentials.
Real estate brokers and agents have license to do their job. See if the one you are working with has an up-to-date license and if they are legal to operate.
Look at brokers who have previously worked within the property you wanted.
Work with someone who has the familiarity with the area you wanted. That person’s background knowledge is a lot of help especially if you haven’t lived in that area before.
You might also be able to know that place’s history, the kind of neighborhood it has and if there are any traumatic incidents or crimes that happened within that area in the past. This information will help you in your decision if it is safe to buy a property in that area or not.
There is a certainty that in any field, there is no perfect substitute to consultation with a full-fledged professional.
Buying a house with a realtor will not only make you sort out helpful insights and tips on what to know when finding your new home.
They will also help you during your search. You can surely save time and energy during the stressful buying process -from the nerve-racking home searching up until the time when you’ve decided to purchase your chosen property.