When people find out you are in the market to buy a new home, they have tons of conflicting advice to offer. Buy a corner lot. Don't buy a corner lot. Start small. Buy as big as you can afford. The well-meaning advice can be overwhelming. One thing that everyone can agree on, however, is that you should hire a real estate agent to help you.
What does a real estate agent do?
A real estate agent is an experienced professional who helps guide you through a tricky financial transaction. While they cannot make the final decision for you, it is their job to show you what is available for purchase, analyze your options, and steer you clear of any potential disasters.
What is the difference between a listing agent and a buyer's agent?
A listing agent works solely for the seller, while a buyer's agent works strictly for the buyer. Some people think that working with a listing agent when you are buying a specific house will help you save on commission. This is untrue.
Buyers do not pay commission to their agent. The listing agreement that the seller signs when agreeing to put their home on the market states that a commission will be paid, usually six to seven percent, on the sales price of the home. That commission is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer's agent. If the buyer does not work with an agent, the listing agent keeps the entire commission. This is commonly referred to as 'double-dipping'.
Why do some agents have that capital "R" after their name?
Real estate agents that have gone through the extensive training and licensing process of the National Association of Realtors earn the right to that capital "R" on their lapel, business cards, and marketing documents. They are also referred to as Realtors, with a capital "R." The NAR is the licensing body for Realtors in the United States and has been overseeing both commercial and residential Realtors since 1908. In fact, they are the largest trade organization in the United States.
Why do I need a Realtor?
Hiring a Realtor to help you navigate the often stressful waters of buying a home is important. Not only can an experienced agent use their knowledge to guide you, but they can also help explain every step of the process to help you understand.
Hiring an experienced Realtor should be your first step in any real estate transaction. Reach out to a Realtor or real estate agent who works in an area you like.