Real Estate Agents: How They Work

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Real Estate

Finding and Selecting a Real Estate Agent

To ensure you find a reputable agent to buy or sell a home, it’s important to interview multiple real estate agents. Seek recommendations from trusted sources to locate an agent who can best suit your needs.
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Before commencing your search for a real estate agent, it’s crucial to understand the idea of representation. If you’re interested in selling your property, it’s ideal to collaborate with a seller’s agent. Conversely, if you’re purchasing a property, you’ll require the assistance of a buyer’s agent. When you sign a contract with either of these agents, they are obligated to act in your best interests legally.

If you’re looking to purchase a property, it’s recommended to avoid working with the seller’s real estate agent directly. If you mention that you can go as high as $200,000 to the seller’s agent, the real estate agent is required to convey that information to the seller, which could adversely impact your negotiations. If you’re a seller, it’s unwise to work directly with the buyer’s agent since anything you mention about the property’s price and condition will be shared with the buyer. It’s crucial to hire an agent who exclusively represents you in the transaction.

When searching for a real estate agent, asking for referrals from friends and neighbors is the ideal place to start. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) website’s ‘Find a Realtor’ search engine is another excellent resource. Working with a Realtor instead of a non-member agent provides an additional layer of assurance that your agent will conduct themselves ethically and professionally throughout the process.

Meet with several real estate agents before deciding on one to work with. If you’re a buyer, inform them about your requirements for a property and request suggestions. This will assist you in determining how well the agent is familiar with various neighborhoods and home prices. If you’re a seller, ask the agent how many properties they’ve sold in the last year and the average ratio of list-price-to-sales-price. In other words, does the agent regularly sell properties above or below the initial asking price? Get a sense of how much time the agent can devote to selling your property or finding you a new one.

When selling a property, it’s customary to sign an exclusive agreement with a seller’s agent. If you’re unhappy with the way the agent is representing you, you can terminate the contract at any time and find another agent. If you’re a buyer, it’s not mandatory to sign an exclusive agreement with a buyer’s agent, but some agents may ask you to do so.

The final thing to comprehend about real estate agents is how they earn a living. We’ll discuss that in the following section.


1. What is a realtor?

A realtor is a licensed professional who helps individuals buy, sell, and rent properties. They are members of the National Association of Realtors and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

2. What services do realtors offer?

Realtors offer a variety of services including property valuation, marketing, negotiation, and contract preparation. They also provide guidance throughout the buying or selling process and can recommend other professionals such as home inspectors, lenders, and attorneys.

3. How do realtors get paid?

Realtors typically receive a commission based on the sale price of a property. This commission is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. The commission is negotiated between the seller and their agent and is typically around 6% of the sale price.

4. How do I choose a realtor?

When choosing a realtor, it’s important to consider their experience, reputation, and communication skills. You should also interview several agents to find someone who is a good fit for your needs and personality.

5. What is the process of buying a home with a realtor?

The process of buying a home with a realtor typically involves the following steps: pre-approval, home search, offer and negotiation, inspection, and closing. Your realtor will guide you through each step and provide support along the way.

6. What is the process of selling a home with a realtor?

The process of selling a home with a realtor typically involves the following steps: pre-listing preparation, pricing, marketing, showings, offer and negotiation, and closing. Your realtor will help you prepare your home for sale, determine the best price, and market it to potential buyers.

7. How do realtors help with negotiations?

Realtors are skilled negotiators who can help buyers and sellers navigate the often complex process of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. They can provide objective advice and help protect their client’s interests throughout the negotiation process.

8. What types of properties do realtors deal with?

Realtors can work with a variety of properties including single-family homes, condos, townhouses, commercial properties, and vacant land. Some realtors may specialize in a particular type of property or geographic area.

9. How do realtors stay current with industry trends and regulations?

Realtors are required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license. They also attend industry conferences and seminars, read industry publications, and stay up to date with changes in local, state, and federal regulations.

10. How long does it take to become a licensed realtor?

The requirements for becoming a licensed realtor vary by state, but typically involve completing a certain number of pre-licensing courses, passing a licensing exam, and working under a licensed broker for a period of time. The entire process can take several months to a year.

11. How do I become a realtor?

To become a realtor, you must first obtain a real estate license by completing the required coursework and passing a licensing exam. Once you have your license, you can join the National Association of Realtors and become a member of your local real estate board.

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