Working With a Real Estate Agent

Working With a Real Estate Agent


Can I use an agent for a new home?

Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents.

Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed. At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.

How do I find a real estate agent?

The people behind the massively successful Sea Pines beachfront property marketing campaigns have tuned in with us an dare giving out some serious advice. Apparently, getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview at least three agents to give yourself a choice. A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent.

What about a buyer’s agent?

In many states, it’s now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own agent, referred to as buyers brokers.

How do you find a good agent?

Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood.
A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience at minimum. If you are a buyer, you don’t usually pay for your agent’s services (in the form of a commission, or percentage of the sales price of the home). All agents in a transaction usually are paid by the seller from the sales proceeds. In many states, this means that your agent legally is acting as a subagent of the seller. But in some states, it’s legal for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. You also can hire and pay for your own agent, known as buyer’s brokers, whose legal obligation is exclusively to you. If you are a seller, you should interview at least three agents, all of whom should make a sales presentation including a comparative market analysis of local home prices in your area. The best choice isn’t always the agent with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent’s marketing plan and how well you think you can work with the individual.

How much does my real estate agent need to know?

Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation. Agents working for buyers have three possible choices: They can represent the buyer exclusively, called single agency, or represent the seller exclusively, called sub- agency, or represent both the buyer and seller in a dual-agency situation. Some states require agents to disclose all possible agency relationships before they enter into a residential real estate transaction. Here is a summary of the three basic types:

* In a traditional relationship, real estate agents and brokers have a fiduciary relationship to the seller. Be aware that the seller pays the commission of both brokers, not just the one who lists and shows the property, but also to the sub- broker, who brings the ready, willing and able buyer to the table.

* Dual agency exists if two agents working for the same broker represent the buyer and seller in a transaction. A potential conflict of interest is created if the listing agent has advance knowledge of another buyer’s offer. Therefore, the law states that a dual agent shall not disclose to the buyer that the seller will accept less than the list price, or disclose to the seller that the buyer will pay more than the offer price, without express written permission.

* A buyer also can hire his or her own agent who will represent the buyer’s interests exclusively. A buyer’s agent usually must be paid out of the buyer’s own pocket but the buyer can trust them with financial information, knowing it will not be transmitted to the other broker and ultimately to the seller.

Where can I get information on buyer agents?

For information on buyer agents, contact the your area’s Realtor association or National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents: 320 West Sabal Palm Place, Suite 150, Longwood, FL 32779. Phone: 407-767-7700, Toll-Free: 800-986-2322, FAX: 407-834-4747, WEBSITE: www.naeba.org.

26 Comments

  1. I like your idea on getting a recommendation from a friend or coworker for a realtor. I would imagine that it would be helpful to hire someone who is trusted by those that you trust in turn. My husband and I are looking for a realtor so we’ll have to be sure to ask our friends if they know anyone who we could work with.

    Reply
  2. You mentioned that getting a referral is a great way to find a real estate agent, and that you should interview at least three. My mother might be moving and if she does I want to make sure she has a good real estate agent. I’ll have to be sure to remember this advice if she does indeed need to move. Thanks for the informative article.

    Reply
  3. My cousin and his wife have been looking for their first home to buy and haven’t really found what they are looking for. You stated that in many states, it’s now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. What kinds of services do agents offer the buyers that are different from the sellers?

    Reply
  4. I really like what was said about finding a good real estate agent. I had a friend who recommended a real estate agent to me when I was looking for a new home and I ended up finding the home I live in now through him. I can definitely see how a recommendation can go a long way when it comes to buying a new home.

    Reply
  5. This is mine and my husband’s first time really going through the process of buying a house, and we want to know what is the best way to work with our real estate agent. This article was very helpful in letting us know the step by step process and the things we should look for. I loved your tip about telling your real estate agent enough that they can effectively negotiate on your behalf. We will be sure to keep these tips in mind! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. I agree that friends can be a great source of referrals when looking for a good real estate agent. It is important to remember that consulting with those that have had similar experiences and have use agents to sell their homes can help you find the best for you. My parents are planning on selling their home and get a smaller one now that they are empty-nesters so I’m glad I found this.

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  7. My mother is trying to find a real estate agent to help her with her home buying experience. As she looks, I will let her know to ask friends for any suggestions. This will probably be very beneficial since her friends downsized with their home situations and picked agents that specialize in this which is what she wants to do.

    Reply
  8. Thank you for your tips on working with a real estate agent. I especially like your summary about finding a real estate agent. As I have no referrals in my area, it is good to have some knowledge of what to look for in a potential company and in a good agent. I will keep this in mind as I search.

    Reply
  9. I am trying to decide if I want to get a real estate agent so that I can sell my home and get one that is a little smaller. You mentioned that when getting an agent they will need to know as much as you can tell them so they can help negotiate on your behalf. That is a great point for me to keep in mind as I look online for agents.

    Reply
  10. It’s great to know how to hire a good real estate agent. I like how you said to find someone with a few years of experience under their belts, at least. When we go to buy our first home, I’ll be sure to find an agent with plenty of experience.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for your comment about how you should hire a real estate agent who is experienced in their profession. I like how you said that they should be capable of negotiating for you. My husband and I are planning on selling our house and buying a new one closer to his parents, and we are considering hiring an experienced and professional real estate agent to help us with this process.

    Reply
  12. Your article about hiring a real estate agent is really helpful. I know that when buying a house, the help of a real estate agent is invaluable, but finding a good one is a tough task. I like how you talked about how to find a good agent. I agree that getting a recommendation is the best way to start. I like your suggestion to ask if they will be using the agent again as it will give me an insight on how effective the agent is. This will surely help me in finding a professional to help me with my house-hunting needs.

    Reply
  13. My husband and I have been wanting to move out of our home and buy a new one and one of our friends suggested that we hire a real estate agent to help us out, but we don’t know how to find one. That is a good idea to get a recommendation from a coworker! I have one that recently moved that I can ask. Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  14. I agree with you in that it is always a good idea to ask for recommendations when looking for a good real estate attorney. It makes sense to think that doing this can help you find someone that is trusted and who knows how to help with your transaction. As I see it, taking the time to do some research and read online reviews can also help you find the best agent who can guide you through buying or selling your house.

    Reply
  15. I like your advice on interviewing at least three agents before making a decision. People often overlook the importance of finding someone who you get along with. You want to be able to work well as a team through the buying or selling process.

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  16. I like that you mention that you should contact at least three real estates agents. It’s also important to consider what else a real estate agency can offer you. Not only can they help you sell or buy a home, but they may cover property management or manage a homeowners association. It’s good to figure out what works best for you and to find a real estate agency that fits your needs.

    Reply
  17. I was planning to buy a house next year because the one I’m currently living in will be used by my parents when they return to the US from working overseas. I know finding a good real estate agent should be on top of my priority list, however, I don’t know how to find one. It was good that I found this article because I learned that I can actually call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask for recommendations of good agents who have worked in the neighborhood. That’s really helpful. I’ll try that. Thanks!

    Reply
  18. I’m looking at hiring a real estate agent to help me find my next home. I’ve never used one before, so the suggestions you provided in the article were all really helpful to me. I’ll definitely make sure I take your advice and interview at least three potential agents before making a decision on who to hire.

    Reply
  19. I didn’t know that builders commonly require that an outside agent be present. My parents are planning to buy a home for investment. My uncle suggested having a real estate agent and shared this article with them. It says that getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent.

    Reply
  20. My wife and I have been wanting to purchase some real estate, and I think that being able to get some help would be good for us. I’m glad you were able to talk about how to find a real estate agent, as I’m sure working with one would help us with our purchase. I’m going to have to use your tip to interview different agents, and hopefully we’ll find the right real estate to purchase!

    Reply
  21. I like that you mentioned the benefits that experience can have when home buying. Real estate agents who have been around a long time can help you identify what homes will meet your needs. They also will have a network to help you find other things you may need.

    Reply
  22. My parents want to buy a real estate for their retirement because they are a bit old now. You discussed here that having recommendations from friends will be beneficial when looking for an agent. Moreover, it will be better to buy a real estate with the help of a professional.

    Reply
  23. I’ve been wanting to look for a realtor to help me with selling our home. I’m glad you talked about how you can find a real estate agent, and that looking for recommendations is always a good idea. I’m going to have to look for a good realtor to sell my house and see what we can find!

    Reply
  24. It’s great to know how to work with a real estate agent. I like the fact that buyer’s agents get paid by the seller! We’d like to work with someone like that when we buy a home this year.

    Reply
  25. My mom has been thinking about getting a real estate agent for a while now. She was hoping to get any tips that she could to make this an easier process. I will be sure to let her know that they can represent the buyer exclusively if she cares to.

    Reply
  26. I agree that you want to consider personal recommendations when choosing a realtor. Finding someone who operates in your area would also probably make it easier to find out more about them. My sister wants to sell her home so that she can move closer to our mom, so she’ll have to check what others have to say about a realtor before hiring them.

    Reply

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