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A professional agent can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes when selling or buying a house.

Not every agent is right for you. This article will help you choose the right agent for your needs.

It’s important to understand what you can expect from an agent before you begin looking.

What do real estate agents do?

What real estate agents do is help homeowners buy or sell their homes. Agents inform their clients about the current market, guide them through every step, and refer to other professionals such as real estate lawyers and home inspectors. The title of the agent will vary depending on the person they are representing in a real estate transaction.

Sometimes, agents can represent both parties in a transaction. However, it is best to have an agent who represents you only.

real estate agent

Realtor vs. real estate agent

Real estate agents are not all Realtors. Realtors are licensed agents that are members of The National Association of Realtors. All members agree to adhere to the standards and code of ethics of the association.

Real estate agents must be licensed in their state and adhere to all laws. Agents must complete coursework and pass an exam to be licensed. To find out if an agent is licensed, check with your state’s website for the real estate commission.

There is a difference between a broker and a real agent

Real estate brokers have completed additional training in order to obtain a license as real estate brokers. To become licensed, brokers must pass an exam and complete the required coursework in their state. Brokers can supervise other agents or work independently.

How to interview and find real estate agents

Refer friends and colleagues to help you find potential agents. Check out the websites and online profiles of potential agents to learn more about their experience and specialties, as well as customer reviews.

Interview at least three agents and get to know them in detail about their relationship with you.

Can the agent represent me?

It is easy to assume that any real estate agent will only represent your interests. In some cases, however, real estate agents don’t have to represent only the buyer or seller in a transaction. A “dual agent” can represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. A “transactional agent”, however, works with both parties but is not liable for any fiduciary duties.

It is important to understand the role of your agent when they work with you. The Consumer Federation of America advises that you ask prospective agents whether they will represent your interests throughout the process and to request a written agreement detailing the relationship.

What training and experience does the agent have?

What training and recognition has the agent received? How long have they been working with clients? You want an agent who has a track record of helping clients like you.

Can the assistants or agents work with me?

Sometimes agents have assistants who work for them as part of a team. Do you prefer to work with the assistants or the agent? A team that works well can meet your needs, but you need to have sufficient access to the agent.

How to find the right real estate agent for you

What is the salary of an agent?

The seller usually pays the commission. However, the listing agent splits the commission with the buyer’s agent. The typical real estate commission is between 5% and 6% of the sale price.

According to the Consumer Federation of America, you might be able to negotiate a lower rate as the seller, especially for high-priced properties. You can request a rebate from the buyer agent for a portion of your commission.

Although agents may not be open to discussing commissions, it is worth asking.

Are recent clients happy?

Ask for references and speak to past clients who have worked with the agent over the past year. Are they happy with the work of the agent? 

What went well and what didn’t? What was the agent’s approach to dealing with difficult situations? Talking to clients in the past will help you determine if they are a good fit.

Tips for buyers: Finding a good real estate agent

These are some things you should consider when looking for an agent to help with your home purchase.

Selling tips

Selling tips for finding a good real estate agent

These are some things you should consider when selecting an agent to help sell your home.

How to select a realty agent

Compare the experience and methods of agents, as well their ability to build rapport. Are you able to work with this person? Select a competent agent whose work style matches yours.

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