REAL ESTATE TIPS
A Full Service Professional
Home sellers may be lured by the promises of agents that offer to list and sell your home for a discount commission. But consider the advantages of using a full service broker who will represent your best interests in the transaction without cutting corners.
Homebuyers who use the Internet to start their home search may be lured by the promises of realty companies advertising "one-stop shopping" guaranteed to meet all your housing needs. But before you sign up with an online company, consider the benefits of meeting personally with a real estate agent or broker who can represent your best interests in the transaction.
A full service real estate broker will be informed about the current trends in your local market. He or she will personally show you properties that satisfy your unique requirements. When you want to discuss your options for a home mortgage loan, your broker will refer you to a reputable mortgage professional that can help you choose a loan that meets your specific needs. Your broker will have a working relationship with home inspectors and homeowner's insurance companies whose professional integrity they can vouch for. Online "one-stop" companies profit from handling all aspects of a transaction, but the homebuyer may not receive adequate personal attention or get the best deal. It is to your advantage to engage the services of a real estate agent or broker, because their sole motive is to protect and guide you during the complex process of buying property.
Best Interests of the Buyer
Who represents the homebuyer in the transaction? The most common scenario is for homebuyers to purchase a home with the help of the seller's listing agent. In this case, known as "dual agent representation," the real estate agent assists both the sellers and the buyers. However, it is also possible for the buyers to ask another realtor to represent their interests exclusively, acting as the "buyer's agent," a service which is available at no additional cost to the homebuyer.
Any licensed real estate agent can act as your buyer's agent, helping you to locate and look at properties in your price range. However, if that real estate agent works for the same brokerage that is listing a particular property, dual agency or designated agent rules will then apply. The buyer's agent will advise the buyer if issues arise such as termite damage or significant material defects appearing on the home inspection report. If the home appraisal comes in at less than the asking price, the agent will represent the buyer's interest, working with the seller and the lender to negotiate a satisfactory resolution.
Building With Help from Brokers
Did you know that, for no additional cost, you can be represented by a real estate broker in conjunction with purchasing a home from a builder? Homebuilders are accustomed to working with real estate brokers and often their commission is already covered in their marketing and promotion costs. A broker can provide objectivity and guidance in designing your home and help you select amenities that will lead to a more advantageous resale. He or she can help coordinate the sale of your present home and the closing of the new one. Many brokers offer guaranteed home sale programs so that when your new home is finished, the real estate company will buy your previous home at a pre-agreed price to prevent you from owning two homes at one time; and can usually arrange the occupancy agreeable to all parties. Take advantage of using your real estate broker in conjunction with building your new home at no additional cost.
In the history of the real estate industry, there has been a single approach to working with a real estate agent. If you wanted to purchase a home, an agent showed you properties on behalf of the sellers of those homes. As a buyer, you were not represented by anyone other than yourself. Negotiation over price and terms were entirely your responsibility.
Now there is another way to handle buying property. With buyer agency, your real estate sales associate acts on your behalf in all negotiations. That agent is committed to being your advocate in finding and purchasing your next home, and at no cost to you.
In many cities across the United States, buyer agency is used in the majority of home purchases. With buyer agency, all fiduciary duties are owed to the buyer, not to the seller. The buyer has the freedom to discuss personal finances, negotiating strategies and the value of properties with their buyer agent. The buyer can ask for the opinion of the buyer agent regarding the condition of the property, the effect of improvements, the seller's motivation for selling and a variety of other information that the seller's agent cannot provide.
Buying Out Of State
People who are moving to another state are usually concerned about how they will be able to monitor the purchase or sale of a home across state lines. Your local real estate agent can assist you in the process of buying or selling property out-of-state.
Real Estate Agent Representation
Which party in a real estate transaction is represented by the real estate agent--the buyer or the seller? Until recently that question was never asked because the answer was always the same. Traditionally all the marketing professionals involved in real estate transactions were legally and ethically obligated to conduct business on behalf of the seller. They may have aided the buyer in certain situations, but their client was the seller. Today that is not necessarily the case.
In a time of increasing specialization, buyers can be represented by a real estate agent who functions solely as a buyer's broker. In this case, the sales professional helps the buyer locate a home, negotiate the price, and is responsible to the buyer only, for an agreed-upon fee or a percentage commission.
In any real estate transaction you have the right to know which party the real estate agent is representing.
Who Pays the Commission
Does it cost the homebuyer more to be represented by a buyer's agent who serves their interests exclusively? No, because the listing agent splits the sales commission, which is customarily, paid by the seller of the home, with the buyer's agent. The sales commission split is usually 50-50, but the listing agent and buyer's agent will sometimes make another agreement and split the commission unequally.
Do These Real Estate Tips Really Apply to YOU?
We've learned these tips through years of experience as top REALTORS?. But we know that YOUR situation might be different. That's why we're here.
It's our job to personally advise homebuyers and sellers. Ask us if any tip that we've included here really applies to your situation.
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