Parties Involved in Buying or Selling a Home
Seller’s Real Estate Agent
The main job of the listing (seller’s) agent is to sell the owner’s property for the highest price possible. Through their knowledge of the local real estate market, research and the various attributes of the property itself, they advise the property owner on a reasonable listing price that will attract the attention of likely buyers.
Throughout the sales process, the listing agent will negotiate with the buyer’s agent to come to an agreed upon sales price.
For these services, the listing agent receives a previously agreed upon sales commission from the sale of the property. This commission may be shared with the buyer’s agent, if there is one, however the total commission paid by the seller stays the same.
Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
The buyer’s agent role is to not only determine what type of home is most suitable for their client in terms of physical attributes and location, but to determine what amount a buyer can be reasonably comfortable with spending on their new property and whether this amount makes sense based on current market conditions. After this counseling process, the buyer’s agent then proceeds to locate appropriate homes on the market, shows these homes to the prospective buyer, advises on how to handle any required repairs, and if requested, place an appropriate offer. They will then handle the negotiation process to arrive at a price that is agreeable to all parties involved.
The commission the buyer’s agent receives is split with the listing agent and paid for by the seller. Essentially, it costs the buyer no money to have an agent representing them.
10 Reasons to use a Real Estate Agent
- Available Listings
Realtors use a database called the Multiple Listing Service ( MLS) to search available listings. This database includes the most current information for thousands of homes. If you decide to forego an agent and wish to search only for sale by owner homes, you drastically reduce the number of listings available to you.
- Neighborhood Knowledge
Real estate agents have access to, and acquire information through, a variety of sources. They know local information regarding schools, zoning, shopping and transportation. They can help you make an informed decision about selecting a neighborhood that fits your needs.
Who represents your best interest? In most proceedings your attorney is the first professional who represents you. Unfortunately, by the time you meet with your attorney, you have already selected a home and negotiated a deal. By working with a real estate agent, your best interests are acted on from the beginning.
Licensed real estate agents are required to undergo 45 hours of education prior to being licensed. They must continue with required continuing education courses every two years to keep them informed on the most current issues affecting the real estate industry. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience.
Agents are skilled negotiators and are not subjected to emotional attachments a home purchase or sale may carry. Many factors need to be negotiated during the home sales process. Purchase price, closing dates, financing terms and potential repairs are just some of the items that need to be stipulated.
There are many factors that go into determining a home’s value. Your real estate agent can work with you in establishing the current market value of an individual home. Realtors have access to all of the most current comparable sales statistics to aid you in zeroing in on a reasonable listing price, or a competitive, realistic offer.
- Referrals and Resources
Throughout your home buying process, you will be relying on many professionals. Your real estate agent can help guide you to the appropriate companies, firms and individuals as needed. They offer advice on which home inspectors, attorneys and mortgage professionals are familiar with the local market conditions and issues.
Realtors are bound to uphold a code of ethics. The National Association of Realtors, which all of Martino Realty agents are members of, provides a code of ethics and standards of practice which includes 17 articles categorized under duties to clients and customers, duties to the public and duties to realtors.
The average home buyers will purchase 1 to 3 homes in their lifetime. The average realtor will sometimes encounter the property sales process 1 to 3 times per week. The experience that realtors gain in handling these transactions can be a priceless source of information.
The most precious thing we have which we can never get back is time. Your realtor can help you best utilize your time by researching and previewing homes for you. This process will eliminate homes that do not fit your needs. Your agent can attend any inspections and appraisals for you as well.
The seller is responsible for paying the sales commission to their listing agent out of the final sales price reached. This is almost always a percentage of that final price and is negotiated and agreed upon when the listing agreement with their real estate agent is created.
The buyer in a home sale transaction never pays a commission to the agent representing them, and doesn’t increase the cost to the seller by having an agent represent them because the agents share the sales commission.
Real Estate Attorney
The real estate attorneys representing the seller and buyer are responsible for creating the contract of sale, along with any negotiated stipulations, as a legally binding document that finalizes the sale. They ensure that all of the proper legal paperwork is created, signed and submitted to the appropriate government agencies so that the transfer of ownership of the property is legally binding.