One of the biggest and most complicated financial events in peoples' lives is the buying or selling a house or investment property. Since this is a complicated transaction and because it is a very important one people usually need to help of real estate brokers and Real Estate agents when investing in properties.
Sales agents and Real Estate brokers have lots of knowledge about the Real Estate market the area that they represent. The brokers know which neighborhoods will best fit clients' budgets and needs and have a good idea about sales' trends. The Real Estate brokers are also familiar with local zoning and tax laws and know where to obtain financing to help their clients pay for the property. Sales agents and brokers also act as negotiators when it comes to bidding between buyers as well as negotiations between buyers and sellers.
Most Real Estate agents work as independent sales workers; they provide their services to a licensed sales agent or a Real Estate broker on a contract basis. The Real Estate broker pays the agent a portion of the commission earned from the agent's sale of the property in return for their services.
Who Are Real Estate Brokers?
Real Estate brokers are independent professionals, they sell Real Estate that is owned by others. Additionally, brokers may also rent or manage Real Estate properties for a certain fee.
When they work on selling Real Estate, brokers arrange for title search - which is a process of reviewing all recorded transactions in the public record to figure out if any title defects exist that could affect the clear transfer of ownership of the real estate. A broker will also arrange for meetings between buyers and sellers so that transaction details can be discussed and agreed on before the new owners take possession of the house.
A broker can also help to arrange favorable financing from a financial institution for the potential buyer. This sort of additional help often determines success of a closing sale.
Sometimes brokers and sales agents will assume responsibility for closing sales if the lawyers or lenders don't do so. Real estate brokers also supervise agents who have similar job duties. Additionally, a broker can also combine his / her Real Estate business with other kinds of work such as practicing law or selling insurance. They may also be involved in advertising of the properties as well as management of the Real Estate offices.
A Real Estate broker's job is not only to make sales - they also have to have houses to sell. A broker will spend a large amount of time looking for and getting listings and getting agreements from owners to place their properties for sale with the brokerage company. Once the property is listed for sale agents and brokers will compare the listing with listings that are similar and that have sold recently or are pending. This is done to figure out a good, competitive market price for the new property for sale. When the property gets sold the agent who sold it and the agent who got the listing in the first place will receive a portion of the commission. Naturally, the agents who sell properties that they list themselves obtain larger commissions.
Majority of Real Estate brokers and sales agents sell property that is residential. There's a small number of brokers who are employed in large or specialized companies, who sell industrial, commercial or agricultural and other type of Real Estate. These different specializations demand knowledge of the particular field of property and the customers that are interested in it. Agents who lease or sell business property need to have an understanding of things like business trends, location trends as well as leasing practices. On top of that they need to know about the region's transportation, labor supply as well as the region's transportation conditions. A broker is a highly specialized professional whether his or her area of expertise is commercial or residential.
Prior to showing the property to a potential buyer an agent must meet with them to get an idea about the type of a house theyre looking for. The agent needs to determine how much the buyers are able to spend on the property. Sometimes the agent and the buyers will also sign a loyalty contract that states that the particular agent is the only one that will show houses to the buyers.
A broker will use a computer to make a list of properties for sale along with the descriptions and location details as well as possible and available ways of financing the purchase. Sometime agents and brokers also use the computer to show the potential buyer a virtual tour of the property if that's available. Using the computer a buyer can view the exteriors as well as the interiors of the property they're interested in.
An agent will meet a number of times with the potential buyer in order to talk about available properties as well as visit whatever the buyer is interested in. An agent will show and explain the best selling points of a property such as the area's low crime rate and the proximity to public services. Sometimes an agent will also point out property features that are not to its advantage such future repairs.
If there's supposed to be bargaining over a house price the broker must follow their client's instructions and pay close attention in order to be able to present counteroffers in order to get the most attractive price.
When both parties - the buyer and the seller - have signed the contract, the Real Estate broker has to ensure that all the terms of contract have been fulfilled before closing the deal. For example, if a seller wants to sell the house within a 30-day closing period the buyer may ask to have the price lowered. This has to happen before the sale is completed. Another example of this is when there's an agreement between a buyer and a seller that all of the repairs will be completed and all the inspections passed such as termite inspection.
Brokers and sales agents have to meet environmental requirements as well - the properties that they sell must meet all the regulations. For example they are responsible for dealing with toxic paint or dysfunctional ventilation system.
Since Internet have become an everyday tool the broker's ability to retrieve data about properties through the web allows many brokers and agents to work out of their homes instead of Real Estate offices. Despite this convenience they still spend lots of time away from the desk since they have to show the properties to potential buyers as well as analyze properties for sale, meet with new potential buyers or spend some time researching trends of the Real Estate market.
When you use an agent to help you find the ideal house you'll notice that your agent will ask you lots of specific questions about what you want. The more information your broker has about your lifestyle, financial situation as well as well what you're looking for, the more they can do for you.
A Broker's Role
First thing your broker will do is conduct a financial assessment and then based on this information they will help you to realistically figure out the perfect balance between what you want and what you can afford.
Your broker might also help you with finding lenders who can help to secure a mortgage for you.
Since the MLS the broker's work has become even more convenient and reliable - it's true that virtually all of the brokers have access to the same property information through the MLS but your particular broker may have specific contacts as well as expertise about market trends and working with attorney and mortgage bankers.
Your broker will may also assist in writing up a contract that will present your buying offer along with all the conditions such as the home inspection. Your agent may also transmit your offer to the seller as well as all the counteroffers between you and the seller.
Prior to starting out you need to keep in mind that unless you have a separate agreement with your agent, your agent is working for the seller of the property as well and he / she has a certain responsibilities toward the seller. Despite the fact that your agent can offer some information about the market and give you a listing of comparable prices they won't tell you what the seller's requirements are even though they might possess that information. Ironically, the agents are sometimes required to report to sellers the sort of information you give them, for example how much you're prepared to pay.
A Real Estate broker has legal and ethical obligations to you as a client. The responsibilities of a broker are fiduciary, meaning that they handle funds on behalf of their clients - this requires a deal of trust which is not only a responsibility binding the broker to act professionally but is also a privilege. A broker becomes successful because of the recommendations he or she receives so it's in their best interest to provide the best and most professional service they can.
As a buyer you can ask for broker recommendations from the Real Estate agency that you choose to do your business with. It's a good idea to see if you can get a hold of past buyers and ask them some questions about working with a particular broker - that way you can be sure about making the right choice. Most brokers are professional and well-trained individuals but like with anything else there may be some instances where the particular individual has a bad record or shady business dealings.
Take your time in finding the best broker. A friend who's looking for a house found his broker through the recommendation of a co-worker - often we don't even think about the fact that there are hundreds of house-owners around us - people at work, our relatives and friends all have some kind of information or experience in Real Estate dealings.