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Real Estate Agent, Broker, Realtor Explained
What’s the difference between a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker or Realtor? Are the term interchangeable? Why is it important to know the difference in terminology? Whether you are a potential buyer or seller of property these terms are definitely beneficial to understand. This is article will answer these questions and much more.
Real Estate Agent
A Real Estate Agent, also called Real Estate Salesperson, is a licensed professional whose business is to arrange the selling and/or renting of property, such as houses, land, offices, or buildings for their owners. So, as the term Agent suggest.
A Real Estate Agent acts as a representative assisting in negotiations for buyers or sellers of property. A Real EstateAgent usually earns their income through commission on a percentage of sales. So, they are motivated to close the deal.
In US real estate market, a Real Estate Agent is not a free agent and has to work for a Real Estate Broker or Brokerage company. What type of duties does a Real Estate Agent perform?
A Real Estate Agent advices the seller of a property on the listing price and also, how to prepare the property for sale. It’s helpful to have an independent and professional set of eyes to review your property’s condition before putting it on the market.
An owner of a property may be at a disadvantage since the property can have sentimental value. They may be inclined to highly appraisal their property’s value and price themselves out of the market making it hard or even impossible to sell.
A Real Estate Agent also, will list the property for the seller by using a listing service, networking or advertising. Since, they have the ability to use their professional contacts and services, Real Estate Agents are definitely an asset to property sellers, buyers and renters.
A Real Estate Agent is a buyers best friend. They research properties for sale matching the buyers criteria. An Agent will assist the buyer with a realistic price based on the community, amenities and other preferences of buyer.
Once a property match is made the Real Estate Agent acts as a go between in negotiations for the seller and buyer. An Agent will also guide a buyer through the complex mountain of paperwork, inspections and moving details, and so much more.
The Agent basically babysits the buyer through the purchase of the property. One note of caution is that an Agent in many states can act as a Dual Agent. A Dual Agent Represents both parties, the seller and the buyer. This can affect the price and negotiations of the deal. The Agent by laws must disclose any conflicts of interest to the involved parties beforehand.
Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Broker is also a Licensed Agent but with more training and education. They are members of National Association of Realtors (NAR), (which members are obligated by a code of ethics that go above and beyond state legal requirements to work in the best interest of the clients).
A Brokers license is a step up from an Agent’s license and they have the responsibility to uphold a higher ethical code. Whereas an Agent guides a seller or buyer through a contract, the contract is actually signed with the Brokerage.
A Broker is licensed to handle legal and financial aspects of signing a contract. For example, handling the earnest money deposit (which is a deposit that makes known to the seller your commitment to purchase the property and it also goes towards the down payment once the paperwork has been approved).
A Broker, also, handles establishing the escrow account (which is an account that retains the earnest money and important financial documents related to the property contract negotiations).
A Real Estate Broker will usually own a franchise or a firm. Unlike Real Estates Agent, Brokers can operate independently or they can choose to hire Real Estate Agents to work under their firm or brokerage.
The proceeds from the sales of real estate would be split between the Real Estate Broker the Real Estate Agent or Agents. Some brokerages operate as Flat-fee brokers or Fee-for-Service (FFS) brokers as opposed to a Full Service Broker, which can cause the fee to vary greatly depending on the services provided.
A Flat-Fee Broker is a payment model in which a Broker will usually unbundle the usual services provided. The Flat Fee method of payment means that you no longer had a full-service Agent or Broker. The seller is not bound under this type of payment arrangement to take use the full range of services sometimes called an à la carte service agreement.
This type of fee allows the client to cut the usual Brokerage fee in half. The client, therefore, is taking on much of the duties of the Real Estate Agent and using the Brokerage or Agent for certain services such the ability to list their property on the MLS database.
However, with more power comes more responsibility. If a Real Estate Agent makes a mistake in paperwork or some other aspect of the real estate deal and the company ends up getting sued, the Real Estate Broker bares the fault.
Brokerages, also, offer landlords property management services. A few of the tasks involved in property management is advertising the rental property, handling tenant applications and pre-screening potenial residents, drawing up rental agreements, collecting rental income and handling maintenance requests.
A Realtor is a licensed professional that work as residential and commercial real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and other real estate professionals.
Realtors have access to a database called multiple listing service or MLS. The MLS database is free listing site for Realtors to share listings and Real Estate information.
This group of Professionals belong to the National Association of REALTORS®. As discussed previously members of the NAR must pledge to be honest and put the interests of her clients above her own.
In fact, there are 17 pledges a NAR member must agree to uphold. A realtor must go above and beyond the requirements of a Non-NAR Real Estate professional.
Why is it important to have A Good Real Estate Professional by your side when Buying or Selling Property?
The Real Estate industry is complex and comes with a unique set of issues. On top of that, each family or individual that a Real Estate Professional represents has unique set of circumstances and requirements.
A good Real Estate Professional will give you special attention and act as a barrier, shielding their clients, from all the chaos and making the real estate buying or selling process appear to be seamless.
After all, real estates transactions are usually the biggest investment most people will make in their lifetime. A Plantation Real Estate Professional will need to obtain lots of information from their client since much research and planning goes into assisting them.
A Plantation Agent/Broker/Realtor has access to industry tools that a regular Joe would not be privy to or understand how to use fully for their benefit. A great deal of leg work and effort is needed to make sure your dealing with a Good Plantation Real Estate Professional but it is totally worth the effort.
Today, it is as easy as ever to access the Internet and check out a Real Estate professionals online reputation. Visit the Agent’s website and search the Net for online reviews and maybe even social media postings.
Another good resource is friends, family members and neighbors who have recently had a good experience with a Real Estate Professional. Maybe even, visit the local Real Estates offices in your area and determine the atmosphere and customer service offered to visitors. Are the Agents eager to assist you upon your entry into the office? Do they smile and immediately offer you a seat? The customer service provided at the agents office may go a long way in determine your treatment down the line.
Each individual state handles the disciplinary actions taken against Agents. Check with your local State Regulatory Board for any disciplinary actions taken, compliants and status of the Real Estate Professionals license.
Additional Details Useful Tips
* Real Estate Brokers and Agents are licensed by individual states, not by the federal government. Each state carries their own laws that and sets relationships between clients and licensed Real Estate salespeople.
For example, certain states do not permit brokers to sign certain legal financial documents but require a lawyer to do so. It’s a good idea to become familiar with some of your states customized set of regulations for Brokers and Agents.
Two US states, Colorado and New Mexico have unique requirement for Real Estate Agents. These states require that the Real Estate Agents also become licensed as Brokers.
* A useful service that a Brokerage can provide to the individuals that want to sell their own property is a Home Selling Kits. This kit provides guidance and advise to DIYers on how to market and sell their own property.
* Having a clear and detailed Written Agreement between the client and the broker is of critcal importance. Any word of mouth agreements could later be disputed and cause a breakdown in the client broker/agent relationship.
It is good to trust your Real Estate Professional but it is in your best interest to have all agreed financial matters written down on paper.
* Do not underestimate the Professional service of a Real Estate Agent/Broker in their ability to help Stage your Property. A critical eye and suggestions on potential changes needed to bring your property up to par, such as, well placed accessories and furniture arranged in an attractive manner might just be the trick to getting your property sold quickly.
A Real Estate Professional is?
* A Real Estate Agent is a licensed advocate to aide their client in the buying, selling or renting of real estate. They cannot work independently but must be signed with a broker or brokerage firm.
* A Real Estate Broker is a much more qualified and educated Agent. Also, the Broker has more freedom than a Real Estate Agent. They can work independently or establish a brokerage company. They are instrumental in helping the buyer or seller in closing on contracts, signing legal documents and they are also members of the NAR.
* A Realtor is a Professional in the real estate industry that is a member of the NAR. They also has access the MLS database.
Keep in mind the differences between these professionals if you are in the market to buy or sell real estate. Your best defensive for protecting your financial interests is knowledge.
Regardless, of the type of real estate property transactions you are involved with, a licensed Real Estate Broker will enter the picture at some point. This link is to a very short video explaining in simple language the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Real Estate Broker.
I hope this article along with the video link provided, gives you a clear and understandable difference between the three types of professionals. If you are in the market to buy, sell or rent real estate, contact a Licensed Professional. Remember, your Real Estate Professional in Plantation can be your advocate, guide and Best Friend!.
Nest Findr Team – Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
600 N Pine Island Rd suite 150
Plantation, FL 33324