Many buyers do not fully understand the home buying process and what role a real estate agent plays. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that buyers ask or donâ€™t fully understand.
What is the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTORÂ®?
A real estate agent is a generic term for an individual licensed with a real estate broker who assists customers in the selling or purchasing of property. A REALTORÂ® is a real estate agent who is a member of a local Association of REALTORSÂ®, a state Association of REALTORSÂ® and the National Association of REALTORSÂ® (NAR). NAR is the largest trade organization in the United States (over 1,000,000 members strong) that sets the ethical business standards for its membership. All REALTORSÂ® are obligated to practice their profession within the parameters of these business standards. All RE/MAX Results real estate agents are REALTORSÂ®.
What does it cost as a buyer to use a REALTORÂ®?
The compensation that a REALTORÂ® receives typically comes from the sellerâ€™s proceeds. In other words, there is no cost for a buyer to use a REALTORÂ® in a traditional agent/buyer relationship. In a buyer agency agreement, there may be some cost to the buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded so that the REALTORÂ® is compensated from the seller.
Can my REALTORÂ® give me information regarding properties from other real estate companies?
Yes, as long as the other real estate company is a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) â€“ which most real estate companies are. Many For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed on the MLS so a REALTORÂ® likely would not be able to provide information regarding them. However, with a buyer agency agreement, your REALTORÂ® may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.
What if I find a property on my own?
You should contact your REALTORÂ® and not the property owner or the real estate agent listing the property. Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your real estate agent in gathering information regarding the property.
What type of information will my REALTORÂ® need from me?
A REALTORÂ® will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you. For example, number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms are common criteria. Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, 2-story, etc) and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through!
A REALTORÂ® may also ask you for other information such as hobbies or activities you enjoy, childrenâ€™s names, birthdays, etc. This type of information fosters a closer business relationship and makes the home buying process much less stressful.
Can I go to open houses without my REALTORÂ®?
It is suggested that you consult with your REALTORÂ® as to how to approach open houses. If you do go to an open house without your REALTORÂ® and do not disclose that you are already working with a REALTORÂ®, it is possible that your REALTORÂ® may not be able to help you write an offer on that property and/or receive compensation from the broker listing the property.
How can I find out about new properties?
Your REALTORÂ® should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it is via e-mail, phone calls, etc. Clients with e-mail capability can receive free automatic MLS updates from the RE/MAX Results HomeFile system as soon as new listings are entered into the MLS.
Ask me anything! I look forward to helping you.
RE/MAX RESULTSMetropolitan Home Team