The Role Of A Realtor

By: Michael Stazko

When going to buy or sell a home, your first step should be finding an honest and hard-working realtor. You can find a real estate agent by keeping an eye out for advertisements, calling your local real estate broker, or through the internet. Some popular real estate brokers are Century 21, Remax, Keller Williams, and Coldwell Banker, just to name a few.

The role of a real estate agent is to represent your best interests in a real estate transaction. They work off of a commission, normally 6% of the sales price of the home. In most cases, that commission is split equally between the realtor representing the buyer and the realtor representing the seller. For a person buying a home, the service of the real estate agent is free, because commission is paid by the seller. The buyer, however, is responsible for most of the closing costs. The closing costs will be explained to you by your realtor and will be on the documents you sign when you go to the title company. Closing costs can also be negotiated on during the contract process.

The real estate agent, through their broker, has access to all of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listed homes in your area of interest. If you are a home buyer, the realtor can provide you with information about homes for sale that meet your criteria. They will then bring you to these homes and let you inside to see them. If you are selling a home, the realtor will list your home in the MLS, post a "For Sale" sign in your yard, and hold open houses to attract buyers. Be wary of discount realtors that offer to list your home for a lower commission. Studies show that, in most cases, your home will stay on the market longer and you end up selling it for a lower price than what you intended.

A real estate transaction is a complicated process that involves many steps and is best done with the help of a trained, licensed professional. A realtor can save you the headache of dealing with the other party in the sale, getting together the contract, and submitting all the documents to the title company. So when you are ready to buy or sell a house, contact the local real estate agent.

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