Many people don’t really understand how the real estate business works or what is a REALTOR® and what they do. A REALTOR® is not the same thing as a real estate agent. REALTORS® are National Association of REALTORS® members who have taken an oath to follow a strict code of ethics.
Even people who have bought or sold a home might not understand how REALTORS® work.
Before hiring a REALTOR®, it’s better to understand more about how they operate and how you should work with them.
A REALTOR® has many responsibilities that buyers and sellers should know.
How are REALTORS® paid?
Most of the time, REALTORS® are paid only by a commission. If the sale does not successfully get to closing, they are not going to be paid. This could mean that they actually lose money when a sale doesn’t close.
REALTOR® earnings will depend on their production.
How to hire a REALTOR®
When you’re buying a home, you have to consider if you want the help of a REALTOR®. They will represent you in negotiations for your best interests.
You can just go to the listing agent instead, although it might mean the purchase doesn’t quite work out as planned. The REALTOR® will have the seller’s best interests in mind when dealing with the sale.
Be considerate of my REALTORS®
While it can be tempting to contact your agent with all your questions, that isn’t the REALTOR®’s definition of being thoughtful.
Most agents are kept extremely busy with multiple clients, negotiations, showings, contracts, and more. And since they aren’t being paid a salary, they need to use their time efficiently.
Of course, it is okay to ask questions, just be considerate of your agent’s time.
Communicating with your real estate agent
The transaction will go more smoothly if you can effectively communicate with your REALTOR®. Part of this will be the method you want to use to stay up-to-date with the progress of the purchase. Do you want your REALTOR®’s phone calls, text messages, or emails to keep you informed?
You also must remember that while the REALTOR® will pay attention to what you say you want, it isn’t always possible to get precisely what you are looking for. It also might take longer than you want, and a good real estate agent will try to manage your expectations.
As a buyer, it is easy to think you can get more for your money than you realistically can. And sellers frequently think their home is worth more than it actually is.
If you do not have good communication and a good relationship with your REALTOR®, they might shy away from telling you the truth about what is realistically possible.
Don’t contact a listing agent
Don’t contact a listing agent if you want to work with a REALTOR® to help you buy a home. The listing agent works for the seller; if you hire them, they will represent both the buyer and the seller. This is not a perfect situation and is not allowed in some states.
If the REALTOR® works for both sides of the transaction, they can’t get the lowest price for the buyer and the highest price for the seller. It’s known as a dual agency and isn’t in your best interests.
You don’t need to hire multiple REALTORS®
Thanks to the MLS, the multiple listing service, your REALTOR® has access to almost all the homes that are for sale.
Your REALTOR® can help sell homes that a REALTOR® lists from another brokerage. Without this, they would only have access to properties within their brokerage, and you would need to use many REALTORS® when buying a home.
If you hire an agent with more experience, you should get a better result. A home purchase involves a large financial commitment, so you want to make sure you are working with professionals who will do the best for you.
Be willing to listen
An experienced REALTOR® will have the knowledge to save you time and money during your purchase. If you listen and follow their advice, you could be much better off following a strategy to close on the home of your dreams.
Some agents don’t like working with buyers
In general, buyers take up more time than sellers. For this reason, some REALTORS® will try to avoid dealing with buyers.
The highest earning REALTORS® tend to be listing agents. An agent could show a buyer dozens of properties without finding what they are looking for, meaning they aren’t going to be paid for a long time.
Are you ready?
You don’t need to hire a REALTOR® if you aren’t really ready to buy. You need to be pre-approved for a loan and have the funds to pay the earnest money, down payment, and closing costs.
If you haven’t got these things ready, that is your first step before finding a REALTOR® you’ll love.