The Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Agent
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, discover how a real estate agent can make the process easier.
Have you ever wondered, “What do real estate agents do?” It’s a common question as most of us have limited experience with property purchases. While it’s possible to buy or sell a home on your own, working with a professional real estate agent provides many advantages. Here’s a quick overview of the services they provide and the benefits to both buyers and sellers.
Real estate agents work for buyers and sellers
Real estate agents can help facilitate home sales. They may work exclusively for a buyer or exclusively for a seller. Sometimes real estate professionals can serve as dual agents who serve both the buyer and seller during a transaction.
It matters who a real estate agent works for
In most home property sales, the buyer and the seller each use their own agent. A buyer’s agent is contractually bound to act in the buyer’s best interest. Likewise, a seller’s agent is bound to act in the seller’s best interest. In both cases, the agent has a fiduciary obligation to the party that hires them.
If a real estate agent serves as a dual agent who works for both the buyer and the seller, the agent doesn’t owe a fiduciary duty to either side. A dual agent’s responsibility is to provide services to complete a real estate transaction. In this situation, both the buyer and seller must be aware of the arrangement and provide written consent to dual agency.
Many people avoid using dual agents because there could be potential conflicts of interest and one party could be at a disadvantage.
Who pays a real estate agent’s commission
Real estate commissions are paid by the seller, including the buyer’s agent commission. Payment to the agents is made when the sales closes.
What does a real estate agent actually do?
If you’re selling a home your agent can:
- Give staging advice to make your home more attractive to buyers
- Provide local pricing data, known as comps, to help you price your home
- List your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database so potential buyers see that your home is for sale
- Host open houses to draw in potential buyers
- Vet potential buyers to make sure they can afford your home
- Negotiate a sale, including counteroffers
- Help navigate any issues that arise during inspections or title searches to keep the deal on track
- Handle the abundant paperwork that comes with a property sale
- Help you find and purchase your next home
A buyer’s agent can:
- Help you find a home that suits your needs and budget
- Schedule showings so you can see homes inside and out
- Help identify possible issues with a home or property
- Provide sales data for recently sold nearby homes so you compare prices and make a fair and competitive offer
- Help you write an offer and submit it to the seller
- Negotiate a sale, contingencies, and counteroffers
- Coordinate paperwork for the sale, including working with your lender so mortgage funds are available on the closing date
Well-informed agents provide guidance
A real estate transaction can be an emotional experience. Some emotions can hinder a sale. It could be a seller who wants too high a price based on what they put into property versus current market rates. Or it could be an over-eager buyer who bids without contingencies like an inspection because they fear missing out.
A well-informed agent helps buyers and sellers make decisions based on facts. Additionally, an experienced real estate agent knows the ins and outs of negotiation as well as the process of completing a home sale—which saves buyers and sellers from dealing with hassles.
Ready to buy a home?
When you’re ready to buy a home, first talk to a Consumers Mortgage Loan Officer to get pre-approved for a home loan. Our competitive mortgages are designed to help you get into your dream home as quickly as possible. Check out today’s mortgage rates on our most popular loans, from first-time home buyer loans to home loans for specialty professionals.
Consumers helps thousands of members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800.991.2221.
*All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on credit worthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions.