Although the terms Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker are used interchangeably there is a difference between the two. They both are licensed but “Realtors/Real Estate Agents” are licensed by NAR; The National Association of Realtors. NAR was founded in 1908 and has over a million members today. Those that are “Realtors” have to adhere to a code of ethics which is the standard or behavior they are supposed to operate by when dealing with a buyer or seller.
In some states licensed real estate agents are called brokers. All licensed real estate agents take a state exam first on real estate law and practice. To be a real estate “Sales” person one has to work under a licensed real estate agent.
For a first time home buyer it is advised for them to get themselves a good real estate agent. This is because a good realty agent should know the real estate market inside out and can give you key information in regards to buying a home. There are real estate agents called selling agents who represent the person selling their home and then there are buyer agents who represent the person buying a home.
The person who works with you to find a home; the Buyers Agent virtually does all the work for you. Unlike the selling broker or agent who is paid by the one selling the house; it is you who pays the buyer’s broker/agent. The real estate market can be a complex place for someone who does not understand the dynamics of the market place. It is important to find an agent from a reputable office in your area. If you have trouble finding one you can always look online for the “National Association of Realtors” to find a local realtor serving your area.
You may decide to check out several realtors before choosing the one you feel comfortable with. When deciding on a realtor you want to look at things like their training, experience, reputation and their professional certification. A good realtor will explain your options that are available to you. They will also explain to you how they will work with you. They will fill you in on all the things that are required of them and of you in order to get the house you want.
When you find the realtor you decide to hire, they will give you detailed information on the current market conditions, financing options and negotiation issues regarding your situation. During the buying process the realtor will keep you informed of things as they move along. Keep in mind that the market changes as does conditions around buying a house so you have to be flexible to get something you want sometimes. A good agent will stand by you and answer any and all question you have regarding buying a house and your current status on getting a home. Remember they get commissions with sales so they want to make you happy because it makes them happy to. They will have a sale and maybe a good reference from their dealing with you as a satisfied client.