Understanding Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling Lake Wallenpaupack Real Estate
There are many types of professionals that work within the real estate industry. Knowing the key real estate roles and what they offer can be helpful if you’re looking to buy a home in the Lake Wallenpaupack area or you’re ready to sell your existing property. In this article, we are going to discuss the similarities and differences of the different real estate roles, including real estate agents, brokers, REALTORS®, listing agents, and buyers’ agents, and how they each can bring value to a transaction:
What Is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is an industry professional who serves as the facilitator of real estate transactions. Agents are licensed salespersons and cannot work independently. Real estate agents work for brokers or agencies and are normally paid on a commission basis, which is a percentage of the sale price of a property. The employing broker is responsible for a real estate agents’ actions and requirements for a real estate salesperson license vary from state to state.
Real estate agents are ultimately responsible for bringing buyers and sellers together and for carrying offers and counteroffers between each party along with any queries they may have. An agent will work with another agent once an offer is accepted, guide clients through the process of filling out paperwork, and make sure their clients are aware of any requirements to complete the sale, such as home inspections, moving, and important dates like the closing.
What is a real estate broker?
A real estate broker is a step above a real estate agent. A broker typically will have more training and subject-matter education than an agent (but not always) and will typically handle some of the more technical aspects of a real estate transaction. A broker can work independently or hire real estate agents to work under them.
Brokers who work with buyers normally look for properties that match the criteria set forth by their clients, conduct negotiations, prepare offers, and help the buyers with any other issues leading up to the closing date. Sellers’ brokers determine market values of their clients’ properties, list and show properties, communicate with sellers about offers, and assist in the offer process. A broker associate is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker or a brokerage firm.
Although brokers can work for themselves, they may choose to join a larger real estate network. Some pay a flat fee to the employing broker and some earn a percentage of each transaction. Brokers receive a commission once a sale is completed. The listing agreement or contract generally outlines how much of a percentage of the sale will go to the broker.
What is a REALTOR®?
Not all real estate agents or real estate brokers are REALTORS®. Although the word “realtor” is commonly confused with that of “real estate agent,” the designation is open to a variety of professions within the real estate industry. A REALTOR® can include residential and commercial real estate agents, brokers, property managers, appraisers, and other real estate professionals.
“REALTOR®” is a title that means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is bound by an extensive code of ethics, is an expert in their field, and pays annual dues. REALTORS® are expected to be honest and transparent with their clients, avoid exaggeration and misrepresentation, and always conduct business with their clients’ best interest in mind.
What Is a listing agent?
A listing agent can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Listing agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to the seller under a listing agreement and must protect that interest. In other words, the agent must put your interests first. Listing agents have a comprehensive understanding of how the real estate market works and how to market and price a property effectively.
Their responsibilities include listing the property on various listing services; negotiating prices, contingencies, and conditions on behalf of the seller; scheduling showings, pricing and advertising the property; property, and help with the closing paperwork. Most listing agents require sellers to sign exclusive selling agreements. By doing so, the agent secures a commission for his or her brokerage upon closing. The brokerage then shares a portion of the commission with the agent.
What is a buyer’s agent?
A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who guides a buyer through the process of purchasing a home. A buyer’s agent has a legal obligation to protect the interests of the buyer and work to ensure they are getting the best deal possible. Although there are some real estate agents who specialize in working with buyers, most agents work as either a buyer’s agent or listing agent, depending on the specific transaction.
A buyer’s agent is responsible for acting as a resource for their clients by guiding them through each step of the home buying process. They find listings for the buyer, schedule showings, negotiate with the listing agent, recommend other real estate professionals such as real estate attorneys, inspectors, etc.; and guide and advise the buyer through closing. Typically, it’s the seller who pays the commission for both the buyer’s agent and listing agent. If buyers are unable to find a home to purchase, the buyer’s agent doesn’t get paid.
Whether you are ready to buy a Lake Wallenpaupack home or it’s time to list your current property, knowing the different real estate roles can help you make informed decisions. For example, when you hire a real estate agent, you may want to do some additional research on the reputation of the broker, since that‘s who the agent works for. You may also prefer to work with a REALTOR® since they are held to a high standard of ethics. Regardless of the type of real estate professional you chose to work with, make sure they are experienced, knowledgeable, appropriately licensed, and have a stellar reputation.
Partner with Lake Wallenpaupack REALTOR® – Alicia Kowalik
Serving the Lake Wallenpaupack area for over a decade, Alicia Kowalik has the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and expertise you need when buying or selling a home. Offering in-depth local knowledge, Alicia has access to the most up-to-date listings and is the first to know when new Lake Wallenpaupack area inventory becomes available – ensuring that her buyers have the opportunity to secure an offer on the most valuable properties. One of the things Alicia loves most about being a real estate agent is being able to help her clients find the perfect home for their lifestyle needs in the area they want to live in.
If you are looking to sell, your Lake Wallenpaupack property, Alicia will create a comprehensive marketing plan that exposes your home to the public as well as to other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on.
Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at homes such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your property will also be featured on Alicia’s own highly-trafficked websites. You can be assured that Alicia will get your property sold quickly and for the highest market price. Alicia works extremely hard for her clients.
As your Lake Wallenpaupack real estate agent, she will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and be your trusted guide and advisor every step of the way. If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Lake Wallenpaupack real estate, please give Alicia Kowalik a call directly at (570) 470-5076, or you can get in touch with her here.