The Role of a Real Estate Agent: How They Work


Real estate agents facilitate home sales and purchases on behalf of their clients, helping them navigate the transaction process from start to finish. They have an in-depth knowledge of property values and comparable home sales, local regulations and state laws, as well as the nuts and bolts of selling or buying a house. They also understand how each step of the process affects other areas, such as mortgage rates and loan options, home inspections, schools and neighborhoods.

If you’re buying a property, your agent will help you find homes that meet your needs and budget by searching online and setting up in-person appointments to see properties. They’ll also share their insights on the area, including its commute times, average cost of living and recent crime statistics. They can even use your preferences, such as access to public transportation, a pool or a good school district, to narrow down your search. For more

For home sellers, their duties include advising clients on how to prepare a home for sale and marketing the property through listing services, their networks of professionals and advertisements. They may also negotiate the final terms of a deal on their client’s behalf, such as price reductions or closing costs.

Most real estate agents work for a broker, who in turn gets paid by the sellers or buyers of a property. The brokers then split the commission among their agents based on an agreed-upon ratio, usually a percentage of the sales price. This percentage can vary, with more experienced or successful agents earning a higher commission than newer or less-seasoned agents.

A buyer’s or seller’s agent can also save you time by vetting prospective buyers to ensure they can actually afford a property. For example, they might check a buyer’s credit report and preapproval letter or verify their income with past employers. This prevents you from spending time viewing houses that might not be within your price range and avoids wasted showings for the homeowner.

If you’re buying a new construction home, your real estate agent will often act as your liaison between the developer and you, communicating offers, counteroffers and other key details back and forth. They’ll also be your advocate at the settlement table, helping you read through all the paperwork and ensuring any outstanding issues are settled before the closing date.


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