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Frequently asked questions
What does a real estate agent do?
Real estate agents help clients buy, sell, and rent residential and commercial properties. Homebuyers and sellers should get a realtor or listing agent to help find and visit properties, make offers, determine a competitive listing price, negotiate, and handle all the paperwork.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, real estate agents do the following:
- Represent clients looking to buy, sell, and rent properties.
- Advise clients on local prices, market conditions, mortgages, and related information.
- Generate and compare currently listed and recently sold properties to determine a competitive listing price or offer.
- Market properties through open houses, online websites, and advertisements.
- Show prospective properties to buyers or renters.
- Present purchase offers to sellers or helps buyers submit an offer.
- Mediate negotiations between buyer and seller.
- Ensure all contract terms are met.
- Prepare and submit documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds.
How much does a real estate agent cost near me?
The standard, fair commission for a real estate agent is 6% of the home's sale price. The commission is negotiable and is typically split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent at 3% each. Some real estate firms offer selling or listing services at a flat rate of $3,000 to $6,000.
Additional costs apply for home staging, photography, videography, marketing, inspections, appraisals, and closing costs.
What's the difference between a real estate broker and an agent?
- Real estate brokers are licensed to own their firm and help clients buy and sell real estate.
- Real estate sales agents must work under a licensed broker. Brokers work with sales agents on a contract basis and charge a commission for each property they sell.
What should you look for in a real estate agent?
To find the best real estate office, look for and do the following:
- Contact and compare at least three presentations from top realtor agents.
- Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
- Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Select realtors with extensive knowledge and experience of the local market.
- Avoid part-time real estate agents.
- Avoid agents that don't typically work within your price range.
- Look for agents that have recent and successful local transactions.
- Look for agents that communicate with you regularly and keep you up to date.
After asking questions, hire the best real estate agents near you.
What questions should you ask a real estate agent?
When hiring a real estate firm, ask them the following questions:
- How long have you been in business? Are you full-time?
- How many homes have you represented in this area?
- What types of homes do you usually represent?
- What price range do you typically work within?
- What price would you recommend listing my home at, and why?
- Are there any potential complications you foresee with this home?
- How many other homes or buyers are you currently working with?
- Can you provide testimonials and references from past customers?
- Does your firm help with photography, walk-through video, or staging?
- How long are houses taking to sell in the neighborhood?
- How much do you charge, and how long does your contract last?
- Is your commission negotiable?
- What services are included in the cost?
- How do you plan to market my house?
- What do I need to provide to get started?