Everyone knows why a Realtor® or Real Estate salesperson, usually referred to as an agent, is vital to selling your home, but most people do not understand the value of hiring a buyers agent. Additionally, most consumers do not realize there is a subtle but important difference between a Real Estate Salesperson and a Realtor®.
What is the difference between a Realtor® and a Real Estate Salesperson?
While both Realtors® and Sales Agents are licensed in their state, and are educated in real estate transactions and common real estate practices, the terms are not synonymous.
All Realtors® are Real Estate Agents, but all Real Estate Agents are not necessarily Realtors®. The difference is Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors® and are bound to a Code of Ethics. The Realtor® Code of Ethics is enforceable and holds agents with the Realtor® designation next to their name, to a higher set of ideals and professionalism than non Realtors®.
Why do I need a Realtor® or an agent to help me buy a home?
A very common scenario: The potential home buyer is driving through a neighborhood and sees a for sale sign out front and calls the number on the sign for information. Consumers rarely realize that the name on the sign is representing the seller. They are representing the seller to the best of their ability, thats what good agents do. This means, they are using all our their skill and training to get the seller the best price with the least amount of problems and get the property sold. The listing agent is not going to do anything unethical when the potential buyer asks questions, BUT the agent is hired by the seller, has a duty to protect the sellers interests. The agent has no such obligation to a potential buyer.
Without getting into Dual Agency and other areas that are too complicated to explain now, let’s just say that the listing company, the listing agent ( names on the sign in the front yard ), are hired by the seller and have no obligation to any potential buyers, only to do what is in the best interest of their client, the seller.
Now this may not seem like such a big deal, but think about it.
A potential buyer, who is not experienced in local market trends, who is not an expert in financing options, who does not know all the tests and inspections he is entitled to before buying a home, is not being represented in any negotiations and may not fully understand what he is doing. He is hurting his chances for getting the best possible price and the best possible conditions to ensure that he, the potential buyer, gets to the settlement table with the least amount of problems. At this point there are so many potential problems I couldnt list them here.
The Solution: The potential buyer should hire a Realtor® or Real Estate Agent to represent him as his Buyers Agent.
ALERT-FIND A GOOD ONE!
Ask friends who have had a good experience with an agent. Check out websites, testimonials, etc. Call some agents and ask them over the phone why you should hire them. Meet with a few and interview them if you have to.
The bottom line is any potential buyer needs to have a professional real estate agent acting as his/her buyers agent.
A buyers agent will earn his commission ( which is typically paid by the sellers side of the transaction ) by looking out for the buyers best interest. The advice, experience and training a good agent possesses is priceless in negotiations, steering clients around potential pitfalls in a property, and advising on financing issues along with many, many, other situations. A good buyers agent will actually find himself in a fiduciary relationship with the client.
Buyer agents have duties to their clients. Ask an agent what services and duties they will provide upon being hired.
Every house listed for sale has hired the list company and agent to represent them and have the benefit of all that agents experience,training and professionalism to help get them the best possible price and terms.
Every potential buyer should hire a Realtor® or a Professional Real Estate Agent to represent them and benefit from that agents experience, training and professionalism to get the buyer the best price and terms on the property they want.