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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Introduction

    Real estate agents help property owners and clients who want to buy real property realize their goals. They offer services, guidance, oversight, and expertise regarding the legalities of real estate transactions.

    Some common real estate agent tasks and services include listing homes, showing properties to prospective buyers, holding open houses, and negotiating property sales prices. Agents also find homes available for sale that meet their clients’ needs and desires. They explain the sales conditions and draw up transactional contracts.

    Agents work with mortgage lenders, property appraisers, home inspectors, and other professionals in the field. Real estate agents can act as a liaison for their clients, explaining complicated legal processes while acting in their best interests; it may be getting the best price for a homeowner who’s selling or negotiating a lower sales price for a buyer. 
  • Are all real estate agents Realtors?

    No. All real estate agents are not Realtors. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors. This membership allows these professionals to use this trademarked designation. But membership is not required to provide real estate services. Therefore, real estate agents who haven’t joined a NAR trade association are not Realtors.

  • How do real estate agents get paid?

    Real estate agents are paid when they make a sale. Sales pay on a commission basis. Brokers and the agents who buy and sell properties receive a percentage of the total sales price. The brokers collect the commissions from the sales funds, then pay their agents a set percentage established by contract agreements.

  • What is a fair commission for a real estate agent?

    The typical rate for residential sales is 5% to 6%. For example, a 6% commission on a house that sells for $400,000 is $24,000. Commercial property sales may pay up to 10% on commission. However, the agents split the total commission with the listing broker and the purchasing broker.

  • How do you pick a real estate agent?

    Homeowners who want to sell their homes with the help of a real estate professional choose selling agents, also called listing agents. Aspiring home purchasers use the services of a buyer’s real estate agent. Some real estate agents work for both buyers and sellers, but they usually only represent one or the other at a time. The exception occurs in states that allow dual agency. This arrangement is not recommended.

    Get referrals for a buyer’s or listing agent from friends, family, and coworkers, and do some online research. Then, interview agents at different real estate agencies before deciding. Ask about their experience, workload, specialties, commission rate, and marketing approach.
  • Do buyers pay commission to the real estate agent?

    The commission that compensates real estate agents for their services is paid out of the final sales price. It’s the seller who delivers the funds in the end. Since those funds come from the money that the purchaser provides to acquire the home, it could be argued that ultimately, it’s the buyer that pays.

  • Can a felon become a real estate agent?

    The laws and regulations that govern the real estate profession vary from state to state. So, while a felony may prevent someone from obtaining a real estate license in Arizona, an aspiring agent in Florida with a felony on their record is far more likely to get one. Many states allow real estate licensing for people with felonies on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances meet specific guidelines.

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