The buyer’s agent represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. The compensation for this type of agency is usually commission-based and it happens after the transaction is closed. This service is free for the buyer. The seller is actually the one who pays the commission in most cases. The buyer’s agent will help their clients find homes and then help them negotiate a winning contract.
The seller’s agent represents the person selling their home. They are often referred to as the listing agent. This agent is responsible for marketing the home and getting the best sales price and terms possible for their client. Often a seller’s agent will start helping you even before the home is listed, helping you make your home as show-ready as possible. They use their experience and tools to help you come up with the best pricing strategy and then market the home. Once a ready and able buyer is found, the seller’s agent negotiates contracts and helps close the deal.
You may hear about a dual agency every now and then around St. Louis. This is a little more uncommon. What happens is one agent represents both the buyer and the seller. This can get kind of tricky. Most states don’t allow this because it’s hard to tell who’s really working for who. How can you tell if they are putting either the seller’s or the buyer’s best interests first? The most common dual agency that is more straight forward is if the buyer and seller already know each other and the agent is just helping facilitate the deal. In most cases, it is in the buyers and sellers best interest to each have their own agent representing them.
Finding The Best Agent For You
By doing a little research upfront you can find an agent that is full time, works in the area you want to buy or sell in and has a great reputation. Ask your family and friends for referrals or seek out an agent you are interested in and then check their reviews online. Finally, meet your agent in person to interview them.
Open houses are a good way to start if you don’t know anyone who has recently bought a home or has spoken highly of an agent. Google is also a useful tool to view what others have said about a particular agent, but open houses are always a good place to start.
The next step would be to set up a meeting with the agent you think you could potentially have a good relationship with. Pick an agent you easily get along with and has the same personality style as you.
Your agent has an obligation to you: to help you the best that they can. Make sure that they have a communication style that suites you, this will go a long way in creating a smooth transaction. For example, if you are not an email, internet, or tech-savvy person, you might want to make sure you can communicate with them another way, such as by having a face-to-face conversation or by phone. That way you know if the agent is able to meet your needs.
Some people start out thinking they can sell or buy a house on their own. It doesn’t look that hard when you’re watching it at home on HGTV, right? In the long run, by choosing the best agent you are going to save yourself a lot of time because an agent actually does most of the work for you. They are able to utilize tools, such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where agents have first choice of seeing all of the houses on the market. When selling a home a licensed agent has a huge advantage because they can list the home on the MLS, marketing it using social media and the best agents have a huge network of other agents they work with that they can directly market the home to as well.
Whether you are selling a house or buying a house, choosing an agent that best fits your needs will be one of the best decisions you make!