Nick Pappas from Huntsville Alabama, writes an excellent article about the role of the Realtor. Many Realtors assume that the general public knows these things, but all too often they don't.
Working With A Realtor...How It Works.
This topic could easily fill a few books, however, my intention is simply to clear up some misconceptions the public has about real estate agents and Realtors and the process in general of working with one.
Agents please feel free to add to the list of misconceptions you feel the public may have about working with a Realtor.
To begin; the term Realtor is a registered trademark of the National association of Realtors and only it's members are allowed to call themselves a Realtor. Realtors have additional guidelines and a strict code of ethics to abide by and are held to a higher standard than real estates agents who are not members. I'm not saying that a traditional real estate agent will not represent you properly, but what I am saying is that as a Realtor the individual is expected to adhere to a strict code of conduct, represent their client to the best of their ability and putting the clients interest ahead of all others including the Realtor.
Working with a Realtor or real estate agent can take many different forms with different levels of agency provided to the customer or client. When a buyer calls the agent on a for sale sign it is important to know that the agent on the sign is representing the seller. As a buyer you would not want to give the listing agent any information that you would not want the seller to know such as the highest price you'd pay for the house or indicate a great sense of urgency. It is possible for one agent to represent more than one client(seller & buyer) in the same transaction this is called Dual or Limited Dual Agency and the consumer should know that the level of representation to each is limited. It's my opinion that the consumer interview and select their own agent for representation.
As a buyer; did you know that any...I'll say it again...any Realtor or agent in your area where a home is listed can show any...I'll say that again...any listed property in that area? You do not have to call the listing agent to see the house unless for some bizarre reason the agent doesn't belong to the local board.
As a buyer; did you know that it's the seller that pays the Realtors commission? You as buyer can essentially hire your own representative for zero dollars. Of course depending on the buyers agency agreement or written agreement you have with your Realtor you could pay if you wanted...but I'll leave that to you. Actually there can be agreements that involve a retainer fee or other forms of payment it just depends on your situation. I will say that I've never collected a cent from any buyer I've worked with.
Did you know as a buyer or seller that you can not pay anything to your agent? If you wanted to give your agent a bonus or something of value for a job well done, it has to go through the agents or Realtors Broker?
Did you know that most Realtors work for themselves? That's right...they may be part of a team or a single agent, but it's their own business and they hang their license with the company that sponsors them. The agent depending on the arrangement with their sponsoring broker will pay a monthly fee or percentage of commission to the broker/owner to be associated and hang their license there. So if you as a customer work with one agent and for what ever reason work a transaction with a different agent in the same company...that first agent that did a lot of work for you was just cut out...just because it's the same company doesn't mean that the first agent gets paid for his efforts because he doesn't.
There is much more to discuss about working with a Realtor and I will continue in a follow up post. I hope that some of the Realtors, agents and related real estate professional members here in ActiveRain will contribute in their comments misconceptions they feel the public have of working with Realtors.
If you need a knowledgeable real estate professional in Madison or Huntsville Alabama area, why don't you let me Google that for you!