Choosing a REALTOR®
Once you have made the decision to purchase or sell a home, the next step is to find a local South Padre Island area REALTOR® who will best represent you and your housing needs. It is important to use a local REALTOR® because they know the properties, and unique addendums the best. There are three types of real estate agencies: the Buyer’s Agent, the Seller’s Agent, and the Dual Agent.
These are the three typical Agent/Client relationships that may occur. The terms of these relationships may vary from state to state, so please verify the terms of these Agency Agreements in your local area before signing any agreements.
The Buyer’s Agent
Many prospective home buyers do not feel it is necessary to contract the services of a REALTOR®. They feel that the listing agent will represent them fairly during the buying process. However, what many buyers do not know is that the listing agent, or Seller’s Agency, works solely on behalf of, and in the best interest of the home seller. Therefore, it is essential that the buyer seek out and find a Buyer’s Agent that will best meet their needs.
A Buyer’s Agency works solely on behalf of the buyer. The buyer’s agent will assist their client in the negotiation of the terms of a contract. In addition, they will gather information on zoning issues, past tax data, schools and community services, and any other information deemed necessary by the buyer before making the decision to extend an offer on a home.
Many prospective home buyers have the misconception that once they begin working with an agent, he/she represents the buyer. However, this is not always the case. Unless there is a signed Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the agent that is working with the buyer still represents the seller’s interests in the transaction. Without the agreement, there is certain information that the agent cannot disclose to the prospective buyer:
· The reason that the owner is selling the property.
· Any concessions that the seller is willing to negotiate.
· Any conversations between the seller and the agent.
· Any disclosed information that would harm the seller and/or give the buyer an advantage in the contract negotiations.
Normally, there are no extra costs associated with signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. Any commissions paid to agents in a sales transaction are usually paid at closing by the seller.
An Intermediary Agreement occurs when two Realtors who work for the same Broker each represent a buyer or a seller in the sales transaction. This agreement must be disclosed to both the seller and the buyer, and any privileged information cannot be disclosed to the interested party without the permission of the other party.
What to Look for in an Realtor
In addition to finding a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and whom you trust, make sure that he/she is a dedicated professional who will work with you until your goals have been met.
They should be familiar with the area. Not only should they be familiar with the housing market, but also with area churches, schools, clubs, and parks.
Also, look for an agent that is a licensed REALTOR®. REALTORS® are individuals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and must adhere to its strict code of ethics. Agents who are not Realtors do not have to abide by the code of ethics.
By following these guidelines, your home buying or selling experience should be a pleasant one!