What is the Role of a Real Estate Agent?

Most of the time, when you want to purchase an item you simply head to the store (or your favorite website) and make your choice. Likewise, if you want to sell an item you might advertise it on a website or in the newspaper. But when selling or shopping for a home, most people seek the services of a real estate agent. It makes sense, because real estate is one of the biggest investments most people ever make.

At the same time, you might be wondering what services does a real estate agent performs? Do you really need an agent, and if so, how does this expert guidance benefit you?

The home search. The home search can be one of the most exciting, but also frustrating, aspects of buying a home. A real estate agent who is familiar with the properties for sale in your area can often help you shorten this process and avoid unnecessary disappointments. Not everything that is for sale is listed on the Internet and as a home buyer you could be missing out on that perfect home unless you have a real estate agent who can access these properties.

Marketing. If you’re selling your home, marketing it correctly and accurately can help you sell it faster (and potentially for a higher price). Real estate agents are experienced in marketing homes, and can provide you with the industry tips and tricks that would be difficult to discover or access on your own. They also connect with other real estate agents, some of whom might have clients searching for a home just like yours.

Negotiation. A skilled real estate agent can help you negotiate the best possible price and terms when selling your home, or the lowest possible price and most beneficial terms if you’re buying. Legally, a real estate agent owes fiduciary duty to his or her client, which means that the real estate agent must act in your best interests above all other interests.

Disclosure. A real estate agent is also legally bound to disclose all known facts that materially affect the value or desirability of the property that you’re considering. This helps to protect you from unseen defects or other negative aspects of the property, which will assist you in deciding whether to move forward with the purchase.

The transaction. Selling or purchasing a home is a complex legal transaction that offers many opportunities for missteps. One of the real estate agent’s primary tasks is to guide you through all steps of the transaction, from escrow to closing day. Your real estate agent will handle most of the finer details, so that you can focus on the tasks you must perform personally.

Real estate agents provide support and guidance during one of the most important decisions (and investments) you will ever make, so it just makes sense to work with one. Of course, we also urge you to contact our real estate attorneys, who can offer more detailed legal guidance to help protect your interest.

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