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What an Agent Does

When you decide to purchase a new home you will need the help of many people from different disciplines. You may need a real estate attorney and an agent or a broker. You could do without them, but it is best advised to engage the services of one. Unless you completely understand what is involved and required in the purchase of a new home, it is difficult to go through the entire process without one of these professionals.

What does an agent do?
An agent is a trained real estate professional that always works for a real estate broker.

The agent is responsible for listing and showing the house. The agent who lists the house is often called the listing agent.

There are buyer and seller's agents. Make sure you choose to be represented by an agent that it is a buyer's agent. There are also seller's agents who generally have the best interests of the seller at heart. However, if you choose to be represented by a seller's agent, make sure you do not give them any information you do not want the seller to know.

The seller's agent is generally working on commission and this is usually six percent of the purchase price but is negotiable. If you employ the services of a seller's agent the agent must disclose this.
If you choose to be represented by a buyer's agent, you can be sure they have your best interests at heart.The buyer's agent can be paid for their services in a number of ways and it is best to discuss this up front. You may be fortunate and the seller agrees to pay this fee. It can be a flat fee or based on the purchase price.

If a broker's agency has properties listed that you would like to see and you connected with an agent working for this broker, this buyer's agent must disclose on a Dual Agency Disclosure Agreement. You will be asked to sign this agreement, if you are okay with it.

You may also be asked to sign an Exclusivity Agreement, which states you will only work with this agent for a specified period of time (usually 60 to 90 day). This can also be negotiated around.

Remember, there are many agents out there and you need to find a good one .Ask potential agents questions such how many homes they have sold this year and the average price. If you are not getting calls back promptly from potential agents, this may be a sign of how they work.

After selecting an agent and signing a contract for a specified period, you may decide that this agent is not working out for you. They may not be fully engaged in the process of finding you a home or be uncooperative. If this happens to you, speak up and try to get out of the contract. It is in the best interest of the agent to let you out of the contract.

An agent can help in more ways than just finding you your dream home. Here are some other things your agent can do for you:

Help find a Lender. Remember, it is in the best interests of the agent to find you a home so they can get paid. However, they also want to make sure you can get a mortgage.

An agent may also be able to help you understand the different financial options and explain different financial scenarios that may be available to you.

Calculate how much you can afford and analyze your financial health.

An agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and this may be your only avenue to view the MLS of the area you are planning on moving or relocating to.

The agent can help you understand the type of home you dream of. Remember, Real Estate is what these people know and work on every day, day in and day out.

An agent will set up appointments to view the homes you wish to see and will go with you.

An agent will know the area and community. This can be of enormous value to people planning on moving from a different town or state.

An agent will know how much similar properties in the area sold for recently. You may be able to use this as a bargaining tool.

Negotiating the deal. An agent will help write up the sales contract with contingencies and the price you are offering and will give you valuable advice in the process.

An agent will help you prepare for the closing and will most likely attend the closing to offer support and advice.

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