(This story was originally published by Mint.com on Wed, May 5, 2010.)
By Ana Gonzalez Ribeiro
photo: A.M. Kuchling
Buying or selling a home can be stressful. Unless you have the time and expertise to promote your property yourself or look for a new one, you will probably turn to a real estate broker for help. That extra expense could be well worth it: A good realtor can make all the difference on how profitable your business transaction turns out or how happy you are with the purchase of your new home.
Here are three factors to consider when selecting a realtor:
Listing Agents Vs Buying Agents
To start with, you should know the difference between a listing agent (selling agent) and a buyers’ agent. A listing agent works for the seller: they advertise the property, show it to prospective buyers and assist in negotiations. They get paid when the home is sold and their commission is a percentage of the sale price.
A selling agent works for the buyer. When buying, it’s better if you get your own a buyer’s agent rather than let the seller’s broker call the shots. The selling agent will be loyal to the seller might convey information about you to the seller that can work against you. For example, say you make an offer to pay $300,000 for a home but innocently convey to the seller’s agent that you are willing to pay up to $350,000. That agent is bound to the seller and will not hesitate to pass along this information. With it at hand, the seller might change their mind and counter with a higher price or decide to hold out. The National Association of Realtors has information on buyer and seller agents.
Qualities to Seek
Selling a home these days is a far cry from the go-go days of the real estate boom when all you needed to spark a bidding war was a house with four walls and a roof. To successfully sell your home now, you need an agent who is attentive and proactive.
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