How do I find a real estate agent?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent. Be sure to ask if they would use the agent again. You also can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood. In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you may want to interview a few agents to give yourself a choice. A good agent typically works full-time and has several years of experience. If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent. The best choice isn't always the agent with the highest asking price for your home. Be sure to evaluate all aspects of the agent's marketing plan and how well you think you can work with the individual.
What does it cost me to have an agent?
Typically, a Realtor representing a buyer collects their commission from the seller's proceeds...so in essence there is no direct cost to the buyer. Generally even FSBO (or For Sale By Owner) properties are willing to work with a buyer who is represented by an agent and pay the agent fees.
Can I use an agent for a brand-new home?
Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents. Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed. At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves first, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.
*In a traditional relationship, real estate agents and brokers have a fiduciary relationship to the seller. Be aware that the seller pays the commission of both brokers, not just the one who lists and shows the property, but also to the sub-broker, who brings the ready, willing and able buyer to the table.
*Dual agency exists if the same agent is representing both Buyer and Seller or technically if two agents working for the same broker represent the Buyer and Seller in a transaction. The law states that a dual agent shall not disclose to the buyer that the seller will accept less than the list price, or disclose to the seller that the buyer will pay more than the offer price, without express written permission.