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What do real estate agents do?

Get to know their role in the home buying process

Family touring home with real estate agent

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, there are a lot of moving pieces to consider during the sale. Real estate agents can help you manage this process and make it more efficient.

What does a real estate agent do?

A real estate agent works on behalf of a client to buy or sell a home. For a buyer, real estate agents are licensed professionals who set up showings, manage paperwork, communicate and negotiate with the seller and other parties, and can set up appraisals or inspections. They are required to pass state-specific exams prior to working to ensure they’re qualified to sell.

Real estate agents are with you through every step of the buying process, which typically starts with a list of homes for you to consider. This list should include homes that have features you want or need in the neighborhoods you’re considering. A good real estate agent can also provide background information on different neighborhoods, school districts, the local housing market, and average prices.

When it comes to selling your home, a real estate agent is also sometimes called a listing agent. Listing agents help you market your home so that it sells quickly with the highest possible profit. They can also help set up showings, negotiate with potential buyers, and manage paperwork so the selling process runs smoothly.

What do real estate agents have to disclose?

This varies by state. Each state has different laws that require the seller and the seller’s real estate agent to disclose certain details. Federal law requires certain disclosures be provided to the borrower regarding lead-based paint prior to be obligated under the contract.

What do real estate agents charge?

Real estate agents make money by commission which usually comes as a percentage of the sale price of the home. According to Redfin, this is typically 5-6% of the home’s sale price. This is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. At first glance it may seem as if the buyer does not have to pay for the services of a real estate agent, but the cost is typically factored into the sale price of the home prior to its listing. Real estate agents typically don’t get paid unless the house sells.

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