Real estate agents assist buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of residential or commercial properties. Their specific duties vary depending on whether they work as a buyer’s agent, seller’s agent or both, and what type of property (commercial or residential) they specialize in.

As a licensed real estate agent, you can choose to be employed by a brokerage firm or operate independently under your own broker license. Brokers typically have more managerial responsibilities than salespeople, and they usually oversee multiple agents. When choosing a broker, look for someone with a solid track record and plenty of experience in the area you plan to sell or buy.

A broker can help you obtain a mortgage loan, which is necessary to close on a deal. They can also advise you on local market trends and assist with negotiating terms of the contract.

If you’re a seller, your agent can advise you on how to price your property for maximum return. They can also network with professionals and advertise your property to attract potential buyers. They can even host an open house, which allows you to showcase the home’s features to a large audience.

When working with buyers, real estate agents can find properties that meet their clients’ needs, schedule property showings and help them find a mortgage lender. They can also negotiate terms of the contract, answer questions about a property and recommend contractors for repairs and other services after closing.

Real estate agents often use a variety of online marketing tools to promote properties, including social media and websites. They can also connect you with professional photographers and videographers, landscapers, painters and even staging professionals.

Most states require that a real estate agent is a member of a real estate association. Associations set standards for agents, including education, ethics and licensing requirements. Some associations offer courses that can lead to certifications and designations. A designation, such as GRI, can make you more qualified to handle a particular aspect of real estate.

A real estate agent’s responsibilities include attending meetings with other parties involved in the transaction, such as mortgage lenders, the other party’s realtor and title or escrow agents. They can provide valuable information and insight that you might not have otherwise known, such as the location of underground pipes or utility access.

As part of their job, a real estate agent must disclose to both parties which side they are representing. It is considered a conflict of interest to represent both the buyer and seller in the same transaction, so dual agency is illegal in most states. If you’re unsure of an agent’s stance on dual agency, ask them to send you references from previous clients. You can then contact the references to learn more about an agent’s experience and skills.


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