Real Estate: Choosing the Right Agent
Finding the right real estate agent to help you sell your
home (or to help you buy one, in the case of a buyer’s
agent ) is everything. Real estate transactions are
complicated, and if you’re like most home buyers, all your assets are on the
line. But all real estate agents aren’t created equal. Some realtors get
personally involved every step of the way, while some farm out a lot of the
work to other brokers. The amount of formal education a realtor has, the
knowledge they have about the neighborhoods you want to buy into and the real
estate listings they have access to vary widely.
Before you get started, it's important to understand exactly what (or who)
you’re shopping for. Many people use the terms "realtor", "real estate agent"
and "real estate broker" interchangeably, but they aren’t mutually inclusive. A
real estate agent is a person who has a real estate license from the state in
which they practice (keep in mind, though, that the requirements for getting a
real estate license in most states are pretty minimal). A realtor is a real
estate agent who has earned additional certification from the National
Association of Realtors. And a real estate broker is a realtor who has yet more
training and a different license than either real estate agents or realtors.