Maybe you’re purchasing your first home or maybe you inherited a house and are wanting to sell it, but you’ve never sold a house before. You can’t just take it down to the local pawn shop and hock it. You’ll hear the experienced home buyers and sellers tell you to hire a real estate agent. Then comes the question, well, what is a real estate agent? Are you picturing Men In Black, Agent Smith, 007 types? There may be more similarities than just blazers.
What is Real Estate?
Let’s start at the very basic, real estate itself. Real Estate is defined as immovable property. That property can be homes, buildings, land and anything that is attached. For example, a farming field falls under real estate but an RV does not. A camper is movable and is considered personal property even though it can be used as a residence. Real estate agents will help you decipher what is considered ‘real estate’ and what is personal property, which seems like a no brainer, but it can get hairy. For instance, the crops being grown in that farmers field are the personal property of the farmer only after they are harvested. While they are attached to the ground, they are in fact real estate. This is why people hire real estate agents, so again, what IS a real estate agent?
What is A Real Estate Agent?
There are a few different types of people who fall under the umbrella of real estate agent. You may hear words like buyers agent, listing agent, salesperson, broker, broker-salesperson, it can get confusing. Basically, a real estate agent is a licensed professional who has taken classes and passed exams on the laws of buying, selling and leasing real estate. A broker may have taken extra courses or can manage a brokerage or branch. You may have also heard the term Realtor. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Do I need a Real Estate Agent?
It depends on how confident you are in your personal knowledge of the law, contingencies, contracts, processes and negotiation skills. You don’t need a contractor to build a house, you can do it yourself, but do you trust your building skills that you learned on YouTube tutorials? The professionals do these things everyday for a living, and whether buying or building, we are talking about the literal roof over your family’s heads.
Where Do I Find a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents can be found in almost every family, every neighborhood and every PTA across the states, but finding one that fits your needs may seem like a game of Where’s Waldo. If they’re so plentiful, why are they so hard to find? Because everyone wants something different and there is no cookie cutter, assembly line of the perfect agent. The basis of any beginner search is, you guessed it, good ‘ole Google. A simple tap of the keys searching for ‘Real estate agent’ and your zip code is an easy place to begin. You can ask your friends and family for recommendations through social media or there are companies that will save you the hassle and compare the top agents in your area for you, for free.
What is a top real estate agent?
That depends on what traits you, the client, desire. Before you start your search for an agent, think about what qualities are important to you. There may be several factors that help you decide what real estate agent is right for you.
What are some factors that may come into play?
- Years of experience
- Number of local sales
- Communication and Availability
- Number of 5 star reviews
- Offers Rebates
- Must love dogs
Whatever the criteria may be, make sure when you are shopping for an agent, you find that perfect match. They are going to be your personal assistant, your right hand and your arsenal of knowledge. When you’re dealing with such a large investment, you want 007, not Waldo.