When it comes to buying or selling a home, almost everyone will tell you that you need a real estate agent. You can hardly drive through a residential neighborhood without seeing an agent’s name on a yard sign out front of a house.
But it’s understandable to be skeptical. Can’t I just sell my home on my own? What does a real estate agent really do?
At Diamond Real Estate Law, our team of experienced real estate attorneys are dedicated to helping you close on the sale of your home, so you can start the next chapter of your life. Below, we’ve explained everything you need to know about real estate agents, and what exactly they do.
Agents vs. brokers vs. realtors
Real estate agents are the most common professionals who help people buy or sell homes. You might also hear someone refer to a “realtor” or even “broker.”
These terms are similar, but they all have slightly different meanings:
- Real estate brokers are licensed professionals who help people buy, sell, and rent homes, land, and other properties. They must pass their state licensing exam, and then go to work for a real estate broker.
- Managing Real estate brokers run real estate companies, and employ real estate brokers. They can also operate independently. Becoming a managing broker involves additional education and licensing requirements.
- Realtors can be either brokers or managing brokers who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and subscribe to the NAR’s Code of Ethics.
- Real Estate Agent is a term that used to be used in Illinois to refer to real estate brokers.
Whether you’re employing a broker, or a realtor, it is important to have a licensed professional represent you during the process of buying or selling a home.
What real estate agents do for buyers and sellers
Finding a home to buy and negotiating a price can be an intimidating process. A real estate agent can help you through this process and make sure you find the right home for your needs and your price range.
Here are some of the ways a real estate agent can help you during the buying process:
- Search for properties online and in person
- Show properties to their clients
- Set up home appraisals and inspections
- Submit bids and negotiate on the buyer’s behalf
- Help clients with contracts, loan meetings, and any other step of the buying process
The other side of a real estate agent’s job is working with clients who want to sell their homes. Agents working with sellers are often referred to as “listing agents.”
Here’s how a real estate agent can help you sell your home:
- Set listing prices
- Submit listings to local MLS and other online services
- Stage homes and host open houses
- Meet with and vet potential clients
- Negotiate price, closing costs, and other aspects of the sale
Do you need a real estate agent?
There’s no legal requirement for you to hire an agent when engaging in a real estate transaction for yourself. That being said, without an agent, all of the above responsibilities will fall on you.
At Diamond Real Estate Law, we have a reputation for maintaining good relationships with agents and realtors. That’s because we think honest and clear communication between all parties is crucial to a successful real estate transaction.
Agents can help you with the business side of things, but an experienced real estate attorney is necessary to help ensure all the legal ins and outs of buying or selling real estate are covered.
Contact Diamond Real Estate Law
Our team at Diamond Real Estate Law is ready to help you with your next deal in McHenry or Lake County. If you are ready to send over a contract, or you have any questions about the legal process of buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to contact us to get started.
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, [I] always urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.