Buying a home can be an exciting but confusing event, especially if it is your very first time. There are so many options for sales agents, brokers, mortgage lenders, types of mortgages and mortgage rates. It can be difficult understanding all the changing real estate information that seems to constantly be influx.
It is not expected of a person to be completely knowledgeable in real estate and the changing market when they are not involved in it on a daily basis. And when you buy a home sometimes only once or twice in your lifetime, of course you may not be apprised of new real estate laws, mortgage rates and what the responsibilities are of agents brokers and mortgage lenders.
In order to have a great experience buying a home and getting the most out of your transaction, it is in your best interest to know exactly what a real estate agent, broker and lender do, and how they make your purchase happen.
If you are knowledgeable about the real estate market, know where to find good listings of the type of home you want to buy within your price range, and have access to money and a good interest rate, than perhaps utilizing the services of a sales agent or broker may not be needed. However, if you do need assistance, then the services of a real estate sale agent and broker may be the right choice you. Let's take look at real estate brokers and sales agents, and how they can help you find the property that is right for you.
Real estate sales agents are simply an extension of a real estate broker. The broker actually hires a sales agent, as just that, an agent to show his or her listing to home buyers. (Both must be licensed with the state by taking a rigorous exam.) The broker is responsible for everything that the agent does, because the agent is by law, acting as the broker. A broker may have one, two, or dozens of real estate agents, depending on how big the business is, how many offices the broker might have, and how many cities the broker occupies.
Real estate agents and brokers are really capable of doing the same job when it comes to the front of house of the business. They both must be knowledgeable about their specific real estate communities with such information such as zoning, neighborhoods, tax laws, and where to obtain financing.
Real estate agents and brokers may have specialized knowledge if they work in other than the residential genre. For example, they may sell commercial, industrial or agricultural properties and they must have information specific to their clientele.
Both sales agents and brokers are capable of showing the listings that the broker has been contracted by the seller to sell. However, because the broker has additional duties in the back of house of the business, the sales agent usually assumes the responsibility of showing potential buyers the homes, finding the type of house they are looking for and can afford.
The sales agent and broker work together to find a buyer for a property that is listed with them. For this reason, the broker will give a percentage of the commission, the money paid to the broker by either the buyer or the seller for his or her services, to the sales agent. Commissions may vary and are not contracted according to the law. A commission is often a percentage of the total price of the house being bought. So generally speaking, the more expensive the house, the higher the commission.
For a broker, in addition to assuming these responsibilities in the absence of a sales agent, the broker must arrange meetings between the buyers and sellers until the new owner takes possession, arrange for title searches, list properties for sale, advertise these properties, supervise agents, offices and advertising, and compare properties with similar listings to determine a market price for the properties under his or her listing.
Even with all these responsibilities as a broker, the biggest difference between a sales agent and broker is the fact that the broker can be responsible for arranging financing for the buyer. The buyer has a choice to either find and obtain financing himself, or have the broker do it for him. Either way, the broker is still responsible for arranging the transaction between the buyer, seller and lender, despite who found the financing.
Before, during, and up to the close of escrow, the broker must disclose all information about a property to both the buyer and seller. The broker is responsible for checking all visible aspects of the house in order to assure maintenance and upkeep of a property. If there are any problems or concerns with the property, even if the seller did not disclose to the broker, the broker must notify both the buyer and seller immediately. This assures the buyer that he knows all information about the property. Otherwise, if an offer is made, the buyer can pull out of a transaction without any repercussions.
The broker is also responsible for making sure all of the terms of a contract are met before the closing date. This includes home and termite inspections, environmental regulations, and any repairs, upgrades or changes to the property as agreed to by the seller. The broker must make sure that the binding terms are carried out.
When the broker is working a specific deal, he has many choices of where to obtain financing for the buyer. There are many options for mortgage lenders, or those who loan the money to the buyer to purchase the property. Mortgage lenders may be thrift institutions , commercial banks, mortgage companies, credit unions, and even personal entities. Depending on the type of lender, type of loan, and personal financial situation, the current market, and city the property is being purchased in, quotes can greatly differ on a case by case basis.
A broker is usually helpful in looking at these variables and will be knowledgeable in where the buyer can obtain the best loan at the lowest rate possible. It would be difficult for a buyer to be aware of, have access to and shop many different financial institutions to determine what the best loan is. Buyers find brokers very useful in this area because they have contacts and information that the buyer would not.
Sales agents, brokers and mortgage lenders can make purchasing a property go very smoothly and save both the seller and buyer a lot of time, energy and money. Because the sales agent and broker are working for and in the best interest of the buyer, these transactions can be a great experience and make everyone happy, especially the new home buyer.
If you feel that the services of a broker and agent are right for you, then be sure to ask around your community and get references from several brokers you may consider doing business with. Always check licenses and verify that they are legally capable of handling your transaction. You are more likely to enjoy the house buying experience if you are working with someone who is looking out for you and is very knowledgeable in your community.