As you prepare to buy or sell a residential property, you may wonder about the roles of the various team members involved in the transaction. It’s not uncommon to feel confused about how agents, attorneys and brokers function in the process, so here’s a guide to help clarify the matter.
Real Estate Agent
An agent can be an invaluable resource for sellers and buyers and is often the first step to buying or selling a home. A Realtor is a client advocate, market guru, and negotiating master all rolled up into one independent contractor. They stay on top of the ever-changing real estate market and use their knowledge to properly price a client’s home to sell, or find a home that’s properly priced within a client’s price range.
They can also help direct clients to the best financing options for their situation. They also help steer their clients to make better decisions in preparation for the home buying or selling process and a good Realtor will always put their client’s best interest first.
Realtors also stay up to date on all the most recent changes and laws regarding home selling and buying and help insure that the process will go through without a hitch.
Real estate agents are in a sales position, working for commission under the direct supervision of a real estate broker. Agents can help match buyers with a home within their price range and in their favored area.
For sellers, real estate agents can be an integral component to finding the right buyer for a particular property. Sellers’ agents are often in constant communication with buyers’ agents to find the right match.
Real Estate Broker
Real estate brokers are much like real estate agents, except brokers have pursued additional education and credentials, which allows them to work independently and supervise other agents.
Depending on the locale and business model, the real estate broker may or may not work directly with clients. However, commissions are often payable to a brokerage, then distributed to the agent responsible for the sale of the home. Brokers often help and provide resources to real estate agents working under them.
Real Estate Attorney
A real estate attorney is an important component of the process after the property is under contract between a buyer and seller. When it comes to land sales, many issues can emerge with regard to the title to the property, boundary lines, easements, oil and water rights, agricultural leases, zoning and more.
Your real estate attorney will investigate the property’s ownership background, legal description and survey. They’ll work with the buyers to ensure that, at the time of settlement, a proper title insurance policy is in place, the buyer fully understands the terms of the mortgage and promissory note, and the title to the property is clear of any encumbrances like mortgages, liens and judgments.