That are They...
Real estate agents are professionals instrumental in connecting the buyer with the seller.
Additionally, many realtors manage rentals wherein they introduce tenants to landlords and oversee taking care of the property on behalf of the landlords.
In many areas real estate agents must be highly educated, licensed and therefore are regulated by a governing body.
Some real estate professionals are also Realtors.
To use the title Realtor, a realtor must be a member of the country's Association of Realtors which and a number of other requirements, requires Realtors to adhere to a strict code of ethics and provides Realtors additional educational and designation opportunities.
Though not required by rule or law, it may be a wise decision to find the services of a Realtor.
What can They Do....
Real estate agents bring together two or more interested parties, perform those steps required to successfully conclude a transaction and charge a commission for services.
For sales transactions, they charge commission to the seller while for rentals, commission is normally charged the landlord.
Realtors generally calculate their fee being a percentage of the price tag (in the case of a sale) so that as part of the rent to book units.
How Do They actually do It...
People who want to sell or rent their home leave details of their house with the real estate agent.
Together with all property details real estate agent will typically have keys to the house to facilitate showings.
One other interested party (i.e. the buyer/tenant), gets use of this information and to the house by contacting the real estate agent.
That's how the real estate agent becomes a hub of data.
Contrary to some common misconceptions, real estate professionals typically represent the owner or the buyer but rarely both.
Why must I Use One...
First of all, to protect yourself. Property transactions are highly regulated, highly paper (document) intensive transactions.
The real estate agent possesses a detailed knowledge of the laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and documentation necessary to successfully complete the transaction to the satisfaction of the buyer, the vendor and the law.
Because realtors are most knowledgeable about local real estate market conditions, it is advisable and makes sense to seek the advice of one to get an idea of the current trends and pricing for properties within that market.
An excellent real estate agent will know the prices (or price range) of various properties of different types and at various locations inside region.
Because of the realtor's knowledge and expertise, property sellers frequently get a few thousand dollars more for their property.
Many home seekers, including seasoned property investors use the services of real estate agents to find the best real estate bargains in the easiest and quickest manner.
Furthermore, the best agents analyze the needs and wants of a home buyer/tenant and supply valuable input as to the kinds of properties open to them within their budget. Therefore, a great real estate agent will not just present a listing of available properties to the buyer/tenant but will actually discuss their needs and make suggestions.
The good real estate agent, working in this manner benefits in at least two ways...
First and most obviously, when the real estate agent is able to successfully complete the transaction the commission is earned as well as the real estate agent is paid...
and secondly, if they make the customer/client happy they earn a healthy standing and often receive referrals (hence more business).
Important to note...
It is worth noting that there's a myth floating around that real estate agents only work on behalf of the seller, buyer beware.
This is simply not written in stone nor is it always the case. Real estate agents are, in most regions, highly regulated.
With few exceptions, real estate agents work either for the vendor (as is the case with lots of listing agents) or for the buyer (as is the truth for a buyer's agent).
Additionally, some areas allow for dual agency where a realtor can work for both the seller and the buyer or like a transaction broker in which the agent represents the transaction itself and neither the seller nor buyer individually.
However, in the case of dual agency/transaction brokerage, remember that rule, regulation (law) and ethics usually do not permit the agent to do something in favor of either party whilst in detriment to the other.
If you're unsure of the relationship between you and the real estate agent, do not hesitate to inquire about.