One of the most complex and significant events in people’s lives is the purchase or sale of their real estate–and most people turn to an agent to assist them in these transactions. Before you select a professional real estate agent, however, you should determine if he/she is qualified to handle your Mobile Eastern Shore real estate business, what he actually does, and how he is paid.
REQUIREMENTS: All real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed by their state. Although the rules and regulations of individual states vary, most require educational courses, a written examination, and license renewal every 1 or 2 years. Usually between 30 and 90 hours of formal coursework are required in topics such as real estate principles, contracts, and ethics to ensure that the agent has a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals and legal aspects of the field. Many states also have a continuing education requirement. In addition, many agents are members of the National Association of Realtors, an organization designed to provide an exchange of ideas to improve the industry as needed in order to protect the consumer and provide quality service.
SERVICES PROVIDED: A good agent wears many hats and is knowledgeable about many aspects of real estate. An agent handling your Mobile Eastern Shore real estate business should:
- be familiar with your target area
- represent a buyer or seller in the purchase or sale of real estate
- search for suitable buyers and/or properties
- assist in procuring financing for your Mobile Eastern Shore real estate
- examine comparable sales to determine fair market value
- ensure that all terms of the contract are met
QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR: You will want someone who:
- is organized
- is knowledgeable about the business
- is confident in his abilities
- is skilled in negotiations, contracts, and financing
- acts in your best interest
- is ethical and trustworthy
- maintains confidentiality
- is open in disclosing pertinent facts
HOW THE AGENT IS PAID: Since all agents work with a broker, they are paid a portion of the sales commission (commonly paid by the seller). Percentage divisions of the commission vary, but often office costs, such as advertising, are deducted from the agreed upon amount. Neither the buyer nor the seller pays the agent directly.
It is important that you choose a real estate agent wisely and that you establish and maintain a good working relationship with him/her. Carefully check credentials, ask about services provided, and determine his familiarity and success in the area before signing any agreement.