Real Estate Agent Or Broker?
First Time Home Buyer – Broker
As a first-time homebuyer, you should also note that an entity, for example, a DBA, corporation, or LLC, can be licensed as a broker, if the owner or managing member of the entity is a licensed broker.
Two agents under the same broker might represent both sides of the transaction, the seller and the buyer. The broker should be prudent for the actions of both agents, if the broker represents both the buyer and the seller. On paper, this may seem a bit odd, but the agent should still be prudent and do due diligence. It’s called “dual agency.” It must be disclosed and/or handled delicately. Some jurisdictions don’t allow dual agency, but in practice it may be able to be worked out.
Real estate brokers are the ones in charge of an agency. They are empowered to transact alone and responsible for the actions of every agent they sponsor.
Investment Property or Short Term Rental
However, if you are looking for someone to help you out with a short term rental or investment property, you may want to consider whether an agent or broker is the right person for you. You may want to also consider either having it managed for you by property managers such as Vacasa or managing it yourself through websites like Airbnb, VRBO or Booking.com. Having professional help could ease the paperwork and inspection headaches of getting a permit or preparing the property for guests. Also, if something were to happen, you either can have someone else handle the situation for you, or you do it yourself. The only question is, how much time do you think it will take and is it worth your time?
The agent or broker may list the property also on sites for short to long term rental or even for sale such as Realtor.com, Zillow or Redfin.
What is a Real Estate Agent?
When we talk about a real estate agent, we are usually shortening the term real estate sales agent or salesperson. This is the official designation as handed down by state real estate commissions.
Just like a broker, a real estate sales agent is licensed by the state bureau after completing education requirements and passing an exam. This is the license available to most first-time agents.
While the license authorizes them to facilitate real estate transactions, it does not authorize them to do it alone. The agent should be sponsored by a broker. That broker is listed as the “agent of record” and is ultimately responsible for the transaction.
In addition, another important rule that applies to sales agents is that they must identify their broker in all marketing collateral. If you see an agent smiling from a billboard, a bench ad, a website banner, a flier, or a social media ad, inspect it closely. You will always find the name of the broker identified. (Remember, an entity can also be a licensed broker, so the “broker” could be the brand name of the agency.)
First Time Home Buyer – Real Estate Agent
Some real estate sales agents have years of experience, but others are brand new. First-time homebuyers might be wary to work with an inexperienced (or experienced) agent. But take heart, new agents usually enjoy close mentorship and support from their brokers, since the broker is responsible for their actions. New agents can be excellent, personable, tenacious advocates, especially for first-time home buyers. Real estate agents are business development professionals who represent the brand of their sponsoring broker.
Where does “REALTOR®” fit in?
To our understanding and opinion, all REALTORs® are agents, but not all agents are REALTOR®.
The Board of REALTOR® is not a state or government agency—it is a private professional organization, like a trade union. They may have their own rules and code of ethics, over and above the state licensing requirements.
Any real estate agent who wants to join a board of REALTOR® must apply, go through orientation, and pay the requisite dues. The name is trademarked—it is understood that an agent can not call themselves a REALTOR® unless they join the board, even if they are a state-licensed agent.
The local Board of REALTOR® usually controls the local “multiple listing service” (MLS). This is the hub for listing and collaboration on most home sales and many leases. Any real estate agent who wants to transact home sales has a strong incentive to join the board of REALTOR®. Without doing so, they could be left out of the loop on the local inventory of homes for sale, and may not have access to valuable collaboration with other agents.
First Time Home Buyer – REALTOR®
Both real estate brokers and sales agents can become REALTOR®. As a first-time home buyer, pay attention to whether or not your agent is a REALTOR® . REALTOR® often have access to more inventory through the MLS.
The real estate agents and/or brokers who want to transact home sales might also join the Board of REALTOR®, a national union for agents, to have access to the MLS. All three are agents, with a fiduciary duty to serve your interests as the client.
First Time Home Buyer – Mortgage Quote
The first time home buyer may not have the cash to fund the purchase of a new home. They may want to obtain a quick mortgage quote first to see if they pre-qualify for a mortgage. In addition, one can better understand the fees and a rough idea of what the mortgage payment might be.
The real estate professional more than likely will want the first time homebuyer to obtain a pre-qualification or a pre-approval first, prior to the professional showing properties. We can help you with the mortgage quote process. We have access to top lenders, so you don’t have to shop around as time goes by. We are a boutique mortgage brokerage firm that tries to provide a luxury experience for each prospect, and we walk you through the mortgage loan process.
Have your real estate agent or a broker contact MortgageQuote.com so we can help you get into your dream property.
***Please note the above is not considered advice. The article is meant for educational purposes only, as the above article is that of our opinion.