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One of the biggest things people (and those who offer advice) tend to forget during a move is that they will often be involved in the buy and/or selling of a home or other real estate. This is a huge transaction and one which demands a lot of effort and attention. Not only that, but it should involve finding a real estate agent or another professional who you feel comfortable with to help meet your needs. To that end, here is a rundown of the different types of real estate professionals along with the services they typically provide
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Real Estate Agents
This is essentially someone licensed to help buy and sell houses or other selected types of real estate. In almost every case, they are not independent but will report to a real estate broker, who is also technically their employer. An agent is also the most basic type of real estate professional and may be exactly what you need. However, there are a number of other types of professional that you might consider:
- Real Estate Broker: This type of professional oversees one or several different agents. They also handle the actual sale and arrange for the loans as well as overseeing purchase contract terms and acting as the main intermediary between buyers and sellers during the sale.
- Broker Associate: This is sort of an intermediate step between the real estate and the broker. This professional is essentially in training to become a broker and they often work for the broker who employs them.
- Realtor: This is a technical designation for a real estate agent or broker (or even a broker associate) who belongs to the National Association of Realtors. Any Realtor can be a real estate agent, but the reverse is not true. This group also ensures members stick to a strict code of ethics related to the buying and selling of homes.
- Listing Agent: A real estate professional who is working for the seller and actually lists the property for sale. They can be a type of broker or agent who has agreed to protect the interests of the seller.
- Transaction Agent: In some states, real estate agents and brokers are not allowed to handle the actual transaction, which is where this professional comes in. They are responsible for actually overseeing and facilitating the actual transaction including the writing of the offer for the buyer.
- Seller’s/Buyer’s Agent: A professional who works directly for their assigned party, being bound to protect their interests. They are only required to provide the other party with material facts about the property.
- Dual Agent: This agent actually works for both the buyer and the seller. As you might imagine, not all states will allow such types of agency, since this might make it difficult to provide a fair transaction.
After knowing these various types of agents and professional, you should have a better idea of which direction you want to go. Find a number of different professionals and then interview them to see who you think is the best fit.