When it comes to buying or selling properties, most people are well aware of the fact that they’ll need to enlist the help of a realtor to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
But what isn’t as well known is that there are different types of real estate agents out there, each one offering a different type of overall service.
While this can include seller or buyer only agents, the types of real estate agents that we’re talking about can often go beyond just who is represented – although those do have their own unique focuses. And whether you’re looking for a home or planning on becoming an agent, knowing the different types of real estate agents and what they do is important.
We’re also not talking about the actual types of real estate agents that most will work with – things like ‘rookie agents’ or ‘veteran agents’. Instead, what we are referring to are very specific types of real estate agents who have special skills or licenses that allow them to handle different aspects of the real estate world.
So, armed with the knowledge that there are numerous types of real estate agents, the next step is to take some time and review exactly what those types of agents are and how they impact the real estate world. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the different types of real estate agents out there working in the field – and the different types of real estate agents that you could become if you’re entering the field yourself.
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What Is A Real Estate Agent?
Before diving into the specific types of real estate agents, it’s worth reviewing just what a real estate agent is. A real estate agent represents either the buyer or seller in a real estate transaction. They may also consult with their clients or investors and give them experience and knowledge to help them find the right investment or the right home for their needs.
Agents are paid a commission on each sale that they are involved in – the better the deal they provide, the better their pay will be. To be a highly effective real estate agent, one must be a critical thinker, excellent communicator, strong negotiator, and more. They are essentially serving the interest of the investor who hired them to do the job.
In short, a real estate agent at their most basic level is someone who handles the process of buying or selling property, representing someone on either side of the process. But as mentioned above, there are numerous specific types of real estate agents, and learning more about each of them is important.
A realtor is a real estate agent who has taken the next step in their career and joined the National Association of Realtors. Realtors must abide by certain standards of ethics and morals, which in turn allows those using a realtor to feel more confident about their decision. Additionally, realtors have access to property listings that entry-level real estate agents won’t have access to – in particular, properties that are listed on the Multiple Listing Service.
Since realtors can access more properties, they have more potential in the markets and can often find homes and properties that others can’t access. This makes it easier for them to give their clients the absolute best that the real estate market has to offer. In order to move on from being an entry-level real estate agent and then become a realtor, agents must take additional courses and a licensing exam – usually after working as a real estate agent for a set period of time.
Brokers are types of real estate agents who have gone even further – obtaining higher levels of education in the field and gaining years of experience. Every state has its own unique requirements to become a broker, but it usually involves spending time working as a realtor before continuing education and taking the licensure exam. Once that they obtain their brokerage license, brokers are generally the types of real estate agents who actually own real estate firms. They’ll then have real estate agents that work for them, earning a percentage of every sale that each agent completes on their behalf.
It is possible that brokers won’t own their own firm but will instead continue working for an existing firm. These are ‘associate brokers’ and will bring additional levels of experience to every transaction that they handle.
These types of real estate agents are those who specialize in handling purchases in the real estate market. A buyer agent works exclusively with those who are looking to buy a property and will help them through every stage of the process including:
- Finding properties
- Analyzing the property
- Negotiating prices or making offers on a property
- Facilitating the closing of the deal
- Suggesting financing options
- Writing all documentation on the purchase
- And more
Selling agents are the exact opposite of buying agents – they’re types of real estate agents who provide their services solely to those who want to sell their properties. They’ll handle every aspect of selling the property for their client including:
- Marketing the property
- Researching the market to identify different property prices
- Presenting offers to buyers
- Negotiating the sale on behalf of the person selling the property.
Dual agents represent the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. However, these types of real estate agents may be illegal since the conflict of interest that arises from managing both sides of the transaction could create issues.
The Right Agent For The Job
As you can see, there are numerous types of real estate agents that could be needed for different transactions. For those buying or selling a property, finding the right agent for each situation is absolutely vital. For those who are entering the field and becoming a real estate agent, determining the career path that you want to travel is important so you know exactly what steps you need to take to achieve your goals.