When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, it’s tempting to hire a real estate agent to help you out. But how do you know which one to choose? What do they do, exactly? How much should you pay them? We’ll answer all of your questions about the role of real estate agents and more so that you can be sure to hire the right person for the job! Check out our ultimate guide below on the education, responsibilities, and fees of all three types of real estate professionals, plus tips on how investors can benefit from their services.

Hiring a Realtor means having access to professional representation for any deal you put together. Whether your goal is to purchase property or sell your existing holdings, employing an experienced Realtor will ensure you avoid common mistakes that could cost you money down the road. For example, more than half of all home buyers used either Zillow or Trulia in their search for properties according to Realty Track; neither site is known for being especially accurate with their listings—errors which may be fatal to your deal if they’re not caught in time! A good Realtor will also make sure you don’t overspend on your purchase; never overlook closing costs when finalizing offers because they can easily double or triple an otherwise reasonable price tag!

Most agents will provide you with potential homes to see, usually on their own time when they have time off from work or over weekends. They will then go over those houses with you and help you determine which are good matches for your needs (e.g., location, number of bedrooms). Once your list is down to two or three houses that look promising, many agencies encourage their brokers to walk through each home so they can get a feel for it as well before giving their client feedback. While they won’t make any decisions on your behalf without consulting you first, they do want to know if there are any issues that might be deal breakers in advance so they can save time by not looking at properties that wouldn’t work anyway.

Brokers are licensed to represent both sellers and buyers in exchange for compensation from either party depending on their arrangement with that party. That arrangement can vary widely—brokers may work for themselves or an agency or on commission (typically one percent). They may have specific educational requirements, but these requirements vary from state to state. Their role is to act as a liaison between you and other professionals such as lawyers or appraisers who provide services related to your purchase or sale of property. For example, they’ll help you prepare paperwork related to a sale, coordinate appointments with appraisers or insurance agents and even manage negotiations on your behalf once an offer has been made by another party.

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The investor-friendly approach to REALTOR®s is relatively new; it’s designed to meet the needs of non-retail investors in today’s competitive housing market. Each state has its own version but they typically follow three basic principles: limit liability, avoid open house commitments and provide more information upon request. In almost all cases, that means disclosing any property defects before purchase; offering guided viewings without interruption by other buyers or agents; and providing extensive documents such as comparable, property reports or maintenance history once an offer is accepted. Agents who go above and beyond (as in most situations) may charge additional fees for their time—but there’s no obligation on buyers to hire one if they aren’t comfortable with them.

Realtors have completed both required education and experience requirements in order to practice as REALTORS® in their local areas. Although there are some variations by state and local association rules, here is an overview of education requirements for licensees: Realtors must complete at least 90 hours of classroom instruction (although more hours are recommended) within specified time frames before being able to sit for licensing exams; generally courses cover topics like property valuation and finance principles (for either financing or refinancing), including relevant sections from other courses such as fair housing law. In addition to education requirements, candidates also need access to technology used during transactions, business ethics training and fraud prevention techniques—both topics which can be included in continuing education classes.

Real estate professionals have far more knowledge than your average person when it comes to understanding different neighborhoods in your city or town and how they are affected by various demographic factors such as household income levels, cost of living, employment trends, etc. They also have access to data regarding your specific area that is not readily available to consumers like you or me through online research tools such as Zillow or Trulia. Only Realtors® (i.e., members of local associations licensed by NAR) can use such sites for professional purposes due to strict legal guidelines; consumers are restricted from using them in any way related to home buying or selling unless otherwise authorized by state law!

Having an experienced professional on your side could save you time in your search for a new home. Real estate agents may have access to more properties or know of properties that aren’t yet listed online. If you’re looking to buy property that is unique or requires a lot of work, an agent can help by identifying these opportunities quickly and negotiating on your behalf to get you into that perfect fixer-upper without a bidding war! When working with realtors, make sure they are licensed and bonded as well as fully educated on their local market so they can match you with your best options based on location, price range, size etc. This will save both time and money. Most importantly: be sure to keep records and hire an attorney if there are issues!