Know Who’s Working For You: Real Estate Terms

When it comes to real estate, no matter what part in the transaction you’re playing, there are typically a lot of people involved, from a real estate agent or two to the inspector, the appraiser, and more. Your real estate agent is the most important person on your team, because they are working to make your dreams a reality. However, the vocabulary in the world of real estate can be confusing. Today’s post is a guide to what you need to know to understand who you’re working with! Read on to learn more, and find the experienced Realtor® for your next dream project with Century 21 Tri-Cities.

Real Estate Agent Vs. Broker Vs. Realtor®

Real Estate Agent

The term “real estate agent” is very broad. It’s probably the one term that can encompass all those we talk about today, but it’s important to understand that it is a base-level title. Real estate agents are essentially licensed salespeople who are working for a broker. They can perform a lot of important tasks during your real estate transaction, whether you’re selling or buying a house, including helping you find the perfect home or the perfect seller and acting as a liaison throughout the process. However, they typically don’t have as much experience as a real estate broker.

Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker is often the next step in an agent’s career. A broker has more education and training, and they are subject to a separate broker’s exam to qualify. The rules differ from state to state on what prerequisites you need to become a real estate broker, but in many cases, they have spent at least three years as a licensed real estate agent prior to this title change. A real estate broker operates in much the same way as a real estate agent, but they can work independently, and they are typically more experienced. You’ll especially want to work with a real estate broker if facing a complex transaction like a short sale or buying a foreclosure home.

Realtor®

No matter what category your intended agent falls under, you want them to be a Realtor®. The National Association of Realtors® accepts several people involved in the home buying or selling process, including both real estate agents and real estate brokers. Members of this association go through extensive training surrounding best practices. They pay membership fees to the National Association of Realtors® in order to be held to high standards and an extensive code of ethics, and the local board handles any complaints made against members. Working with a Realtor® means working with someone you can trust to have your best interests at heart!

Other Terms

The three terms above are often used interchangeably, and we hope now you know that they shouldn’t be. However, they certainly aren’t the only terms that you may hear come up in the process of selling or buying a home. Here are a few more vocabulary words to know:

Seller’s Agent

Also called a listing agent, this individual represents the person selling their home. They have a fiduciary responsibility to advocate for the seller’s best interests. A seller’s agent can hold any of the roles listed above — real estate agent, real estate broker, and/or Realtor®.

Buyer’s Agent

On the other side of the transaction is the buyer’s agent, or the agent who represents the person buying a home. Like in the case of a seller’s agent, this term dictates what they do and for whom rather than their actual title or qualifications.

Dual Agent

A dual agent is a representative who works for both the seller and the buyer. This position is not legal in all states due to conflicts of interest.

Transaction Broker

Also known as a “transaction agent,” the person in this role is the exact opposite of a dual agent. Rather than representing the interests of both parties in a real estate transaction, a transaction broker represents neither. Their responsibility is simply to help facilitate the transaction.

Find Your Realtor® With Century 21 Tri-Cities

If you’re looking to buy, sell, or build a home in the Tri-Cities, you want a Realtor® who can help make your real estate to-do list into a done list. The Century 21 Tri-Cities team is here to do just that. Meet our real estate brokers to find the person who can meet your needs and exceed your expectations, and contact them today to get started!

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