A real estate agent helps home buyers and sellers navigate the process of buying or selling a property. They can help with market research, finding properties that fit their clients’ needs and negotiate on their behalf. They also handle the paperwork, convey communications between parties and advise on inspections and other issues that arise during a sale.

Real estate agents generally have to be licensed in their state and complete coursework or an exam. They may be part of a brokerage firm and may specialize in residential or commercial real estate. Depending on the state, some have additional requirements for licensure or certification such as a background check or proof of insurance.

The role of a real estate agent is to serve the best interests of their client, whether that’s a buyer or seller. A seller’s agent will advise on how to prepare a home for sale and provide tips on upgrades that can boost the value of the property. They will also use market data to establish an asking price for the property and promote it through listing services, networking, advertisements and open houses.

Similarly, a buyer’s agent will research properties that meet their clients’ criteria and help them understand how a mortgage works, including calculating the estimated monthly payments. They will arrange tours of homes and assist with home appraisals and inspections, helping their clients make informed decisions about the property and its amenities. During negotiations, they will carry offers and counteroffers back and forth until a deal is reached.

As part of their job, real estate agents often have to explain confusing or complex terms and tasks to their clients. This can include explaining the difference between a pending and contingent sale or why it’s important to get title insurance. Read also: https://www.readysetsellmyhome.com/we-buy-houses-boise-idaho/

Licensed real estate agents sometimes have relationships with other professionals in the industry such as lenders, appraisers and inspectors who they can refer to their clients for services. They also have access to databases such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that can give them information about properties that aren’t publicly available. The MLS can also tell them whether a property is a short sale or foreclosure. Some agents choose to work as “dual agents,” representing both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, but this must be disclosed to all parties. Others choose to work as “transactional agents,” working with both sides of a transaction but having no fiduciary responsibility to either party. It is important for potential homebuyers and sellers to ask their agents if they will be their transactional agent or dual agent, and how they plan to manage this relationship. You should also request that they sign a form of disclosure that outlines their duties.