Thursday, October 4, 2012

Do You Need a Realty Broker

One of the questions that comes up quite often with new home buyers is that of whether or not it's worth the effort to find and enlist a realty broker. Before we can answer that question, we should first examine what it is, exactly, that a realty broker does.

For clarification, "realty broker" is the job title used in the United States and Canada. Various countries and territories have their own term for these professionals. In the United Kingdom, for example, a realty broker would be called an estate agent. Other titles include real estate agent and estate broker, but in any event and in any state or territory, a realty broker's duties to their clients amount to roughly the same list of objectives.

In essence, a real estate broker's job is to find his or her client the property they're after, to arrange a deal with the property owners, to share their knowledge of the realty market with their clients, and to ensure that all involved parties are happy with the arrangements.

The primary difference between an agent and a salesperson is that a realty agent works for the buyer, while a salesperson works for the seller. It may not seem like much of a difference, but a salesperson's job is to sell the home to the buyer, whether it is exactly what the buyer wants or not. An agent's job is to find the home buyer the best home at the best price.

A realty broker typically earns a commission that is taken from the total selling price of the home, rather than fees collected from their clients. As such, you shouldn't expect to have to pay anything extra on top of the purchase price in order to employ the services of a realty broker. In effect, your broker takes his payment not from his client, but from the total money that the home seller will be making.

The obvious question that arises here is whether or not you can trust a broker to look for a good deal, when a higher purchase price will mean a higher commission. This is generally prevented by simple business sense: A broker who never finds his clients the homes they want at a fair price is not likely to have many clients in the long run.

The above serves only as the basic premise of what a realty broker does. In a broader sense, realty brokers may have a number of different duties depending on the property laws in a given jurisdiction, but regardless, a realty broker is always employed to find their clients a good deal on a good home.

Now, to answer the initial question regarding whether or not a home buyer should employ a realty broker. This can be answered with two questions:

1. Do you already know which home you want to buy?
2. Do you have extensive knowledge of the real estate market?

If you answered 'no' to both questions, then it may be preferable to employ a realty agent in order to help you find the best home at the best price, as a broker's duties really only come down to helping you find a home and letting you have access to his or her expertise in the real estate market.

On the other hand, if you answered 'yes' to both questions, you may actually want to look into this line of work yourself!

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