A Realtor, also known as, real estate broker or real estate sales agent, is someone who deals with the transaction or selling of real estate. While an individual can work by themselves, most often, an agent will work for either sellers or buyers of real estate. While a Realtor may not be required to perform all the work in a transaction, they are often called upon to make closing presentations, be active in discussions, and assist in various tasks that are part of the deal. In some cases, a Realtor will be required to carry out these duties on behalf of a seller or buyer and may actually receive commissions for this work.
One of the most common uses of a Realtor is in the sale of a home. Whether it’s a first home, a vacation home, or a rental property, a realtor is an invaluable asset to the transaction. A Realtor will be a listing agent that matches the specific needs of the potential buyers or sellers of real estate, will be an active participant in the transaction, be well versed in the real estate market and have knowledge of the area in which the real estate is located.
Another role of a Realtor is as a listing agent. While the Realtor is generally an independent professional, some real estate agents are also involved in the day to day operations of the deal. These professionals are known as listing agents. In a typical real estate transaction, a listing agent is responsible for coordinating the listing of properties with sellers and/or buyers. In addition, a listing agent will also assist the owner in locating property owners or managing the overall property presentation.
In addition to listing agents, a realtor may represent a seller as well. This occurs when the realtor’s firm enters into a dual agency arrangement with a buyer. Under this agreement, the realtor represents both a buyer and a seller in a single transaction. In some instances, the realtor will hold the exclusive rights to the property, while the buyer has exclusive rights to the property for a time specified in the listing agreement. Such a buyer, referred to as a principal buyer, may pay an upfront fee to the Realtor in connection with the sales.
In some cases, a real estate agent may serve as the lead person for a buyer who is not interested in showing at a Realtor’s office. For instance, if the potential buyer was willing to purchase a home, but lacked the time, energy and resources to travel to a Realtor’s office, then the realtor would take on the role of acting as the lead person for the buyer. The realtor would coordinate with the buyer and provide all necessary information concerning the home, including information about homes in the area. In this situation, listing agents typically receive a commission from the buyer.
Listing agents also play an important part in marketing real estate properties. In fact, many states mandate that realtors register with them so that they may assist potential buyers with their real estate needs. Unfortunately, some unethical real estate agents have taken advantage of this system by registering in multiple states with little to no disclosure of their activities. This is often because realtors do not have a problem sharing their personal information, such as their address, phone number and even email address with other real estate agents under the pretense that these other agents have the same ethics and commitment to ethical practices as the realtor. Because of this, the real estate industry has come under fire for promoting real estate agents who engage in unethical and self-serving practices.
Some states have taken steps to curb the unethical behavior of realtors. For example, in Florida, real estate professionals are required to disclose any outside interests they have when working on a real estate transaction. In California, realtors must disclose any financial interest they may have as well as details about their employment and education.
However, California is not the only state to impose ethical standards on real estate brokers. In Maryland, realtors are prohibited from working on behalf of a seller without first receiving written permission from the seller. The law also requires real estate brokers to inform prospective clients about the nature of the business they are engaged in. And although many other states have no ethical rules when it comes to real estate brokers, the consequences for breaking them can be severe. An unethical realtor can face criminal charges, fines or both.