Buyer Info



Buyer Information

There is a lot of information buyers need to know when they are looking to buy a home. Everything from home mortgages to realtors it can seem overwhelming at times. Hiring someone to help you manage all this information is often a good idea.

The Difference between Brokers and Realtors.

Not all agents or brokers are realtors. Before being able to legally sell real estate a person must be licensed by the state in which they plan to do business. You can receive a real estate license and be considered licensed as an agent/sales person or a broker. After receiving a real estate license agents must then go on to join their local board or associations of Realtors and the National Associate of Realtors to be considered “Realtors”. Realtors are held to a strict code of ethics by the National Association of Realtors. Realtors also have access to Multiple Listings Service which grants them access to the greatest number of home listings.

An agent is also bound by certain legal obligations. Traditionally, these common-law obligations are

  • Put the client’s interests above anyone else’s
  • Keep the client’s information confidential
  • Obey the client’s lawful instructions
  • Report to the client anything that would be useful
  • Account to the client for any money involved

Realtors are held to an even higher standard of Conducts under NAR’s Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethics is held up by State Law.

Sellers VS. Buyers Broker

If you are dealing with a broker when buying a house, there is a high chance it is the seller’s broker. Many times this broker may be duty bound to the seller to report any information that would be considered useful. So if you are dealing with a seller’s agent it is a good idea to keep confidential information to yourself. Or, instead hire a buyer’s broker, one who owes the full range of duties, including confidentiality and obedience, to the buyer. A buyer’s broker is often paid by the seller, regardless of the agency relationship.

How to choose an Agent

Choosing an agent is a big part of buying a home. When making a decision to work with an agent there are certain questions you should ask. The first question should be whether the agent is a realtor

  • Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency.
  • Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region.
  • What real estate designations does the agent hold?
  • Which party is he or she representing–you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand.
  • In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?