Buying or selling a home is a major investment that comes along with negotiations, offers, contracts and other technical aspects, which can be overwhelming if you are not experienced in the field. A real estate agent can offer valued assistance when entering the housing market.

To help you streamline your home buying or selling process, let’s take a look at the importance of working with an industry professional and finding the right fit to help you get into the house of your dreams.

First, let’s outline the duties of a realtor when you are buying vs. selling a house:

Seller’s agents, otherwise known as listing agents, assist their clients with finding willing and financially capable buyers for their property. It is a seller’s agent’s responsibility to set a listing price for the home, schedule showings, meet with potential buyers, take professional pictures of the home to advertise, stage homes for open houses, negotiate sale details and more.1

Buyer’s agents, on the other hand, find homes for their clients based on price range, geographic location, size and other requirements. A buyer’s agent will often search for properties to match their client’s requests, speak with clients about potential options, schedule showings with the seller’s agent, ensure capital is established for the home, submit offers and negotiate on behalf of the buyer, guide clients through inspections, appraisals, contracts, closings and more.1 And, importantly, buyer’s agents are paid by the seller out of the proceeds of the sale, not by the client they represent.

Working With a Realtor

Now that you understand the basics of a buyer’s and seller’s agent, let’s take a look at a few best practices for working with an industry professional.

Stay Local

Working with a professional who knows the area will allow you to jump into the market on the right foot. Whether you’re buying, selling, new to the area or are moving to or from down the street, industry professionals have inside knowledge on what’s available now and what could be coming soon, which can help you complete your home transaction quickly and without worry. Realtors often have access to a significant list of comparable homes in the area and, with current market conditions in mind, can advise you based on value, housing codes, features and more.2

Choose Wisely

Your real estate agent will be significantly impacting the next chapter of your life, so you want to be comfortable and trust that they are working for you. If they are falling short on their responsibilities, don’t be afraid to find someone else who will make sure your expectations are met.

Put All of Your Cards on the Table

Upon meeting your real estate agent, let them know your budget, preferred areas, expectations, wants vs. needs, as well as the best form of communication going forward so they can hit the ground running and avoid wasting your — and their — time.

When in Doubt, Ask

You are going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on your home, so you need to have a firm grasp of everything that is going on. Find an impartial professional who you feel comfortable asking question after question — and whose answers you trust. It also never hurts to do some research on your own to double-check their accuracy.

For information on how APGFCU can help you get into a new home for a low rate today, visit our mortgage page or call 888-LOAN-391.

This article has been provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a loan representative or financial advisor. The examples provided within the article are for example only and may not apply to your situation. Since every situation is different, we recommend speaking to a loan representative or financial advisor regarding your specific needs.