Who Are They... Real estate agents are experts who are instrumental in connecting buyers with the seller. Furthermore, many real estate agents manage rentals , where they provide tenants to landlords and manage the maintenance of the property on behalf landlords. In many areas, real estate agents must be highly educated, licensed and monitored by a regulator. Some real estate agents also are Realtors. To be able to use the title Realtor, an agent in real estate must be an active part of the National Association of Realtors which as well as a variety of other prerequisites, requires Realtors to follow an extremely strict code of conduct and offers Realtors the opportunity to further their education and Real Estate Agent professional designation opportunities. Although not mandated by law or rule but it is an excellent idea to hire the services of a realtor. What Do They Do .... Real estate agents connect two or more interested parties to complete the steps required to conclude a deal and then charge a fee for the services they provide. In the case of transactions in sales, they charge tax to the buyer. However, for rentals, commission is typically charged to the landlord. Real estate agents typically charge their clients a percentage of the sale price (in the event of an auction) and also as a percentage of the rent for the rental unit. How do They Do It... Anyone who wants to sell or rent their home leave the details of their property to the real estate agent. In addition to all property information, the real estate agent will typically have keys to the home to facilitate shows. The other party interested (i.e. the buyer/tenant) has access to this information and to the property via contacting the real estate agent. This is how the real estate agent is a source of information. Contrary some commonly held beliefs the majority of real estate agents represent the seller as well as the buyer, but seldom both. Why should I choose one... The first and most important thing is to protect yourself. Property transactions can be extremely regulated, highly paper (document) intensive transactions. A real estate professional has an extensive knowledge of the rules, laws regulations, disclosures and other documents required to finish the transaction to the satisfaction of the buyerand seller and the law. Because real estate agents are most acquainted with the local market for real estate It is advisable and makes sense to seek out the guidance of one to get an idea of current trends and the prices for properties within that market. A reputable real estate agent knows the prices (or cost range) of properties of different kinds and in various locations within the area. Due to the expertise of the real estate agent and expertise, sellers of property typically receive several thousand dollars more for their property. Many home-buyers, including seasoned real estate investors use the services of real estate agents to discover the best real estate deals in the most convenient and speediest method. Furthermore, the best agents analyze the wants and needs of a home buyer/tenant and can provide valuable information on the types of homes they can afford that fit within their price range. Thus, a professional real estate agent won't simply present a list of properties available to the tenant or buyer but actually talk to them about their requirements and suggest alternatives. A good real estate agent that works this way will reap the benefits in 2 ways... Most importantly, when an agent is able to succeed in closing the deal, the commission is earned , and the agent gets paid... Also in the event that they are able to satisfy their client, and thirdly, if they build a reputation and, in turn, are frequently referred (hence increased business). That's worth mentioning... It is worth noting that there is a myth about real estate agents only work for the seller, buyer beware. This is not written in stone nor is it always the situation. Agents in the real estate industry are, in most regions, highly restricted. With few exceptions, real estate agents operate either for sellers (as occurs for many agent listing) (or for buyers (as is the case for the buyer's agent). Additionally, some states allow for dual agency, wherein an agent can work for both buyers and sellers or as a transaction broker in which the agent is the transaction and not buyers nor sellers individually. However, in the instance of dual brokerage/transaction brokerage, note that rule, regulation (law) and ethics prohibit the agent to favor the interests of one party to the negative favor of the other.