There is always confusion among buyers and sellers in the real estate market about the difference between a real estate agent and a broker. Are they the same? Definitely not, but they are often used interchangeably in almost all occasions.
The fact is, every state requires that a person dealing with real estate property transaction and its owner hold an appropriate license. This license is broadly classified as agent’s license and broker’s license. Only a broker can enter into a contract with a home seller or buyer. The agent is a salesperson acting on behalf of the broker or is an employee of the broker’s agency.
Unfortunately no one cares about this difference or asks particularly for an agent or broker. This is because in today’s market, brokers hardly show up or work in the front-end. They are busy handling transactions or working from their offices. So, most people who show the house to anyone interested are real estate sales agents or simply called sales associates. These agents are not the ones deciding on the commission, fee, or any decisions related to the listing, brokers are. The sales agent might sign the document at the bottom of the listing agreement, but it is the broker’s agency or firm that is making the ultimate decision. The agent may promise to lower commission, may negotiate listing deals, or even hold up open houses more than required, but all those actions need to be approved by the broker.
Only a broker is allowed to hold on to the earnest money, so any checks made out should be in the name of the broker or the firm. In essence, as a home buyer or seller of real estate Olathe KS, you are dealing with the broker, not the agent. On the other hand, if the sales agent makes a mistake or if one of the agents of the firm is guilty of any wrongdoing, the broker is also guilty. Remember that you may be quite impressed with the personality of the sales agent and ready to hire him or her to take care of the property sale, but you are actually hiring the broker and the firm. So, it is crucial that you get to know the firm before learning about the agent.
Finally, if you are planning to hire a real estate agency to handle your property dealings, hire local. The marketing of your house is best taken care of by local businesses that are familiar with the locality and trend. Therefore, choose an agency that is popular in the town, city or the region the property is located. Better yet, choose someone who is close to your property. Doing so, your listing will get the attention it deserves. Another thing to consider is to look for an agency whose mainstream business is selling houses just like yours. So, if you are looking at a firm that is into property appraisals but sells homes as a side business, look elsewhere. You want an agency that deals primarily with residential properties.