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Realtor.com - Buy vs. Rent a home or condo?

Builders commonly require that an outside real estate agent be present during the sign in process which is the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission is even discussed.  So call Andrea prior to visiting a model home so she can set up the first meeting.  When buyers see an advertisement to find the development on their own and contact the builder themselves first, the builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent may become later in the process and no representation from the real estate agent.  It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one.

How do I find a real estate agent?  What is a Realtor?
Getting a recommendation from a friend or work colleague is an excellent way to find a good agent.  Andrea and Mark have over 30 years experience as Realtors and no registered complaints.  We sell an average of 100 homes per year the past several years so we have the knowledge and expertise in Brevard County.  Feel free to view our testimonials.  You can call the managers of reputable real estate firms and ask them for recommendations of agents who have worked in your neighborhood.  Our real estate firm is part of NRT and we corporate Coldwell Banker and not a franchise.  We as Realtors are bound by a code of ethics through their local Association of Realtors. 

In any case, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should interview good agents typically works full-time with several years of experience and closing numbers in print to show they are honest about their numbers.  Andrea is a full time Realtor with 22+ years of real estate experience.  Mark has 16+ years of real estate experience.  If you are a seller, you should expect to review a comparative market analysis, which includes recent home sale prices and your local competition of other homes for sale in your area, when you talk to a prospective agent.  Condo sales are even more important since unit sales in your complex and comparable complexes can directly influence potential buyers to purchase or walk away from negotiating on your unit.

What about a buyer's agent?
In many states, it's now common for an agent to represent the buyers exclusively in the transaction and be paid a commission by the sellers. More and more buyers are going a step further, hiring and paying for their own agent, referred to as buyers brokers.  FL is now a transaction agency state so don't assume the agent is working on your behalf over the sellers. 

How much does my real estate agent need to know?
Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf.  However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation.  Agents working for buyers have three possible choices: They can represent the buyer exclusively, called single agency, or act as a transaction agent, automatic in Florida unless single agency is selected or as a non-agent where there is no representation and the agent does not represent either party in the transaction.

Here is a summary of the three basic types:
* In a traditional relationship, real estate agents and brokers have a fiduciary relationship to the seller. Be aware that the seller pays the commission of both brokers, not just the one who lists and shows the property, but also to the co-broke office, who brings the ready, willing and able buyer to the table.  Be sue you have the agent you intend to prepare your offer shows you the property so they are doing their job in procuring the sale.
* Dual agency exists if two agents working for the same broker represent the buyer and seller in a transaction. In residential purchases of homes and condos, we no longer have dual agency in FL but rather have Transaction agency.  A potential conflict of interest is created if the listing agent has advance knowledge of another buyer's offer and works to the detriment of the buyer in dual agency.  Therefore, FL law states that a Transaction agent shall not disclose to the buyer that the seller will accept less than the list price, or disclose to the seller that the buyer will pay more than the offer price and work fair and honestly with all parties.
* A buyer also can hire his or her own agent who will represent the buyer's interests exclusively. A buyer's agent usually must be paid out of the buyer's own pocket but the buyer can trust them with financial information, knowing it will not be transmitted to the other broker and ultimately to the seller.

Andrea Simon
Andrea Simon
Broker-Associate