Navigating the housing market can be stressful at times, but rest assured help is only a call away. Whether you’re buying or sell, many forms of help are out there. That being said, how do you know who to hire? Real estate professionals go by different names such as real estate agent, Realtor®, real estate broker, etc. Did you know that there is in fact key differences between them? Often times these titles are used interchangeably, but varying requirements exist for each of the titles. Your local realtor in St Lucie County is here to shed light on this topic, continue on to discover more.
This professional term is relatively broad and most real estate authorities may call themselves a real estate agent. To become a real estate agent, one must meet certain criteria and take approved pre-licensing courses. After completion, they then must apply for and pass the state exam to get their license. Once a license is awarded, agents are able to help people buy, sell, or rent real estate.
As mentioned, Florida Law has certain requirements prior to being a real estate agent. Florida states you must be 18 years old, have your high school diploma, and agree to fingerprinting. You then must complete 63 hours of pre-licensing courses and finally pass the state real estate exam. Once they pass their exam, they’ve earned a license and the title of “real estate agent.” The agent’s license must then be sponsored by a real estate broker before they can begin working.
Becoming a Realtor® is the next step taken by some, but not all real
estate agents. To be called a Realtor®, an agent must become a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). This is because it is a federally trademarked title used only by members of the association. Members of this respected professional organization adheres to it’s values and code of ethics. In practice, the NAR holds all members to a higher standard. The standards involve the following:
The Code of Ethics training has the requirement of completing re-training every three years. In this training, it must not be less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time. Additionally, NAR Membership also comes with access to real estate market data, management services, and other perks.
The furthest step to take is becoming a real estate broker. This is someone who has even more education beyond the agent level and has passed a broker’s license exam. Slightly similar to real estate agent exams, it has it’s own broker education and exam requirements. The extra coursework dives deeper into topics such as ethics, contracts, taxes, and insurance. This is more in-depth and longer (72 hours) than what’s taught in an agent pre-licensing course.
Those applying to be brokers also learn about real estate legal issues and how the laws affect them. This includes operating a brokerage, investing in real estate, property management, as well as construction. As a result, brokers have a very deep understanding of the real estate business.
The real estate agent who represents a home seller is known as a listing agent. These professionals help their clients with a wide series of tasks. This can include:
In most cases, listing agents don’t receive any commission unless they sell your home. When sold, the typical commission ranges from 5% to 6% of the price of your home. This amount is typically split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Be sure to check however, because a listing agent’s fee can differ upon the services they offer.
As their name implies, buyer’s agents represent home buyers. They help their clients through every step of the home-buying process, including:
Home buyers don’t need to think about the expense of hiring a buyer’s agent. This is because the seller usually pays the commission for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. This can be found within the listing agent’s fee.
Though most agents help people buy and sell, many real estate professionals help find rental properties. These rental agent do differing things depending on a few aspects. The location, whether it’s a larger city or smaller town, and the individual agent are all factors. The agent will usually help to guide your search from the very start. This includes:
Rental agents can also represent landlords in search of tenants. Here, a fee is charged to the landlord depending on the market. In more competitive markets, the tenant may be responsible for the real estate agent fee. Also known as a “broker fee,” it can be a flat rate for a credit check/application or dependent upon the rent. This could be a full month’s rent or 15% of the annual rent.
Many people find a real estate professional through friends and family or a quick online search. The real estate professionals at The Dore Step Group have a true passion for buyers. With excellent communication skills, our professionals use verbal and written means effectively. Working well in fast-paced and time sensitive work environments, they are able to serve clients well even in St. Lucie’s hot real estate market. Smart and connected, The Dore Step Group is committed to each client’s needs. Clients rave about their excellent experience. The team’s attention is on every little detail. Another reason families love working with The Dore Step Group is their honesty. The Dore Step Group takes great care to ensure they’re finding the right solution for every client. Their mission is helping families envision their future home by walking them through the real estate process.