Questions about Real Estate

If you are selling or buying any type of real estate there are many questions you will need answered. One of the most common questions is how realtors get paid. Real estate brokers get paid a commission or a success fee and are paid only after a transaction closes. If the broker is unsuccessful the real estate broker does not get paid. Sellers will hire a broker to market and sell their property for a set rate of commission. All listing agreements must be in writing and signed by all parties. The listing agreement outlines a set of terms the seller and broker agree to follow during the term of the listing, commonly 6 months to a year. These listing agreements can be amended by doing so in writing. Price, open houses, home warranties, and the length of the listing agreement are the most common items amended in the listing agreement.

In a listing agreement the broker is acting as sellers agent and must remain loyal to the seller. The broker may draft offers to purchase for buyers and is acting on behalf of the seller. Buyers have the option of retaining a broker to be their agent with a written agreement called a buyers agency agreement. The buyer’s agency agreement has a set of terms outlining the types and price range of the properties the buyer is looking for. The buyer’s agency agreement is often for 6 months to a year in length. The buyer’s agency agreement will state how the broker will be paid upon successful closing of a property. This can be paid by the seller through a co-broke with the company listing the property or by the buyer. The buyer’s agency agreement is in writing and signed by all parties.

In a real estate transaction all terms and conditions must be in writing. This applies to listing agreements and offers to purchase. Price, services provided, tests and inspections, and time lines are all important items that are included in all your real estate paperwork. Use the correct forms and have all your terms and conditions in writing and signed by all parties to the transaction.

Realtors are unable to provide legal advice or opinions. If you have legal questions consult an attorney experienced with real estate law.

Closing costs and who pays for them should be clearly stated in writing in your offer to purchase or listing agreement. Some closing costs are negotiable between a buyer and seller such as surveys, tests and inspections, closing fees, and gap endorsements. The cost of title insurance and state transfer tax is determined by the total dollar amount of the transaction. Many title companies list their fees on their web sites. Ask your realtor for an estimate of what your closing costs will be.

In real estate, agents and brokers work together and cooperate to sell homes and property. When a property is listed for sale the seller promises to pay the broker a set fee or commission. As part of this agreement the broker promises to work and cooperate with other brokers to sell the property.

In the listing agreement the broker promises to compensate other brokers for their efforts in bringing a buyer to the closing table. When realtors from competing firms work together to close a transaction this process is called a co-broke.

Realtors are trained, experienced professionals who are able to help you prepare state approved listing agreements and offer to purchases. You will need a realtor for access to homes and property that are listed for sale. Realtors can provide you with current up to date market information to help guide you with listing your property for the correct sales price and if you are a buyer a realtor will help you negotiate the best terms and conditions in your offer to purchase. It is recommended you work with a realtor experienced with the type of home or property you are selling or purchasing. Realtors can also recommend licensed contractors for tests, inspections, and required maintenance that may need to be performed. Realtors are unable to provide legal advice or opinions. If you require legal advice please consult an attorney experienced with real estate.

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