Buyer’s Agent vs. Realtor: Understanding the Differences
By TOI Staff October 20, 2023 Update on : October 20, 2023
Are you gearing up on an exciting journey and decision to buy a new home? But before you enter the world of real estate, it’s essential to understand the key players in the game. Two terms you will often hear are “buyer’s agent” and “realtor,” today, you’re going to demystify the differences between the two.
What’s a Realtor?
A realtor is a licensed real estate professional member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They adhere to a strict code of ethics and are committed to upholding professional standards. All realtors are real estate agents, but not all are realtors. Think of realtors as a premium label.
When you work with a realtor, you benefit from their experience, education, and access to a vast network. They can help you buy and sell properties, provide market insights, and negotiate on your behalf. Realtors are essentially your real estate superstars, offering a comprehensive range of services.
The Role of a Buyer’s Agent
A buyer’s agent is a realtor representing the buyer in a real estate transaction. In other words, they’re your advocates throughout the home-buying process. Their primary goal is to ensure you find the right home at the right price.
To start, a buyer’s agent is like your real estate buddy. They’ll sit down with you, chat about what you’re looking for, and then go hunting in the real estate world to find places that fit your wishes. Also, they’ll be right there when you check out properties, helping you understand all that confusing real estate paperwork. They’ll talk with the seller’s agent to get you the best deal.
Since this career is getting more recognition nowadays, anyone who would like to take on this career can take Australia’s best buyer’s agent course. That way, you can better grasp the true role of a buyer’s agent and what sets it apart from a realtor.
Understanding the Key Differences
Now that you know what each role entails, let’s break down the core differences between a realtor and a buyer’s agent:
The most significant distinction is who they represent. A realtor may represent buyers and sellers, while a buyer’s agent exclusively represents buyers. This specification means a buyer’s agent is laser-focused on your interests, ensuring you get the best deal.
Realtors know a lot about the real estate world, but buyer agents are like your personal experts on the buyer’s side. They can give you the lowdown on the neighborhoods, tell you which schools are great, and fill you in on all the important stuff you care about. They’re your inside scoop to help you make smart decisions.
While both realtors and buyer’s agents can negotiate on your behalf, a buyer’s agent’s negotiation skills are honed to benefit the buyer. They know the tricks of the trade to secure favorable terms, whether it’s the sale price, closing costs, or repairs.
Buyer’s agents offer a highly personalized service. They’ll be by your side, guiding you through the entire home-buying journey, from the first property visit to closing the deal. This one-on-one attention can make all the difference.
A buyer’s agent owes you a fiduciary duty, which means they’re legally bound to act in your best interests. On the other hand, realtors must treat all parties fairly.
How to Choose the Right Professional for You
Now that you know the distinctions between buyer’s agents and realtors, the big question is, which one should you choose? Well, it depends on your specific needs and comfort level.
If you want a dedicated advocate, someone who’s all in for you, a buyer’s agent might be your best bet. They offer specialized expertise and a personal touch that can make your home-buying experience smooth and tailored to your preferences.
On the flip side, if you prefer a generalized approach, then a realtor who can represent both buyers and sellers could be the right choice.
Choose Your Real Estate Partner
Whether you go with a buyer’s agent or a realtor, remember that having a qualified real estate professional is crucial to a successful home-buying journey. Ultimately, your comfort, needs, and preferences should guide your decision. So, here’s to finding your dream home with the perfect real estate partner.Read more: Buyer’s Agent vs. Realtor: Understanding the Differences