Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

There are many types of professionals that work within the real estate industry. Knowing the key real estate roles and what they offer can be very helpful if you’re looking to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI or sell your existing property. In this article, we are going to discuss the similarities and differences of the different real estate roles, including real estate agents, brokers, REALTORS®, listing agents, and buyers’ agents, and how they each can bring value to a transaction: 

What Is a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is an industry professional who serves as the facilitator of real estate transactions. Agents are licensed salespersons and cannot work independently. Real estate agents work for brokers or agencies and are normally paid on a commission basis, which is a percentage of the sale price of a property. The employing broker is responsible for a real estate agents’ actions and requirements for a real estate salesperson license vary from state to state.

Real estate agents are ultimately responsible for bringing buyers and sellers together and for carrying offers and counteroffers between each party along with any queries they may have. An agent will work with another agent once an offer is accepted, guide clients through the process of filling out paperwork, and make sure their clients are aware of any requirements to complete the sale, such as home inspections, moving, and important dates like the closing.  

What is a real estate broker?

A real estate broker is a step above a real estate agent. A broker typically will have more training and subject-matter education than an agent (but not always) and will typically handle some of the more technical aspects of a real estate transaction. A broker can work independently or hire real estate agents to work under them.

Brokers who work with buyers normally look for properties that match the criteria set forth by their clients, conduct negotiations, prepare offers, and help the buyers with any other issues leading up to the closing date. Sellers’ brokers determine market values of their clients’ properties, list and show properties, communicate with sellers about offers, and assist in the offer process. A broker associate is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker or a brokerage firm.

Although brokers can work for themselves, they may choose to join a larger real estate network. Some pay a flat fee to the employing broker and some earn a percentage of each transaction. Brokers receive a commission once a sale is completed.  The listing agreement or contract generally outlines how much of a percentage of the sale will go to the broker.

What is a REALTOR®?

Not all real estate agents or real estate brokers are REALTORS®. Although the word “realtor” is commonly confused with that of “real estate agent,” the designation is open to a variety of professions within the real estate industry. A REALTOR® can include residential and commercial real estate agents, brokers, property managers, appraisers, and other real estate professionals.

“REALTOR®” is a title that means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is bound by an extensive code of ethics, is an expert in their field, and pays annual dues.  REALTORS® are expected to be honest and transparent with their clients, avoid exaggeration and misrepresentation, and always conduct business with their clients’ best interest in mind.  

What Is a listing agent?

A listing agent can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Listing agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to the seller under a listing agreement and must protect that interest. In other words, the agent must put your interests first.  Listing agents have a comprehensive understanding of how the real estate market works and how to market and price a property effectively. 

Their responsibilities include listing the property on various listing services; negotiating prices, contingencies, and conditions on behalf of the seller; scheduling showings, pricing and advertising the property; property, and help with the closing paperwork.

Most listing agents require sellers to sign exclusive selling agreements. By doing so, the agent secures a commission for his or her brokerage upon closing. The brokerage then shares a portion of the commission with the agent. 

What is a buyer’s agent?

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who guides a buyer through the process of purchasing a home. A buyer’s agent has a legal obligation to protect the interests of the buyer and work to ensure they are getting the best deal possible. Although there are some real estate agents who specialize in working with buyers, most agents work as either a buyer’s agent or listing agent, depending on the specific transaction. 

A buyer’s agent is responsible for acting as a resource for their clients by guiding them through each step of the home buying process. They find listings for the buyer, schedule showings, negotiate with the listing agent, recommend other real estate professionals such as real estate attorneys, inspectors, etc.; and guide and advise the buyer through closing.

Typically, it’s the seller who pays the commission for both the buyer’s agent and listing agent. If buyers are unable to find a home to purchase, the buyer’s agent doesn’t get paid.

The takeaway

Whether you are buying a home in Farmington Hills MI or it’s time to list your property, knowing the types of real estate professionals can help you make informed decisions. For example, when you hire a real estate agent, you may also want to dig into the real estate broker’s reputation, since that’s who the agent works for.

You may also prefer to work with a REALTOR® since they are held to a high ethical standard. Regardless of the type of real estate professional you work with, make sure they are experienced, knowledgeable, skilled, appropriately licensed, and have a stellar reputation.

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, he will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure the best results possible. 

Feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch with him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @
License #314578 

House Hunting With The Right Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®

House Hunting With The Right Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®

House Hunting With The Right Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®  – Most first-time homebuyers will agree that the only thing more exciting than shopping for your first house is the day you move in. That being said, shopping for the right house can put even the most seasoned shoppers to the test.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 56% of buyers of all generations believe that picking the right house is by far the most challenging step in the home buying process. Even with the ability to search online 24/7 for houses, 52% of buyers say that help in finding the right home to purchase is what they want most from a REALTOR®.

That is because the information you find on websites doesn’t compare to the local knowledge and expertise an experienced agent brings to the table. However, not all real estate agents are equal.

If you hire an agent and red flags about their performance are coming at you left and right, you need to quickly decide if you want to respectfully cut ties and find another. Since buyers agents don’t get paid during the house hunting phase, you don’t want to string them along and waste both your time and theirs. Of course, the best course of action is to partner with the right agent from the get-go. 

What You Should Expect From Your Real Estate Agent and Red Flags 

Here are a few things you should expect from your real estate agent and a few red flags to look out for:

1). A qualified Farmington Hills MI real estate agent should be able to provide in-depth knowledge of the area. If they have to Google an area you asked about, send you homes outside your desired area, or they can’t tell you about an area’s proximity to local shops, restaurants, walking trails, or commuting times, this may be a red flag that they are not the right agent for you.

2). A good real estate agent will take the time to understand all the facts about your situation. The last thing you want to do is spend your time house-hunting, find a home you love, and get your heart set on it, only to find out that there’s some restriction that doesn’t allow you to buy. Experiences like that can be avoided upfront with an agent who takes the time to understand everything about you, your time frame, your budget, and what type of mortgage you qualify for.

3). Your agent should be objective and act as a consultant rather than a salesperson. If your REALTOR® is pushing you towards a house that’s not the best match, you feel pressured to just hurry up and buy, or you don’t like something about a house and voice concerns and they’re not considering your perspective, it may be a red flag that the agent is more interested in their sales commission than helping you find the right home.  

4). You want a Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® who keeps their finger on the pulse of the market, who’s got all the listing alerts set up and is the first to know when new inventory becomes available. Your agent should provide you with access to the most up-to-date listings so that you don’t miss out on your dream home. 

If your agent rarely if ever sends you houses or you often find listings that match your specific home criteria long before they do, its probably an indication they’re not on top of the MLS or working that hard on your behalf.

Finding The Right Farmington Hills MI REALTOR®  

Here are a few tips for finding the right Farmington Hills MI real estate agent to work with from the beginning:

You will want to interview at least 3 real estate agents before committing to just one. Compare your choices based on performance such as the number of transactions they’ve completed in your target neighborhoods, how much money they save clients on average, and the percent of the list price their buyer clients end up paying, on average. 

You also want to ask them important questions like how well they know the area, how many clients they currently represent and how many they work with at one time, the kind of properties they help their clients buy (single-family homes, condos, townhomes), their experience working with first-time homebuyers, and what separates them from their competition.  

The Takeaway

Since the agent you choose will be by your side from house hunting to closing, you want to make sure you hire an experienced and professional Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® with the expertise you can trust and a personality you’ll enjoy working with. 

Why You Should Partner with Top-rated Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® -Tom Gilliam

2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamWhether you are interested in buying a home in Farmington Hills, MI, or its time to list your current property, experience matters most in a changing market.

With over 20 years of local experience, Farmington Hills REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam is very familiar with the local market and has access to the most up-to-date listings. Tom is known for his professionalism and is an expert at uncovering the perfect home for his clients’ lifestyle needs in the right neighborhood or community.

Search Farmington Hill MI homes for sale

For sellers, Tom will create a comprehensive marketing plan that exposes your home to the public as well as to other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on.

Your listing will appear on all the most popular real estate sites where buyers spend hours a day looking at homes such as, Zillow, Trulia, REMAX, Redfin, and dozens of others. Your home will also be featured on Tom’s own highly-trafficked website You can be assured that your property will get sold quickly and for the highest market price.  

Tom works very hard for his clients. He will protect your interests and be there as your trusted guide and advisor throughout the home buying or selling process. If you or someone you know is interested in real estate in Farmington Hills MI, please give Tom Gilliam a call at (248) 790-5594 or you can reach him here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @
License #314578

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