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 @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI: 5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI: 5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI: 5 First-time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid – Having a home to call your own is the “American Dream.” Whether you’re planning to be there for four years or forever, buying a home will be one of the most important personal and financial decisions as well as one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. Hence the reason why it’s important to know about the common pitfalls that many first-time homebuyers make so you can avoid them.

Here’s a list of typical home-buying mistakes to avoid when buying a home in Farmington Hills MI, which will save you some significant stress on your home buying journey:

1). Not Partnering with A Qualified REALTOR®   

Since finding homes online is fairly easy these days, you may even question whether or not you need to hire a real estate professional. However, the home buying process includes a lot more than just finding a home that you like in the neighborhood you want to live in. It also involves hundreds of details that need to be planned for and navigated in order to achieve a successful transaction. In addition, you’re probably not even seeing the most accurate and updated listings online. A home you fell in love with online today may already be under contract, which is an often occurrence.  

A qualified Farmington Hill MI REALTOR® like Tom Gilliam is an invaluable resource. He is aware of new inventory as soon as it becomes available, ensuring that you have immediate access to the best homes and securing an offer. He is also highly knowledgeable about the area where you want to move and can inform you about the different neighborhoods and communities, the types of homes and features offered, the builders, HOAs, school districts, surrounding area amenities, local community developments, and much more.

An experienced and skilled agent like Tom, who is an area expert and transaction-management ace, will keep you informed every step of the way, protect your interests, advocate for you, and handle the maze of transaction details for a smooth and successful outcome.

2). Buying More House Than You Can Afford  

Although this one may seem obvious, it is a common pitfall among many first time homebuyers. Taking on more mortgage than you can afford is like taking a sledgehammer to your budget. You’ll end up wiping out all your other financial goals and struggle just to pay your basic utilities. Before you begin your home search, you’ll want to figure out exactly how much house you can comfortably afford and still have a life.

A good rule of thumb is that your house payment, including principal, interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and homeowners association (HOA) fees (depending on your situation), shouldn’t exceed 25% of your monthly take-home pay.  Also, when buying a home, you’ll typically need enough to cover six factors: the down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, repairs and maintenance, the first few months’ mortgage payments, and your emergency fund.

These factors, when added together, will allow you to calculate a ballpark figure for how much you’ll need to save up to be able to afford a home. If you do the math and would be barely able to scrape by, consider holding off until you’re in a more stable financial position.

3). Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan

If you start home shopping before you get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you could get a nasty surprise when you apply for a loan and discover you qualify for much less. It can be tempting to pull up listings online and schedule appointments to see your favorite choices before filling out a mortgage application. But if you don’t already have a preapproval letter in your pocket, that can be a mistake.

A mortgage preapproval helps you understand how much house you can afford before you begin your home search, makes you more attractive to sellers and alerts you to problems that may affect your ability to actually get a loan. To get preapproved, you’ll need to provide the lender with documents they will use to verify your personal, employment, and financial information.

Keep in mind that a lender might approve you for a loan amount that’s realistically more debt than you can comfortably carry month-to-month. Consider that you’ll need to pay homeowners’ insurance, taxes, and possibly flood insurance on your new property or PMI on your loan.  

4). Not Understanding Your Down Payment Options

One of the biggest headaches and obstacles for many first-time homebuyers is the downpayment. – the money that you contribute to the total cost of the purchase. If you don’t have a certain amount to put down on your home loan, you might find yourself paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) on the lifetime of the loan.

Depending on your credit score, the bank, and other factors, PMI can cost between 0.5 percent to 1 percent of the total loan amount. Most banks require at least a 20 percent down payment before they will waive the need for PMI on the loan. For a $300,000 home, you would need a $60,000 downpayment to avoid PMI. So, how much should you save for a down payment?

Typically, it’s recommended that you have at least 20% of the total house price to avoid paying PMI, a type of insurance that protects your lender from losing money in case you can’t make your mortgage payments. However, there are loans that allow you to put as little as 3 percent down on the home which is more attainable, especially for first-time homebuyers. Some government organizations offer free down payment grants or loans to qualified buyers.

Depending on your age, income level, credit score, and other factors, you could qualify for free money to wrap into your down payment; a full rundown of programs is available at downpaymentresource.com. For example, USDA loans and VA loans each have a very specific set of criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for a zero-down mortgage.

5). Not Waiting to Make Other Big Purchases Before Closing 

You’ve been pre-approved for your first mortgage loan, you’ve found the perfect home, your offer has been accepted, the home inspection passed and your loan officer has locked you in at a favorable rate. All that being said, its not the time to go out and buy yourself a big screen TV or furniture for your new house just yet because you won’t officially be a homeowner for another 30 days, give or take.

Even if your lender has approved your mortgage loan, they will check your credit again just before your closing date, prior to granting you the funds. You want to keep your finances stable and opening a line of credit or making a big purchase after mortgage approval is a common mistake. A change in your credit score can actually make you ineligible for the loan, so wait until after closing to make any other financial moves, just to be on the safe side. 

The Takeaway

If this is your first experience buying a home in Farmington Hills MI or it’s been many years since your last home purchase, knowledge is key. Along with knowing what issues to avoid, it’s important to glean first-time homebuyer tips so you know what to expect and what questions to ask your agent.

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

2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamA top-rated Farmington Hills and Oakland County MI real estate agent like Tom Gilliam can show you more properties and save you thousands of dollars when buying a home. You need an agent who knows the area, processes a vast network of local connections, and has the skills to negotiate like a pro.

From first-time homebuyers to multi-million dollar investors, Tom continually strives to provide top quality service for his clients. With access to the most up-to-date MLS listings for Oakland county MI properties, Tom is able to match your lifestyle needs with the perfect home.

If you are ready to list your current property, Tom has the experience and skills necessary to handle the sale and marketing of your home for the optimum results. Tom employs the latest technology to deliver massive exposure that will drive mega-response from qualified buyers. Tom also partners with the most talented home stagers to ensure that your home is thoughtfully staged to highlight its features and amenities.

Search the MLS for Properties in Farmington Hills

With over 25 years of local real estate experience, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, and go the extra mile to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in Farmington Hills, MI, or in surrounding Oakland County. please give top-rated Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578

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