There’s a lot to like about living in Minnesota. Its people are some of the warmest in the country, it’s an incredibly affordable state with clean cities and lovely towns, and there are some great opportunities to buy a great home. If you’re looking to move into a lovely community like Eden Prairie or to a city like Minneapolis, you’re going to want to work with Minnesota Realtors to help you get the best property you can.
Here we look at what you get when you work with Realtors who have vast experience and are dedicated to making your move to Minnesota the best it can be.
Difference between agent broker realtor
When you start your search for an agent – whether you’re buying or selling – you’ll come across terms that describe the different professionals. These are real estate agents, brokers, and Realtors. While the jobs they do can overlap, it’s worth noting what exactly their field of responsibility is and knowing what separates one from another.
Real estate agents are individuals who have taken a certain amount of training in order to acquire a license that allows them to buy, sell and rent real estate. There is no Federal license. Instead, each state has its own training requirements, which, when successfully taken, will earn the real estate agent their license for that state. This is why you’ll often see real estate professionals state that they are licensed in the different states they are allowed to operate in.
These requirements vary from state to state, but universals include that the agent passes an exam, be over 18 years of age, and are vetted with a background check. Furthermore, it’s a requirement that in order to renew their license, agents must undergo and pass any further training the state requires.
Generally, real estate agents take care of the tasks that most people would assume they do. They add to listings for sellers, negotiate on behalf of buyers and sellers, help with staging, guide clients through their transactions, and attend to much of the paperwork involved with real estate transactions. They cannot operate independently and must work under a broker.
Brokers can do everything that a real estate agent does, except they can work independently, having received further training than a real estate agent. They can set up their own brokerage firms and hire other brokers or estate agents to work for them. A brokerage can hire as many agents as it likes to work under their firm.
Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors, often just referred to as NAR. The NAR is the largest association of real estate professionals and enjoys the highest credibility of any association or body in the industry. Although Realtor is often used synonymously with a real estate agent, a realtor can be any professional involved in the real estate industry. They can be real estate agents, appraisers, property managers, and even people who are more experienced in the construction industry.
Minnesota Realtors, as well as any other working in the country are bound by the NAR’s Code of Ethics which compels them to operate under the highest standards and stringent practices in the industry. At the heart of the principles of being a Realtor lies the values of honesty, integrity, and fairness. These principles are strictly enforced. When you work with a Realtor, you enjoy the confidence that your real estate professional is working completely for your interests and will be transparent in doing so.
It is estimated that there are currently around 1.5M Realtors who are active in the US.
What does an agent do for buyers?
There are agents for both buyers and sellers, and it is very unlikely that your buyer will also be the seller for another client. Though this may sound convenient, there is a strong argument that a dual agent cannot serve the interests of both buyer and sellerwithout some compromise in their integrity. Put simply; there is a conflict of interest. So let’s separate what an agent does for both buyers and sellers. Here’ are some of the most important tasks a real estate professional will do for you.
- Being an objective guide
An agent is that all important professional who can tell you the true state of the market. You may have spoken to many different people and have built up a lot of anecdotal evidence about the market, but unless the people you spoke to are heavily involved in real estate, you cannot be completely sure that you’re getting the most accurate picture.
A good agent will help you align your expectations with what is possible. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should always expect less, you might actually be pleasantly surprised with the housing possibilities open to you. Whether it’s a somewhat sobering reevaluation of what property you can acquire or a realization that your dream home is closer to reach than you thought, with a Realtor, you’ll have the true state of where you stand.
- Negotiation skills you’ll be thankful for
You may consider yourself a particularly good negotiator, but even if this is the case, you won’t have the background knowledge and experience that a real estate professional will have. Experienced Realtors are experienced negotiators. They’ll know how to achieve the best possible price for your desired property without jeopardizing the deal, and they’ll be more likely to reach an agreement with the selling party in a timeframe that suits you.
- Handle the administrative and legal aspects of buying
A real estate transaction involves an enormous amount of legal and financial processing. A good real estate professional can and will take all of this off your hands and guide you through unfamiliar and complex processes. If you partner with a Realtor, you have the extra confidence that all aspects are properly addressed and attended to, from the small details of a contract to new state laws which affect your transaction.
- Being a strong emotional support
You’ll often see agents speak about how they want to make the home buying process stress free for their clients. This is because home buying is inherently stressful. For almost all, it is about buying something that is deeply important to their lives, more so than any other purchase, multiple times more expensive, and through a process that buyers are almost completely unfamiliar with. The anxiety and stress can overwhelm and cause a variety of clients to lose sight and hope.
A good agent provides the knowledge and options that will keep your spirits up and you on track on your home buying journey. A good agent doesn’t just know the technical ins and outs of purchasing a property, Minnesota realtors know how to help you navigate your path to getting your dream home.
Questions buyers should ask agents
- What experience do you have in selling homes?
This is an obvious one, but it can be answered in many different ways. A real estate professional may have many years of experience but it may be in certain parts of the industry such as property management. Or they may have plenty of experience selling property which is not exactly the type of property you’re in the market for. If you want a Minnesota Realtor who specializes in luxury properties, you may hesitate if the agent has a long record of selling standard homes.
- How will you ensure I get the home I want?
This question is somewhat open to the agent going into a spiel, about working hard for you and putting you first. An experienced agent has been asked this many times. What you’re looking for are specifics. How do they intend to find you that home and then help you secure it once you have. Are they well connected to a broad network of other agents, will they walk you through making your proposal more competitive and attractive than others? No sale is guaranteed but a good agent can specifically tell you how working with them gets you a great chance of success.
- How and how often will we communicate?
This is more about setting your expectations and seeing if the agent you are interviewing can work in a way that suits your preference. You may find that you speak to different people on different platforms, such as by email or by text or you might just deal with one person at all times. Then there’s frequency, are you expecting weekly updates, more often, or just when a prospect comes up?
Asking this question at the beginning helps avoid any misunderstandings and allows both client and agent to focus solely on the task at hand.
Getting the right agent to help you buy your home is something that needs a little patience and some care on your part. It’s going to be one of the most trusted and hopefully most exhilarating professional relationships you’ll have, so choose well.
What does an agent do for sellers?
Agents are just as important for sellers. As well as guiding clients through the sales process, they can put considerable professional and technical resources behind your endeavor, making a quick and highly profitable sale more likely. Here’s some of the more important duties a good agent will execute for sellers.
- Staging your house right
Experienced real estate professionals know what features sell and how to put your home’s best features forward. Be ready to take their advice. You may find some particular aspect or part of your home exquisitely charming, but it might not necessarily appeal to the majority of homebuyers you’re targeting. Here’s where the objectivity and focus of an agent comes into play. Their experience can guide you to making the best decisions on how you market and stage your property.
An experienced agent will also have developed strong professional relationships with a range of professionals in the industry, including professional home stagers. Now this may add a little more to your investment when selling a property but you can get a strong return on investment from professional staging. The NRA has published a report on how effective staging is and found that an investment on professional staging can increase what your home is sold for by 1-10%. They also found that in a third of cases, staging greatly reduced the time the house stayed on the market before it was sold.
- List on MLS
Real estate agents can list your property on any multiple listing services (MLS) that they belong to. This puts your property in front of a huge audience, exponentially increasing your chances of getting you home multiple offers and a quicker sale.
- Negotiation skills you’ll be thankful for
As with buyer agents, you need a good agent to represent and push for your interests when it comes to agreement on a sale price. A home may have considerable value to a homeowner but much of it may be down the experiences the seller has had in that home. This will count for little on a negotiation table. The selling agent will do their utmost best to get you the price you want for your home without souring the deal, and accommodate any other criteria you may have.
Questions sellers should ask agents
- What’s your record on prices of homes sold?
You should find out their list price to selling price ratio, in other words, how close they are to selling their homes at the price requested from the homeseller. Ideally, it should be 100%. The closer it is to 100% the better the agent has been at selling the home for the marketed price. This will not only tell you how experienced the agent is but – and let’s be blunt about it – how good they are.
- How can you make my home stand out?
Although we are in a period where demand far outstrips homes listed, you still need to market your home the best you can. This is to ensure that you increase your chances of getting multiple offers and the possibility of higher than market price for your home.
There are various marketing strategies and techniques, and some serve better than others depending on the circumstance. It is up to the agent to convince you that they are able to market your home in the best way, utilizing all the advantages they and your home have to get you the best deal.
You may be tempted to go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route. However, given all the complicated processes and how much an agent brings to the table, it’s difficult to argue that saving a little is worth the hassle and headache. Normally, given the success that an agent brings, good agents more often than not, pay for themselves.
Working with the right professionals
Not all real estate professionals are made the same. All the agents in our Real Estate Group are Realtors, of which we have over 30. Have a look through our Minnesota Realtors and you’ll see a wide range of great people all dedicated to getting you the best experience and most successful outcome in your real estate journey. We also have fantastic staff, just as eager to pull in the right direction to see you meet your goals.
To make life easier, we’ve got a strong network of people to help with some of the tougher parts of real estate transactions. Our lenders will help you take one of the most important first steps in realizing your new home. We’re proud to be working with them and will happily let you know who they are. We’ll also help you take care of any work that needs to be done to your home. With Helgeson Platzke Real Estate Group, all your needs are covered with an expert touch.
If you’re looking to buy a property in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, or in other places in Minnesota, contact us at 952.942.7777 or send us a message at Support(at)HPRealEstateGroup(dotted)com. We look forward to starting your home buying or selling journey.