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If an agent is representing a buyer, commission is usually paid by the seller of a residential house.
In new built homes, a buyer should be accompanied by his agent for the first visit and be registered with the builder to get paid.
For sale by owner homes is paid thru negotiation with the home owner by the agent. If the owner is not willing, then the buyer will pay the agent.
Same is true with commercial properties unless negotiated otherwise by the parties.
What are the steps in home buying?
1. Get pre-qualified by a loan officer of a mortgage company. This will save your time and the agent who is representing you. It will give you an accurate figure of the price range of the house or property that you can afford to purchase.
2. Find the agent who will represent you. Consider the name of the brokerage and the agent's experience in negotiation. The agent of your choice will guide you to find the right home for you.
3. Your agent will guide you where to find the appraiser to appraise the house as well as home inspectors and title companies.
Be ready to talk to your insurance company for your Home Owner's Insurance when your house closes on escrow. This means that the title of ownership transfers from the seller to you and you need insurance to protect your property. Your current car insurance company will be your best option to get a discounted rate. It is overwhelming for some to purchase a property. Real estate agents are there to help you.
What are the steps in home selling?
1. Find a real estate agent who will give you a market analysis of your property, This will give you an idea on how much you can sell your house in the current market condition.
2. The agent of your choice will present a contract to represent you and market your property. She will then put For Sale signs in front of your house and market it on line and do Open Houses.
3. Once a buyer comes, an offer is presented to you. You will then decide whether to accept or reject it. If you accept, all documents will be processed by your agent until closing. If you reject it, marketing continuous until you find a suitable buyer.