Can I use any real estate agent? Is there a difference? What’s a REALTOR®?

In my previous post, we set the stage for this series and discussed first time home buyer statistics. In this post we will talk about the different types of real estate agents and which type of agent is best for you.

There are different types of real estate agents out there. Residential agent, commercial agent, buyer’s agent, listing agent, etc. 

Let me begin with what it means to be a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is part of the National Association of Realtors. They are held to a higher standard and have to follow certain rules and regulations, such as the NAR Code of Ethics

The most common types of real estate agents are a residential agent and a commercial agent. A residential agent is licensed to help sellers and buyers buy and sell residential real estate. There are two types of residential agents, listing agent and buyer’s agent. 

Listing Agent. A listing agent represents the seller. 

Buyer’s Agent. Yep, you guessed it. A buyer’s agent (also referred to as the selling agent) represents the buyer. They’re the ones that take you around town showing you different properties. They also negotiate on your behalf with the seller’s agent to help you get the best price for the house, coordinate inspections, appraisals, surveys, repairs, title work, and manage the transaction from contract to closing.

Commercial Agent. A commercial agent helps clients buy, sell, or lease properties that will be used for business purposes. There many types of commercial properties like restaurants, retail space, office space, medical buildings, etc. 

When it comes to purchasing a home, you’ll likely want to find a residential real estate agent that specializes in working with buyers in your area. They’re going to be familiar with local neighborhoods, schools, local businesses, and the local real estate market in general.

Ready to start shopping? Don’t miss the next post in this series, where I discuss working with mortgage lenders and getting pre-approved.


Rob Reed Realtor St Pete FLRob Reed is a REALTOR in St Petersburg, FL that specializes in working with first time home buyers.

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