Listing Agent | Buyer's Agent | Why A Chicago Realtor?

Want to Find a Chicago Real Estate Agent?

There are several things to consider when looking for a real estate agent or broker in Chicago. The following provides a brief breakdown of what you should know when choosing someone to represent your home buying or selling needs.

How is a Broker different than an Agent?

In Chicago, a real estate agent is a salesperson licensed by the State of Illinois to conduct real estate transactions. The agent works on behalf of the broker, who must also be licensed as such by the state in which they operate. The broker is professionally responsible and held legally accountable for all of the agent’s business activities.

Brokerages usually provide agents with benefits, such as office space, client leads and various services. In return, the commission agents make on real estate deals is split with the broker. The commission split percentage is dependent on the transaction and the agent’s specific agreement with the brokerage. Typically, an agent is an independent contractor that works for a broker. This is what you will find in most Chicago area brokerages.

What is a Listing Agent?

A listing agent is hired by a homeowner to sell their property. They are contractually obligated to look out for the seller’s best interests. The listing agent lists the property on the market and uses advertising channels to attract buyers. The majority of listing agents hold open houses, stick FOR SALE signs out front, and use newspapers and the Internet to promote properties. For their services the listing agent is paid a commission, which they share with the buyer’s agent. The commission amount is a pre-set percentage of the sale price. So the more a buyer pays for the home, the more money the listing agent makes.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer’s agent works for the house hunter. They are the buyer’s advocate and have the buyer’s best interests at heart. This agent not only helps people find the type of house, condo or loft they want, but at a price they can afford. Typically, a buyer’s agent is with the buyer from Day One, walking them through the entire process of purchasing a property.

You do not pay a buyer’s agent to represent you. Instead they are paid by the listing agent, who gets a commission from the sale. The commission is a percentage of the final purchase price. That amount is split between the seller’s and buyer’s agents. The agents’ brokerages are usually entitled to a portion of that money as well.

What is Dual Agency?

Dual agency is when an agent works for both parties in a real estate transaction. A number of states do not permit dual agency. However, under Illinois law an agent is allowed to represent both the buyer and the seller. This can present a conflict of interests, so it is something to look out for when selecting your agent.

The Illinois License Act of 2000 says that an agent must provide full disclosure of who they represent to both parties (buyer and seller). In the case of dual agency, both the buyer and seller must be aware of and agree to the situation for it to be permitted.

What is a New Construction Sales Agent?

Many new construction developments have a designated sales team to sell the units within the complex. They often show model homes or units before the project is even completed to get pre-construction sales. These agents are working for the builder or developer and have the builder/developer’s financial and business interests at heart. If you want to visit a new construction sales center to see a listing, bring your Buyer’s Agent with you or you may loose the right to be represented by them. If alone, present your agent’s business card and inform the new construction sales agent that you already have representation. Failure to make very clear who your Buyer’s Agent is could result in the developer not paying their commission.

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