Is Your Real Estate Agent Licensed?
When you’re in the market for a real estate agent, it’s important to make sure you know whether the agent is fully licensed, as it affects your rights as a buyer or seller. As a consumer, you need to be aware of the risks and responsibilities of working with an unlicensed agent, as well as the benefits of working with a professional that is licensed.
The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Real Estate Agent
Hiring a licensed real estate agent will give you access to the most up-to-date information about the area in which you are searching for the property. Licensed real estate agents have an extensive knowledge of the current real estate market and will have some of the best resources available to them. And since they also operate within local real estate laws, you can trust that they will guide you through the process in a professional and reliable way.
Finding a trustworthy real estate agent is even more important for buyers and sellers alike. As well as having the necessary legal qualifications and experience to enter the occupation, a real estate agent is often contacted in order to negotiate property prices, find relevant information, and provide advice.
The Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Real Estate Agent
Without proper licensing and registration, a real estate agent may pose a real risk to unsuspecting buyers. Unlicensed agents may not properly inform buyers of what legal rights they are eligible for, or they may offer services they are not qualified to provide.
In some cases, agents without the necessary licenses may lead buyers into making better decisions than they may have otherwise made with a licensed agent. They may be voiding certain contracts already in place, violating local regulations, or disregarding important real estate guidelines.
Furthermore, unlicensed agents may offer higher commission rates because they do not have to pay any professional or licensing fees. This may sound like a good deal for buyers, but in reality it could end up costing them more in the end due to the lack of professional representation.
How to Tell if a Real Estate Agent is Licensed
The good news is that verifying if a real estate agent is licensed is relatively easy in most states. Simply check the website of your local real estate board or contact their offices to ask. If you are in a state with a reciprocal agreement, you can also check with the Association of Real Estate Licensing Authorities to further confirm the status of the agent.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the agent you are considering has an active real estate license. To do this, you can check with your local licensing authority to see if the agent’s license is still active.
Finally, the best way to ensure that you are choosing an honest and qualified agent is to get a referral. Many professional real estate agents will work with brokers or referrals from friends or family who have had success with them in the past.
The Bottom Line
No matter how experienced an unlicensed real estate agent may be, there are still legal rules and regulations that must be followed to protect buyers and sellers. A licensed real estate agent will ensure that both parties involved in a real estate transaction receive all of the necessary information and protection they need.
That said, before you commit to working with any real estate agent, take the time to verify their license and make sure they are qualified to provide you with the services you need. Doing so will ensure you obtain the optimal outcome with your real estate transaction.