Each of the 50 American states regulates the sale and rental of homes and apartments. The states also regulate and license real estate agents and brokers. Brokers specialize in matching sellers with buyers, commonly in exchange for a commission (5% to 6%) based on the sale price or annual rent of the home or apartment. For home sales under the American system, typically the seller of the property pays the broker’s commission.
Many brokers, in addition to having good knowledge of the housing market in their communities, are members of national brokerage chains or associations that facilitate the listing and description of properties, now commonly on the Internet. The broker often has the resources to support advertising and attractive web sites for a property that may be out of reach for an owner who wants to sell without using a broker. The broker will often advise the seller on setting the asking price, screen potential buyers to make sure they are qualified and desirable, and help deal with paperwork, closings, and the referral of specialists such as real estate lawyers and contractors.
Discount real estate brokers and agencies offer a range of services, such as listing and Internet search, at lower rates. Even considering the benefits offered by brokers, many sellers advertise and sell their homes on their own.
Apartment rental brokers and agencies exist in some cities. In some cases, the owner is responsible for paying the broker. In other instances, the tenant pays a fixed fee or a percentage of the annual rent for the service. Large apartment buildings and complexes often have rental offices that do not charge extra brokerage fees.. In some areas where apartments are difficult to find, it may save much time and effort, however, to pay a broker’s fee so the broker does the work for you.
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