What’s the difference between a real estate broker and a real estate agent?

Realtor LogoIn the Commonwealth of Virginia a real estate agent is a person who is licensed to be paid a commission on a real estate transaction. Real estate agents have minimal educational requirements but must pass a test for licensing. After that, the agent must follow up with continuing education to stay apprised of updates in real estate law. Real estate agents may not work independently and they must affiliate with a real estate broker.

Real estate agents may not work independently and they must affiliate with a real estate broker. A real estate broker has a higher education requirement than a real estate agent. In addition a real estate broker must have 3 years of full-time work experience as an agent in order to qualify for the process of becoming a broker. Broker’s are responsible for supervising the efforts of any agents whose licenses are affiliated with them. Because the broker has a deeper understanding of real estate laws and practices, agents often come to their broker when they have questions or need assistance.

There are three types of brokers: a managing broker, an associate broker and a principal broker. Every real estate firm in the Commonwealth of Virginia has a principal broker. The principal broker is the primary licensee from which all licenses at the firm are authorized. A principal broker is uniquely responsible for the actions of every affiliated agent or broker. In addition to managing the burdens of real estate law and practices, the principal broker is responsible for the actual business practices of the brokerage.

At some point, a brokerage can grow too large for one broker to manage. In addition some brokerages have multiple offices. For this reason a principal broker may need to appoint managing brokers. A managing broker has all the education experience that a principal broker has, but the managing broker’s responsibilities are generally limited to the management of agents and offices. Most real estate agents at most chain brokerages report to a managing broker and only rarely interact with the principal broker. At Nesbitt Realty every agent has immediate access to and direct supervision from the principal broker.

An associate broker is a broker who has fulfilled all the educational requirements to be a broker, but the associate broker does not assume a managerial position. An associate broker is affiliated with a managing or principal broker. An associate broker requires minimal supervision, the supervising broker is still responsible for the associate broker’s actions.
For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.

Pocket Listings Heat Up: Good or Bad?

Pocket listings — off-market listings that are marketed directly by the seller’s real estate agent or broker — are growing in number, according to news reports.

Sellers must agree to “pocket listings”; otherwise they aren’t permitted. Some sellers agree to such arrangements to “test the waters” first with selling or to avoid a large number of people from entering their home, or they may seek privacy, like in cases of celebrities or public figures.

Some real estate professionals argue the rise in pocket listings is hurting the housing market because these homes are given limited exposure and are making it more difficult to compare homes and prices.

Usually with pocket listings, brokerages complete the entire transaction in-house, thus collecting both the seller and buyer commission.

“Pocket listings are a good segment of our business,” writes one real estate professional on the RISMedia Facebook page. “Regarding cons with agents taking in full commissions … we charge a flat rate for our pocket sales, much less than a full-percent commission.”

But many agents note that the majority of pocket listings are eventually entered into the MLS.

Source: “Pocket Listings: Helpful or Harmful?” RISMedia (March 14, 2013)

The best way to update a property is to paint it. It’s a job that many sellers can do themselves.

Here are six suggestions for making the work go quickly.

Montebello's Living Spaces
Montebello’s Living Spaces
  1. Move the furniture. Get as much furniture as possible out of the way, and then cover what’s left with plastic drop cloths held in place with masking tape.
  2. Buy good paint. Top-quality latex interior paint will hide what’s underneath and make the job go faster.
  3. Tape the edges. Taping the edges with painters tape will speed up the job and make the results more professional.
  4. Work top down. Paint the ceiling first, then the walls, then the windows and trim and finally the baseboards. This will cut down on time spent repairing drips and splatter marks.
  5. Cut in the corners. Applying a three-inch band of paint around the edges will allow you to fill in the middle with a paint roller.
  6. Apply paint generously. Trying to stretch the paint won’t save sellers any money if they have to repaint.

Source: Paint Quality Institute (09/21/2010)