Q. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
A. Most states require real estate sales professionals to be licensed by the state, so that they can control education and experience requirements and have a central authority to resolve consumer problems.The terminology used to identify real estate professionals varies a little from state to state. Brokers are generally required to have more education and experience than real estate salespersons or agents.The person you normally deal with is a real estate agent or salesperson. The salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a broker. All listings are placed in the broker's name, not the salesperson's.

Q. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?Rockford Real Estate
A. A real estate salesperson is more than just a "sales person." They act on your behalf as your agent, providing you with advice and guidance and doing a job - helping you buy or sell a home. While it is true they get paid for what they do, so do other professions that provide advice, guidance, and have a service to sell --such as Certified Public Accountants and Attorneys. The Internet has opened up a world of information that wasn't previously available to homebuyers and seller. The data on listings available for sale is almost current - but not quite. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with an agent. If you're selling a home, you gain access to the most buyers by being listed in the Multiple Listing Service. Only a licensed real estate agent who is a member of your local MLS can get you listed there - which then gets you automatically listed on some of the major real estate web sites. If you're buying or selling a home, the MLS is your agent's best tool. However, the role of an agent has changed in the last couple of years. In the past, agents were the only way home buyers and sellers could access information. Now agents are evolving. Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, expertise and ability are becoming more important. The real estate agent is becoming more of a "guide" than a "salesperson" -- your personal representative in buying or selling a home. A broker can deal directly with home buyers and sellers, or can have a staff of salespersons or agents working for him or her.

Q. My home has been listed with an agent for over three months and I’m not happy. What options do I have?
A. All listing contracts have expiration dates. When is yours? If it is not coming up soon, tell the agent and/or his manager that you want to cancel your listing. Often they will let you cancel easily, since they do not want to build ill will in the community.If they won't, you can always pull your home off the market until the listing contract expires.

Q.If the purchase contract states that the seller is paying for the hazard report and a buyer's home warranty, who is responsible actually ordering them?
A. Probably, you'll both have to agree. But home warranties don't vary that much in price, so the seller shouldn't mind if you order it. The seller will probably want to order the hazard report, assuming that you mean checking for radon gas and things like that.

Q. New Construction: If a walk-through inspection reveals a problem, but I choose to go through with closing anyway, can I retain a percentage of the down payment (or mortgage amount) - - not to be paid until the repairs are made?
A. If you want to go through with closing, you will not be able to hold any of your money back or the lender will not fund the loan. You just have to trust that the builder will make the changes, and they normally do.

Q. What are the terms of the pest inspection? If after a few years you are living in the home, are the sellers responsible if termites are found?
A. Assuming you had a pest inspection performed when you bought the house, the terms of the guarantee would be with the pest inspection. You will probably find it with your other documents from when you bought the house. Expecting the seller to be responsible for something a couple of years after the fact is not really sensible. The only way a seller should be liable is if they knew of an infestation, but did not disclose it.

Q. What should I be aware of that the house inspector should be doing during the inspection of the house I am interested in buying?
A. The Inspector should be checking the following things:

  • Drainage
  • Foundation
  • Roof & Water Leaks
  • Paint
  • Plumbing
  • Wiring
  • Heating
  • Fireplace
  • Tile

Q. I am interested in buying a home which the seller is listed "as is." Will a bank require a home inspection before approving a loan? Will a bank approve a loan on a home needing repairs?
A. A bank doesn't require you to get a home inspection in order to obtain a mortgage. If there are obvious major problems that affect value, the appraiser may note it in the appraisal report. However, their job is not to inspect the home, just to determine value. Although the bank doesn't require a home inspection, if your purchase contract mentions a termite report, the lender will require that to be performed and pass before you close.

Q. What, precisely, can be claimed as a tax deduction when you buy a home?
A. This is really a question you should ask a local CPA or whoever does your taxes. We encourage you to follow up with a professional tax advisor as we are not qualified or authorized to give advice in two areas - legal matters and tax matters. Briefly put, providing you itemize deductions, own and occupy the home, you can deduct both property taxes paid on the home and interest paid on your mortgage. You can deduct the points and prepaid interest you make during the actual purchase, whether you pay them or the seller pays them on your behalf. There are certain limits and restrictions which do not affect most people, but this is another reason you should contact a tax professional regarding your question.