Real estate agent

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A real estate broker, real estate agent, or realtor is a consultant who represents both sellers and purchasers of real estate or real property in the transaction of real estate. While a broker may operate on his or her own, an agent is often employed by a registered broker to represent customers. To negotiate sales agreements and maintain the documents necessary for finalising real estate transactions, brokers and agents must be licenced by the state. Buyers and sellers are typically encouraged to contact a qualified real estate agent for a formal description of each state's laws of agency, and many states require written disclosures to be signed by all parties explaining the responsibilities and obligations.

When a real estate broker successfully completes a deal, he or she is often compensated with a real estate commission. While the average commission for a full service broker in the United States is between 5 and 6 percent of the selling price of the property, the number varies by state and even location. This commission might be split with other real estate brokers or agents who are also involved in the transaction. Based on the sort of services supplied, flat-fee brokers and fee-for-service brokers might charge much less than their counterparts.