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Real property

agents and brokers

A real estate agent is a licensed person who helps buyers and sellers of real estate find each other and facilitates the negotiation and closing of real estate transactions. A buyer and seller will each often have an agent representing and assisting them in this process.

Real estate agents are often referred to as agents or sales agents—and may be referred to as a Realtor®—which indicates the agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors® trade association. Real estate agents may also assist landlords and tenants (renters) with finding each other and negotiating leases and are referred to as rental agents in that context.

There are various fee structures available in the market, but agents traditionally work on a commission basis, taking a percentage of the sale price of a completed real estate transaction as their fee. The seller of a property will typically sign an agreement with their agent (the listing agent) to list and market the property and will split this fee with the buyer’s agent.

The commission fee shared by the seller's agent and the buyer's agent is typically deducted from the funds paid by the buyer at the closing of the transaction (along with other closing costs) before the remaining funds are distributed to the seller.

In most states a real estate agent must be affiliated with or sponsored by a licensed real estate broker or real estate brokerage firm. A real estate broker is generally required to have a certain amount of experience as an agent in the real estate industry and must meet additional licensing requirements to own a brokerage firm and handle escrow accounts and earnest money deposits.

A real estate agent will typically split the agent’s share of the sales commission with the agent’s brokerage firm—although the percentage or amount shared may vary.

In Texas, real estate agents must be licensed to facilitate the buying, selling, or leasing of real estate. They help clients find properties, negotiate deals, and handle the closing of transactions. Real estate agents can be referred to as Realtors® if they are members of the National Association of Realtors®. They typically earn income through commissions, which are a percentage of the sale price of a property. This commission is usually split between the seller's agent (listing agent) and the buyer's agent and is paid at the closing of the transaction. Texas real estate agents must work under a licensed real estate broker or brokerage firm, which may also take a share of the commission. Brokers have additional experience and licensing requirements, including the ability to manage escrow accounts and earnest money deposits. The specific fee structures and commission splits can vary, but they are generally outlined in the agreement between the seller and the listing agent.

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