Real Estate Agents have their real estate license. A broker has further certification and bears the responsibility for the actions of the agents under her supervision. Most real estate transactions go through with no problems but if there is an issue, a broker steps in if there are problems with the sale.
Quite simply, your property's value is what a buyer is ready and willing to pay. Banks loan money for homes based on the appraised value. Appraised value is based on current market conditions of like properties. These are known as "comps" or comparable homes. So appraisers look at the condition of your home and what other homes in the same condition geographically close to yours have sold for recently.
If you would like a comp pulled on your home, visit my SELLING YOUR HOME page and submit your home's information. I will get back with you on what other homes in your area have recently sold for and give you a range of what you can expect to receive on the sale of your home.
For most people purchasing a home without the help of a licensed real estate professional can end up being more costly than a realtor's commission. It is certainly more time consuming and can be dangerously tricky when considering binding legal contracts.
Managing showings, appointments, and inquiries on your existing home is hard - especially when you have a full-time job. Hiring a realtor puts your existing home on the multiple listing service too - a place where everyone can find your home for sale. Negotiations and contracts can be hard to handle. You can lose your deposit on a new home if you miss a deadline or fail to meet a financing condition. You can even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your part of a contract.
An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular bases. She can easily work through the negotiations, deadlines, and contracts to make sure you are protected when buying a selling a home.