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Four Things Most First-Time Homebuyers Don’t Know About Real Estate Agents

A first-time homebuyer will undoubtedly encounter many people on their path towards home ownership – whether it is during their quest of securing a home mortgage loan or during their exhaustive search for a dream home. With the many mortgage brokers, underwriters, appraisers and real estate agents out there, it’s understandable for a first-time homebuyer to get all of the information they are given mixed up from time to time.

One of the most incorrect tidbits of first-time homebuyer information out there involves real estate agents and what role they play throughout the home buying process. When most people think of a real estate agent, they may have many preconceived notions of what they do and why they’re doing it. But the truth is that an agent is much more than simply that person who helps buy or sell a house. For a first-time homebuyer, a real estate agent can be a chaperone throughout the home mortgage process. Here are a few first-time homebuyer morsels of information about real estate agents you may not already know:

Realtor® vs. real estate agent

While both will be able to help you find your new home, it’s important to know the distinction between the two. As one expert explains it, “All Realtors ® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®” A real estate agent is someone who passed a state exam and has a license. A Realtor is also someone who passed a state exam and has a license, but he or she is also a member of the National Association of Realtors.

How they are paid

A real estate agent doesn’t bill their clients at an hourly rate or present them an invoice like some professionals. Instead, real estate professionals are paid at the end of a sales transaction – meaning the he or she doesn’t get paid if the transaction fails. The way a real estate agent is paid is commission based – meaning the money they take home ultimately depends upon the sales price of the home. Also, it’s important for a first-time homebuyer to know that they are NOT responsible for paying the agent. It’s usually the seller’s responsibility to pay the commission, unless there is a special situation negotiated between the buyer and seller.

How much are they paid?

The reason a real estate agent wants to help you find your house is not because they are moneygrubbers who will stop at anything to make a buck. No, it’s because they, like you, need to make a living. And believe it or not, they don’t make as much as you’d think. Most real estate agents, according to, earn on average between $34,000 and $45,000 annually.

Busy is better

Contrary to what you may assume, having a real estate agent who is busy is a good thing. This means that you’ve chosen a hard-working and motivated agent to work on your behalf. While there is such thing as being too busy, knowing that your agent is a go-getter can help a first-time homebuyer build confidence in their relationship throughout the home mortgage process.

When going after that inaugural home mortgage, it’s important to have all of the proper first-time homebuyer information in your hands. At Blue Water Mortgage, we have an extensive history of working with Realtors and real estate agents from throughout New England. We pride ourselves on working with agents on your behalf to find you the right home with the right mortgage. Contact us today!

Roger Odoardi

Roger is an owner and licensed Loan Officer at Blue Water Mortgage. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and has been a leader in the mortgage industry for over 20 years. Roger has personally originated over 2500 residential loans and is considered to be in the top 1% of NH Loan Officers by leading national lender United Wholesale Mortgage.