Only twelve years have passed since the laws governing real estate transactions were changed to allow a real estate agent to represent not only those who wished to sell properties, but potential buyers as well. Prior to that, a real estate agent could show properties to buyers, but was being paid only by the seller.The Buyer’s AdvocateBut now the law requires the real estate agent to enter into a contract with a buyer who asks for his or her assistance in locating a home to purchase. Among the duties required of the real estate agent by this contract are that he or she supply the buyer accurate loan and financing information, look for properties which will meet the buyer’s living situation and budget, and help the buyer actually close a purchase on a property.The buyer’s real estate agent will also need to do negotiate the best possible price based on the established value of the property with the real estate agent who is representing the seller. The seller will still be responsible for all the fees associated with the sale of the property.There are instances in which the same real estate agent is acting for both the buyer and the seller as a “disclosed limited agent,” and in those instances both the buyer and seller have to provide written consent, and the relationships between all the parties need to be disclosed before any proposals on the sale of the property can be entertained.Making It Through The Tough TimesBecause the US real estate market has been in a precipitous decline since its euphoric days of the first years of the 21st century, many a real estate agent has seen the wisdom of becoming a proactive as possible in a buyer’s marketplace where closing a deal can be rare indeed.The real estate speculation bubble drew thousands of new agents into the market, and while interest rates remained at some of their lowest historical levels, those agents flourished. But with the recent slowdown in home sales, many of those agents have either left the profession, or are desperately looking for ways to hang on until the market begins to recover.The Internet has become a necessary tool in a real estate agent’s survival [http://www.1realestatehelp.com/Articles/Real_Estate_Listings.php] kit. Any real estate agent who wants to reach the greatest number of the shrinking pool of home buyers must master the art of steering them to his or her website and giving them reasons to remain on as clients once they arrive. The real estate agent who wants to continue his or her career simply must have an online site providing information about both real estate properties and the services he or she offers.And the smart real estate agent will set up a website which is independent of their agency’s site so that the money they put into the site will not simply be a charitable gift to the agency’s advertising budget.