Buying and selling real estate property is often a difficult process, even for the most experienced of individuals. Navigating MLS Listings, contracts, and deadlines can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a great deal of experienced real estate brokers are readily available in all major cities, and even small towns, to help simplify the process. It is believed that 70-80% of homeowners use an agent or broker when buying or selling property. According to a 2019 survey by Redfin, in the United States, a property is on the market for about 40 days. Do not hesitate to contact a real estate broker today!
Real Estate Brokers Defined
Often, clients are confused with the terms real estate broker, real estate agent, and realtor. Although there are certain similarities, each has a very distinct role in the real estate world.
- Realtors are members of a realtors association, and include agents, brokers, salespeople, and appraisers.
- Real estate agents facilitate real estate transactions.
- Real estate brokers are considered the most experienced and qualified professionals in the industry. Brokers typically have more training than real estate agents. They either work as independent agents, or can have other agents working for them. Brokers own brokerages, in which they can employ real estate agents. They have often passed state or provincial exams and have worked a minimum amount of hours in the industry. Some states also require that real estate brokers pass a background check.
Real estate brokers receive a commission from their sales, based on the negotiated contract.
Real Estate Brokers’ Role
In a nutshell, real estate brokers negotiate and arrange real estate transactions. In addition, they often mentor and assist real estate agents working for them in their client transactions.
- For Buyers – Real estate brokers working with buyers locate property within the buyer’s price range and criteria, help buyers visit and view properties, conduct negotiations, prepare offers for the buyer, coordinate inspections and repair negations, coordinate the transaction process, deliver and explain paperwork, assist client’s with paperwork, and assist buyers in closing and taking possession of the property.
- For Sellers – Real estate brokers work with sellers to determine the market value of their property; list and show the property through MLS listings; deliver and explain documents, disclosures, and transactions; coordinate the transaction process; communicate offers to the client; and help sellers negotiate the contract. They continue to work with the seller until move-out time.
Choosing the Perfect Real Estate Broker
Choosing a real estate broker does not have to be a difficult decision. One must create a plan or an outline about your specific needs and goals. Reading websites and promotional brochures helps one learn more about the real estate broker.
Next, one must choose if they prefer an independent firm or a franchise. Franchises can be found all over the country, are larger, have more control over their agents, but also offer much more support and training. Independent firms are often locally based and small to medium sized. They offer much more personalized services.
Another way is to ask friends, coworkers, family, and classmates for recommendations. According the NAR’s 2016 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers Report, 42% of buyers relied on personal referrals. For first-time buyers, this figure increased to 52%. However, take care not to simply go on one recommendation. Interview a few potential candidates, to find the perfect fit, specifically for you.
Find out how long the broker has been in the business. Are they experienced? Will they be able to solve any problems that arise? Do they specialize in the type of property you are selling or interested in buying? For example, some real estate brokers specialize exclusively in luxury spaces.
Inquire about the broker’s education and credentials. Have they continued learning and kept up with changes in the industry? Are they passionate about their job?
Finally, ensure that they are willing to put your needs first. If there is any ambiguity, ensure that your needs are addressed in the contractual agreement.
More importantly, is the broker honest and upfront? Are they compassionate? Do they have strong core values? Are they willing to tell you about the risks of buying and selling property?
Lastly, are you comfortable with the broker? Can you easily communicate your needs? If not, perhaps, you need to keep searching.
Cost of Real Estate Brokers
The cost of real estate brokers varies by country, state, province, and city. However, industry standard commission is approximately 6%.
Buying and selling property does not have to be an overwhelming process. A professional and experienced real estate broker will be able to streamline and greatly simplify buying and selling of property.