Whether buying or selling real estate, going it alone can be a risky proposition. For many individuals entering the market, using a real estate brokerage service can provide a smooth and positive experience in getting you the best value for your property or investment. Read on to learn everything you need to know to find the right real estate brokerage service.
Understanding the Difference between Agents and Brokers
In real estate, the terms “agent” and “broker” are often used interchangeably, however there is a distinct professional difference between the two. Agents are licensed by a state to sell property but must work for a broker. Brokers are licensed to sell property as well as to own and to operate a real estate firm. Both agents and brokers require licensing in their state, and each state will also have its own rules and regulations regarding the nature of the relationship between brokers and clients. To further differentiate, agents are typically earlier in their careers, while a broker will have obtained a higher degree of education and will have more experience and skill in technical matters than an agent will possess. An agent also must be part of a brokerage firm to operate and cannot work independently. Since brokers tend to have a higher education, more experience and professional licensing, they have the option to work independently, and supervise a team of agents to work for them. A broker’s role may include everything that an agent does, but also includes creating and publishing listings, finding properties that match a buyer’s criteria, conducting negotiations, and reviewing contracts and closing deals. When selling properties, a broker will assess the value of a property, and will represent you in all interactions between buyers and their agents. Both agents and brokers work on a commission based on the sale price of the property. Ultimately, when you work with a real estate agent, you are also working with a brokerage service. The agent works directly for the brokerage, and represents the firm throughout the process. By working directly with a broker, you will have a single touch point for all aspects of the buying and selling process.
Look for a Brokerage That Can Help with Complex Real Estate Investments
For many buyers who are looking beyond simple residential real estate, a real estate brokerage service can provide tremendous benefit when it comes to more complex transactions. If you are considering purchasing an apartment building, duplex or rental house as an investment property, a good real estate broker who is also a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) can help you to analyze the investment costs against the potential income gained from renting out units in the building. Brokers with a strong financial background can also help to market your rental properties and ensure that you get the best value for each unit. A broker who possesses this skill set can also help advise you on needed renovations or suggest additions that can raise the value of your investment property. By working with the right broker or brokerage firm, you can be sure that you are making a sound investment that will see the best returns possible.
Detailed Knowledge of Landlord/Tenant Laws
When considering purchasing a property that will be used as an income investment, look for a real estate brokerage service that also has experience with property management. A broker who also holds credentials such as Certified Property Manager (CPM) or California Certified Certified Resident Manager (CCRM) can help you with the day to day management of your property. A broker with these credentials will have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to landlord and tenant relations. Their advice and input can also be invaluable when it comes time to consider rent increases. Many jurisdictions have rent control laws, and it always pays to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the local laws. The more value that your real estate brokerage service provides, the easier your life as a property owner will be down the line.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re buying or selling residential or commercial real estate, your best bet is to get professional assistance from those who are most qualified to help. By utilizing professional real estate brokerage services, you’ll be more likely to ensure that your investment is sound, profitable, and that you have professional expertise on your side when problems inevitably arise. At Edrington and Associates, we offer nearly three decades of extensive experience completing transactions ranging from simple residential condominiums to significant apartment rehabilitations and multi-million dollar transactions. No matter what your needs are, we will fight to make sure you get the best deal when buying or selling residential, commercial and investment properties.