Why and How to Use a Real Estate Broker
- Are you just curious about buying or selling a home?
- Are you seriously considering buying your first home or building a new one?
- Do you want to sell your present property and buy a larger or smaller home?
- Are you thinking about relocating into or out of your present town or area?
- Do you want to increase your present real estate investments or exchange property?
- Have your real estate requirements changed since your purchased your present property?
- Do you want to know the value of your present real estate?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions then you should consider contacting a real estate broker. The earlier you contact a real estate broker, the easier it will be to create a plan that trouble shoots any potential problem area(s) and allows you to structure a transaction with the most benefits to you.
Beyond the relatively obvious activities most people associate with a real estate broker; finding a property, finding a buyer and negotiating the contract, all real estate activity today involves some education and coordination. I refer to us as "the great coordinators" because over the years of handling real estate transactions, we find ourselves with a wealth of information and experience that allows us to assist our clients in connecting to effective experts in a wide range of specialties.
Access to reasonable, reliable services can often make a tremendous difference in being able to complete a real estate transaction in a timely manner. We generally know the current types of loan’s and interest rates available, how long it is currently taking for loan approval, how much time we need to allow for inspections to be made, who can give estimates on the cost of recommended repairs or improvements, or how long it is currently taking to issue building permits. In addition, you can benefit from a broker’s daily exposure to the expertise and performance by the standard and customary related services involved in real estate transactions such as those provided by Inspectors, Lenders, Title Companies, Escrow Officers and others. While real estate brokers can’t give tax or legal advise, and most of us don’t arrange loans, we can and do often meet jointly with our clients and their lender, tax or legal advisors to structure a transaction that is most beneficial to our mutual client.
We find ourselves accumulating references for obscure things such as; If and how to eliminate bad odors from a property (if a small creature(s) died in the wall - uck!, or when turning a former butcher shop into offices). We often know which well driller, septic inspector, brick mason, plumber or electrician not only does good work, at a fair price, and also actually shows up when agreed upon!
Because most of us live in the areas where we broker real estate, we also often know of local wants and needs such as which teens will still baby-sit and walk dogs, or which charity is looking for that used refrigerator you’d like to dispose of by the week end. In my personal telephone/database directory I have accumulated over 100 services which I routinely utilize, including 21 Attorneys in 11 different real estate related specialties, 30 Contractors in 14 different areas of specialty, make that 46 &18 if you include handyman, laborers, and gardeners. One last point about when to see a broker. Since most buyers today understand that their offer has a much greater chance of acceptance if they are pre-approved for a loan, or at least pre-qualified, shouldn’t they go to a lender before seeing a broker? Generally the answer is no. The reason to meet with your real estate broker first is because different lenders make different types of loan’s. Some Lender’s base the loan approval by giving more weight to the person borrowing, while others weight the property that will secure the loan and may deal with a borrower who has had a few credit glitches in the past. Each lender has it’s own idiosyncrasies regarding qualifications and verifications. Your real estate broker will know which lenders or mortgage brokers are the most likely to make the loan on the type of property you want and/or to a person with your financial and employment background.
How do I select an broker? and once selected, how do I get the most out of the relationship?
Start with friends, neighbors or co-worker’s recommendations and look at real estate publications that cover the area in which you wish to buy or sell. See which agents are actively involved full time in real estate. Ask for a resume, and if they weren’t referred to you by someone you know, references of at least 2 or 3 past clients. While I give more weight to personal recommendations, take into account your similarity to the person who made the recommendation. Relationship have chemistry, sometimes one person has great success with a particular party that another does not.
Real estate transactions can be stressful at times. Interview as many brokers as needed to find a broker with whom you communicate well and in whom you have professional confidence. Most real estate brokers appreciate the advantage of spending time with people up front, to help them determine if they can, or want to, proceed. If you are buying property, before going out to look at property, meet with the broker to establish your real estate goals, create an action plan and get pre-approval on your borrowing capacity. If you wish to sell, before you clean up or fix up or make changes for the purpose of Selling, take advantage of your real estate broker’s marketing experience. Have them walk through the property, they can usually save you considerable time and money in preparing a property for sale.
To get the best service from your broker, think of yourself as part of a team. Once you’ve chosen an agent, feel free to direct all real estate questions and discuss your real estate decisions with your broker. A proactive approach paves the way to a smooth and effective real estate transaction. The more your real estate broker knows about what you wish to accomplish through a particular real estate transaction, the greater chance that they can assist you in creating it.