Choosing Your Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Brokers in CaliforniaNow that you’ve obtained a letter of Pre-Approval from your lender and set your investment criteria, the next step is to choose your real estate broker.

Should I Use a Real Estate Broker?

There are many things to consider when purchasing real estate.

  • Is one type of real estate better than another?
  • Will I have a more difficult time obtaining financing on a condo or a house?
  • Is there a market that prices are getting ready to go up?
  • Is there a market with a particularly hot rental market?
  • How much should I offer on a property if I really want it?
  • What if my offer is accepted and I don’t end up obtaining financing?
  • What if I change my mind after my offer is accepted because I find out the house needs too much repair work?

These are tough questions that if left unanswered could lead to costly errors & mistakes. If you work with a broker, they can answer and research any questions you have and provide additional important questions to ask the seller. How many times have you thought you knew something about a subject, then upon speaking with a professional, you at some point said, “Good question, I hadn’t even thought of that!”?

The reasons you should work with a real estate broker are endless. Buying a home without representation is not a smart decision. When making such a sizable investment, you MUST work with a professional who is accountable for acting within your best interest. A real estate broker lives and breathes real estate every day and will provide the expertise you need.

One of the best ways to buy a home for significantly less than your neighbor is to avoid costly mistakes. One of the most costly mistakes a person can make is to try and do it without representation.

What If I Don’t Want to Work with a Real Estate Broker?

If you are a buyer, you have nothing to gain by choosing not to work with a broker. It’s free! Who would turn down free expert advice? If you are a seller, the cost to you is the commission you pay the broker for selling your home. However, if you are a seller and opt out of listing with a broker, you are still likely going to pay a buyer’s broker. The majority of homes are purchased by a buyer who is represented by a buyers agent. If selling your home For Sale By Owner (FSBO), you have to cooperate with buyers agents and offer 2-3% or they will have no incentive to show your home. A good broker easily pays for himself, and then some!

Read: Should I Attempt to Sell My Home For Sale By Owner FSBO?

What Should I Look for in a Real Estate Broker?

You should consider at least the following when choosing a real estate broker to work with.

  • Where do I want to buy? – Choose a broker who works in the area you are looking to buy. A broker who lives or has an office where you want to buy a home should be very well versed in that area. It’s important to find someone who is an expert in that particular sub-market. Quiz them. What is happening in this market? What are prices doing? What is inventory doing? How is the local economy? What are the main employment drivers?
  • Are they the expert they say they are? – If they claim to be an expert in the area, ask questions and have them prove it. How many transactions did they do last year in that area? Do they have testimonials? We are seeing many brokers calling themselves short sale or REO specialists, however, we find that many of them haven’t done many or any REO or short sale transactions.
  • Compassion, Patience, Sharing and Knowledge – Your broker should never pressure you unnecessarily. They should understand that you are making a big decision in buying a home and sympathize with you. More importantly, your broker should educate you. Brokers should not tell you to do something without explaining why. CAPropertyFinder.com’s goal is to educate our clients which is why we are writing this book. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. We believe that information is the most valuable resource, and we like giving it away for free.
  • Communication – How important to you is it that your broker pick up the phone when you call? Return your e-mails in a timely manner? Are available to visit homes and open houses with you? Most likely, very important. A readily available broker is essential to buying a home because homes are going fast! Wouldn’t you hate to miss out on an opportunity to make an offer because your real estate broker doesn’t call you back for 2 days? At CAPropertyFinder.com, we pride ourselves on the fact that we pick up the phone when you call! We keep you up to date on our home search efforts. We don’t just TELL you we’re working hard to find you a home.. we SHOW you. And most importantly we are there for you when you need us.
  • Online Presence – The entire world is becoming more and more Internet based. Real Estate is certainly no different. In fact, even more so than many industries, real estate is taking place online. The MLS is Internet based, buyers and sellers can do their own online research better than ever with sites such as CAPropertyFinder.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com. Entire transactions are even completed now without people meeting face to face. If the broker you are considering does not have a powerful online presence, it’s a big red flag.

Read: Online Location Matters Too in Real Estate

What Should I Expect Out of My Real Estate Broker?

Real Estate Brokers are Full Service! Do not just expect full service.. demand it! One of the most common things buyers do now is perform all of their own research. Listing brokers get calls daily from buyers who find them on CAPropertyFinder.com or Zillow.com or a similar site. There is nothing more aggravating than having a buyer call up and spend a considerable amount of time with them over the phone only to find out that they are already working with a buyers broker.

If you are working with a buyers broker, the BROKER should do all the research for you. Your broker should send you every available home that fulfills your investment criteria. Every time a new property comes on the market that fulfills that criteria, they should be immediately sending you those homes too. You should not be able to find anything online that your broker hasn’t already sent you.

If you work with the right broker, you do not need to waste your time (a costly mistake) on searching for homes, that’s what the broker is there for. Instead you spend your time living your normal life, preparing to move, preparing for you loan, and touring properties with your broker. Sure there is nothing wrong with doing your own online research, in fact, you should. That’s why we provide such a powerful California MLS Search on CAPropertyFinder.com However, if you find a home your broker has not already sent you, send the home information to your broker. They may be able to find out much more and better information about that home than you could on your own.

Read: Working with a Buyer’s Agent 101

How Can I Get Help Choosing the Right Real Estate Broker for Me?

CAPropertyFinder.com specializes in setting buyers and sellers up with the best brokers for them. We interview every broker before agreeing to work with them. We drill them on their expertise in local markets and on their experience in the industry. Our brokers are easy to work with, experts in local markets, and have completed many transactions to give them the foundation they need to work with you. Call or email us today, we are here to help. 1-800-287-1808 or homes@capropertyfinder.com.

Your friends, neighbors and family members are great resources too. Perhaps someone living in the neighborhood you are looking to move to knows a great agent. Real Estate Brokers thrive on referrals. A referral means someone has had good experience with that Real Estate Broker; they are at least worth following up on.

Now that you’ve selected your Real Estate Broker it’s time to Choose your Contractor.

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