Three Common Mistakes Made When Choosing a Real Estate Broker
The excitement of entering the real estate market, as a seller or a buyer, leads quickly to the question of who to choose as your real estate broker. That may be an easy decision if you have already worked successfully with a broker on a previous transaction, and plan to use him or her again. Or, perhaps you are just beginning, and you are looking for recommendations. In some cases, sellers and buyers have a wide range of brokers to call on, whom they know as friends, family members, or neighbors – all of whom are earnestly vying for their business.
Whatever your situation, it’s important to pause at this point and carefully make the decision of who will represent you. A lot is at stake with your real estate transaction. How it is handled impacts you financially and legally, and will influence your credit, housing, and overall well-being. How does one choose wisely? Avoid these three common mistakes that sellers and buyers make in when choosing a broker.
Mistake #1: Choosing friendship over experience. “I just got my license!” your friend texts you. “Hire me so I can jump start my real estate career.” Sounds harmless – until your friend/broker unintentionally leads you into a legal quagmire because they didn’t know better. We hear many stories of regret by sellers and buyers who made their decision based on having a relationship with someone, and overlooked the lack of training, experience, and qualifications of the broker. Experience matters.
Mistake #2: Choosing a low commission over quality of service. Sounds great, doesn’t it? A 1% commission or a flat fee, saving you thousands of dollars. Sellers and buyers eagerly sign a contract with a “discount brokerage” and then are surprised when the level of service matches the low commission rate. Angry testimonials abound of not hearing back from their brokers in a timely manner, of distant, mechanized customer service, of doing most of the work themselves, or of getting passed around like an unwanted task. Your real estate transaction is too important for short cuts. Choose great service even at full commission – it will pay for itself.
Mistake #3: Choosing a broker who does real estate “on the side”. Perhaps they have fifteen or twenty years’ real estate experience, but only do a couple transactions a year due to working another, full time job. Well-intentioned as these brokers are, they are not spending enough hours in the field every month to be fully knowledgeable in the latest trends, best practices, forms and regulations, and market swings. Full time brokers live and breathe real estate dozens of hours a week – and you want to use that to your advantage.
Whether your purchase or sale will be $40,000 or $4,000,000, choose experienced, knowledgeable, dedicated, high quality service for the best outcome possible. You deserve it, and it’s too important for anything less.
©SASH Realty by Rebecca Bomann, Designated Broker, SRES®