Most people have heard of real estate agents, but property brokers are a little less well known. Some people use the two terms interchangeably, but that isn’t quite accurate. The truth is that brokers and real estate agents have different kinds of roles within a real estate agency, and brokers can have additional responsibilities, and skills, that make working with one a little different than just working with a real estate agent.
If you’re not sure who you want representing you when you’re looking for a home or looking to sell, you’re in the right place.
We’ll talk about property brokers, how they’re the same and different from real estate agents, and when you might need one over the other.
What Are Property Brokers & How Are They Different Than Real Estate Agents?
When it comes to property brokers it’s important to know that they can do all the same things a real estate agent can and that they have at least the same level of licensing and training for real estate work.
However, property brokers have an additional level of training that teaches them how to operate a brokerage. They can work independently, or they might work for a real estate agency as a supervisor or team lead for other real estate agents. Additionally, property brokers are in a good position to start their own businesses and may be the owners of small or large real estate businesses.
That means that it’s a little less common to work directly with a property broker, they often have other responsibilities that mean they have less time for working with clients but working with a property broker can also have some advantages that we’ll discuss in the next section.
At the end of the day though, even if you are working with a property broker, it shouldn’t seem that different from working with any other real estate agent. They are still there to help match you with the kind of home you’re looking for, and even to help guide you toward a better list of wants and needs to make sure your new home is truly right for you.
Do I Need A Property Broker Or A Real Estate Agent? Can They Be Both?
Before you decide whether or not you’re going to work with a property broker it can be important to know what the differences are and whether they can do the same things a real estate agent can do.
The good news is that property brokers can do everything real estate agents can do, and if they are running their own business or working independently, they may even have a few more options than a regular real estate agent doesn’t.
However, that doesn’t always mean that working with a property broker is better than working with a real estate agent. It really does depend on your specific needs.
So for instance, a property broker is still going to look for properties that match your requirements and needs, negotiate on your behalf, prepare offers, and otherwise handle deals if they’re hired to help you buy a home.
A seller’s property broker will also perform similar roles to a selling real estate agent. They’ll help determine the market value of a property, give you selling advice, communicate and advise you on offers you receive for a property, and help throughout the offer and acceptance process.
In those ways, they function almost identically to a real estate agent. Though, there are times when you might work with a real estate agent directly instead of the broker if for instance the broker sends a real estate agent to help you in a showing or to tour a series of properties and they don’t have time to take you themselves.
That’s not always going to be the case either though. A property broker that’s working primarily as a real estate agent will likely have the time needed to take clients through a property and work with them just as closely as a real estate agent would.
However, one core difference is that you might be working with a property broker and instead of working directly with them, they could leverage the power of their entire brokerage for you. In those kinds of relationships, you might have several real estate agents helping you find a home and working with you at different times and locations. That’s not because they don’t want to give you the personal touch of working directly with an agent, but rather that the brokerage can leverage a lot more manpower and cast a wider net to help you find the ideal home.
Both styles of real estate search and location can be equally effective.
Here are some quick pros and cons to working with a property broker, vs. working with a real estate agent.
Real Estate Agents:
How To Find The Best Property Brokers For Your Property Buying Needs
Now that you know a little more about the differences between a real estate broker and a real estate agent, let’s talk about how you can find the right broker for you.
Just like any professional decision, the people you work with can have a big impact on the experience and outcome whether you’re looking to buy a home or sell one.
Here are some ways you can look for a real estate broker, and some things you should consider when you’re hiring one.
Ask If Your Friends Have Any Real Estate Brokers They’ve Worked With In The Past
One of the easiest and best ways to find a property broker is to see if any of your friends have worked with one previously. Their recommendations are valuable not only because they can help you find a good property broker who worked well for them, but also because someone who worked well with your friends is more likely to work well with you.
Plus, getting a referral from a past client can sometimes mean you’ll get better service or discounted services.
Search Local Listings Where You Want To Buy/Sell
It’s important to make sure the property broker you’re working with works in the area you’re considering if you’re buying, and that they’re familiar with your market if you’re selling.
If networking doesn’t get you any good options, you can just look up brokers that specialize in your area.
It’s a good idea if you’re going the research route to make sure you look at the broker’s professional page, testimonials about their services, and their reviews on any 3rd party ratings sites they’ve been listed on.
Reviews can tell you a lot about the people you’re potentially working with.
Look For Someone With A Relatively Open Schedule
Busy brokers may still be willing to take on new clients, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience for anyone involved. When brokers are over-scheduled that usually means it takes longer for buyers and sellers to complete their transactions, and it may mean that basics like communications and scheduling showings will also take longer.
While business is a good sign that a broker has a good reputation and charges fair commission, you’ll likely do better with a broker that has at least a little wiggle room in their schedule.
Try To Work With Someone You Like/Are Comfortable Around
Personality doesn’t necessarily say much about someone’s professionalism or ability, but it is a good measure of how well you’re going to work with a potential broker.
That’s important to consider because if you’re not at least comfortable with your broker you won’t have as much of your attention and energy available to choose between different home options.
Ideally, you should work with someone you actively like. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to make sure your broker isn’t distracting at the very least.
Also avoid anyone who seems to be putting too much pressure on you to make decisions, especially if they don’t have a specific reason for doing so.
Look For A Broker That Makes Suggestions And Isn’t Afraid To Speak Up
Lastly, a lot of home buyers can find themselves feeling overwhelmed and like they don’t actually know what they want and need in a home. Sellers can be in the same boat. You might know what your house is worth, but that doesn’t mean you can tell a good offer from a bad one.
Your broker should be willing to make suggestions or help direct you toward a good fit, especially if you’re unsure or don’t know what to prioritize.
Remember, they have a lot of experience with buying and selling homes, and they may sometimes have a better idea of what you will want and need in your new home even than you do.
If you’re looking for a property broker or real estate agent, reach out to a premier real estate agency to learn more about our team and get started in your buying or selling journey as soon as possible!