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How to Choose a Real Estate Broker
April 4, 2022

How to Choose a Real Estate Broker

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How to Choose a Real Estate Broker

Approximately 89% of homeowners use a real estate agent for assistance in the home-buying process. But how do you choose a real estate brokerage to work for you?

How to Find a Real Estate Agent

How to find a real estate professional is easier than you may think. A quick Google search will show pages of real estate agents in your area, but make sure to do your research before you choose one.

Your real estate agent will play an incredibly important role in curating your home-buying experience, so you’ll want to pick someone who isn’t only qualified, but someone you naturally gel with. Don’t be afraid to create a list of requirements such as your budget, ideal neighborhood, and timeline so you have baseline qualifications.

One popular option is to find a real estate agent through word of mouth of someone that you trust. If you know someone who has recently purchased or sold a home, gather their realtor recommendations. Of course, you can also use a friend or a family member if they happen to be real estate agents as well. Make sure they are licensed real estate agents in the state that you’re looking to purchase.

We’ve outlined some helpful options to help you secure the perfect real estate agent for your needs!

Personal Network

Don’t be afraid to tap into your personal or social media connections to find a realtor who you can trust. Approximately 40% of home sellers find their real estate agents through their personal network. If you receive a personal realtor recommendation from someone you know, don’t be afraid to ask them questions or do a little extra digging on your own to browse through their certifications and accolades. Never rush into the process of choosing a realtor, it is a huge decision!

Find a Real Estate Agent

Research

If you get a lead on a potential realtor for your upcoming purchase, don’t be afraid to look into his or her online presence. Check out their website, social media platforms, and their consumer ratings to get insight into what it is like working with them. You can also search through listings in your current area to see which realtors or companies are consistently on the listings.

Official Referral Sources

Why not use referral sources from the city in which you’re looking to buy? Look to your local chamber of commerce to help find potential realtors as well. National Association of Realtors (NAR members) are active in their local communities and often appear through the association’s “Find a Realtor'' form. You can also reach out to local or national real estate brokerage companies that have built a sound reputation.

Referral Agent

Another way to find a realtor is to use a real estate referral agent. This is a particularly appealing route for those who are looking for properties out of state and don’t have the connections in place to secure the right property.

You can use a referral agent, or a local agent that you already know and trust, to connect you with another trusted agent. This helps increase the chances of success for the upcoming transaction, but know that the local agent will also receive a cut of the sale.

What to Ask When Selecting a Real Estate Broker

Choosing the right real estate broker is an important decision; after all, selling or buying a home will be one of the largest financial transactions during your life. Thankfully, you can put together a list of helpful questions when you’re looking for a broker that will guide you in the right direction. If you aren’t sure where to begin, we recommend considering the following to narrow down your options.

Experience

Real estate is an example of an industry in which experience is incredibly important. Experience doesn’t necessarily mean the amount of time that a broker is in business, rather, it is a reflection of how well each broker knows your desired market. This insider knowledge is incredibly important in either selling your home quickly or securing your next home that much faster.

Some homes may be easier to sell for select brokers than others. If you have a broker in mind, ask them about similar properties that have sold in your area in the past 3-6 months. You can also ask them how long each property stayed on the market, what their listing prices were, and what they sold for.

Listing your home at the right price is key as well. Price it too high and it could sit for weeks and months. Price it too low and you’re missing out on money. Make sure your broker has the data to back up their decisions and helps you understand every step of the process.

Marketing Plan

Establishing a marketing plan is another important step in selling or buying a home. Consider whether or not your broker has a creative side to them that will help showcase your home in new ways. Ideas may include social media, blogs, or invitation-only events during which your home is showcased.

Digital marketing isn’t an option for select brokers, however, it is an absolute must to help spread the word about your property. As over 90% of buyers are searching for their next home online, it’s important that you have professional photographs taken of your property, a cost that should be factored into the overall realtor’s marketing budget. Rather than taking photos yourself, make sure you find a photographer who specializes in real estate imagery.

Selecting a Real Estate Broker

Communication Methods

Make sure to inform your chosen broker your ideal communication methods to use during the process. Whether you want them to contact you via text, phone call, or email is completely up to you, just make sure to have a conversation about it at the beginning so you are on the same page.

Ideally, your broker will commit to a regular schedule of detailed, legal-related communication to keep things moving. You can also ask for detailed written reports every couple of weeks for a status update. At the very least, your realtor should be incredibly communicative and always be easy to reach. If you are constantly going to be playing phone tag or waiting for them to get back to your question, it’s likely best to seek another realtor.

Commission

Standard commission for real estate brokers is 6%, an amount that is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. The first portion will pay out to the listing brokerage, allowing the agent to receive a cut anywhere between 60-90% of the commission. Note that the commission amount is never set in stone and there is always room to negotiate. You may ask to review the budget and establish the expenses that will come out from the broker’s commission ahead of time.

The Presence of Connections

Determining how well-connected your real-estate professional is can help determine whether or not they’ll be a good fit. The more connected they are within their team and within the community at large, the better chances that your property will sell quickly. Experienced brokers will already have the right professionals in place to assist with other areas of the sale as well: real estate lawyers, moving companies, staging companies, and photographers are only some examples.

Recommendations

Don’t be afraid to seek names of recent clients from your potential broker. Although you can always look up reviews online, reaching out to the clients directly to get a firsthand encounter of their experience can paint a clear picture of what it’s like to work with the real estate agent.

33 Realty Can Help!

If you’re choosing a real estate brokerage firm in Chicago, 33 Realty is an excellent choice. Contact us today for advice on your upcoming sale or purchase!

Written by:
Drew Millard
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