Real estate: What to expect from your broker

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Recently the National Association of Realtors proposed a settlement to litigation surrounding how real estate brokers are compensated. This news has spurred many conversations about the perceived value of a real estate broker in a transaction. Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Madison Park office is lucky to be serviced by knowledgeable and dedicated real estate brokers.

What you should expect from your real estate broker:

1) Local Knowledge: Your real estate broker should have a street-by-street and house-by-house knowledge of the real estate market in which they work. For example, they should know which properties are susceptible to landslides or flooding. They should know the quiet streets and the ones where cars go speeding by. They should know that in the summer, parking on some streets gets crowded with beach goers. If you are buying a condominium, your broker should know about the Homeowners Association (HOA) and how the HOA’s financial condition affects a property’s value.

2) Understanding Your Needs: Taking the time to evaluate your individual needs, goals, and timelines should be every broker's priority. Buying or selling a home often coincides with another major life event, a birth, a death, marriage, divorce, or moving to a retirement home. Discretion is paramount.

3) Vendor Network: Having a large vendor network of contractors, cleaners, window washers, and maintenance people that they can call to quickly get to work on a property will ensure seamless home preparation. Relationship with architects, structural engineers, and geotechnical engineers who can be called upon for quick consultations is critical.

4) Lender Relationships: Relationships with a broad array and lenders are important. Some lenders simply “get it done.”

5) Broker Network: In a competitive real estate market, who you are working with matters. Your real estate broker should be well known and highly regarded in the both the local real estate broker community and in the regional and national communities. Real estate is a profession in which relationships matter. Many transactions take place off-market and are the result of relationships with out-of-state brokerages.

6) Transactional Experience: They should have significant transactional experience. High-value transactions often have complex and quickly evolving components that require diligence and nuance to successfully negotiate. Arriving at the best outcome for a client is an art.

7) Home Design and Construction: Brokers should have in-depth knowledge of home design and construction. They should know which materials and designs will perform well in specific regions and neighborhoods.

8) Wants the Best for You: Your real estate broker should be able to objectively evaluate a home, whether you’re buying or selling, to expertly advise you. When I learn of an unfortunate real estate transaction, there is often an inexperienced real estate broker involved. Your broker should be choosier than you are.

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