Anyone who’s bought or sold a house before is already aware that the right agent can make a big difference in your experience. But what about the brokerage where the agent is affiliated — does the brokerage involved in your home transaction really affect you as a consumer?
Brokerages can provide different services for buyers and sellers. If you’re selling a house, here are some of the things you can (and should) expect from many brokerages.
One of the most important things that a brokerage does for sellers involves marketing their listing, letting qualified buyers know it’s available and providing the information those buyers crave in sleek and lovely presentations. Spend some time looking up homes in your neighborhood on Zillow and take a look at some of the photos and listing descriptions. You’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly which real estate agents invest in staging and photos, and which ones try to skate by with smartphone snaps. Some of that has to do with the individual agent, but some brokerages have standards and parameters around what needs to be done to promote listings.
Education for you
Most people don’t sell a house every day — or every year, or twice a decade — so there’s a lot you might not know or remember about the process, and it’s part of your agent’s job to help educate you about the gaps. The agent’s brokerage can play a part in this, too, by providing resources to help get you up to speed. You might not think you need to learn anything about selling a house, but at the very least, it’s helpful to get an idea of what the market is doing so that you aren’t surprised at the price agents to suggest when you start interviewing them.
Education for agents
The licensing requirements for real estate agents vary in every state, but each state requires some basic education in addition to continuing education as the years’ pass. Those are baseline requirements that might not cover everything an agent realistically needs to know to do business in your market, from legal restrictions to negotiation best practices. Some brokerages prioritize education for their agents more than others, providing seminars, webinars, reading materials, regular meetings, and other resources to make sure their agents know what’s new and what’s critical. Living in Lenawee Realty goes above and beyond to Educate themselves. Check out the team pages!
A network of buyers
One of the biggest reasons why a seller would want to use a real estate agent in the first place is because agents can help expose your home listing to a broad section of buyers who are qualified to buy your house and interested in your specific dwelling. This is why listing your home as a for-sale-by-owner can be risky — you don’t have access to the agent and brokerage networks of buyers. Some brokerages offer “coming soon” programs, where registered and qualified buyers can learn about homes that match their criteria. Others are part of independent or franchise networks that stretch across the country, so you can even reach buyers moving to your area.
A network of mortgage and title pros
Just like real estate agents, you’ll find a wide variety of mortgage and title professionals who specialize in different things. If you want a jumbo loan, or you’re purchasing rural property, or a condo or you don’t have a full down payment — all of those are situations where you might want to consider using a specialized mortgage broker who can give you a full range of options. Similarly, there might be idiosyncrasies with your home loan or liens on your house that require a qualified title professional to parse. You probably don’t know how to find these people, but your real estate broker will, and they’ll also know which mortgage and title operatives are responsive and helpful, and which ones sometimes take a shade too long to respond to your needs.
Processes and procedures for the transaction
Home sale transactions are complicated beasts, legally and financially and even emotionally. At Living in Lenawee Realty, have streamlined processes outlined that our agents follow to make the transaction easier for everyone, while other brokerages don’t oversee the transaction quite as much. We also have administrative staff to help our agents with the transaction details, which can make a big difference to you as a seller because you will have a designated point person in the office to help keep you updated on your sale.
More Than Just Real Estate!
Not every real estate brokerage is a concierge brokerage that will help you dot all the I’s and cross all the t’s, but if that’s something you think you might need, give us a call. If you’re selling and buying a home, we like to make it easy on you and coordinate scheduling so you don’t become homeless! Also, whether it’s a painter, plumber or handyman, we have local connections to get the services you need for your home. As you probably know, when you’re in the middle of moving and selling your house, every little bit of help can make a big difference in your experience.
Neighborhood events and Top 50!
Brokerages at their best are community resources, and real estate brokers are people who know everybody. Some brokerages offer community events every now and then, such as summer barbecues or Fourth of July fireworks, harvest festivals in the fall, holiday celebrations, Easter egg hunts — the list goes on. If you’ve worked with brokerages established in certain neighborhoods, these events can be an excellent way for you to meet your fellow residents and mingle a little bit. We also have elite club that we call our “Top 50”, to become part of this list, just be sure to send referrals our way! When you’re part of our Top 50, we hold exclusive events and drop off gifts right at your doorstep all year round!
When it’s 9 p.m. and you need an emergency plumber, or your electricity goes out on Christmas Day, do you know who to call? If you don’t have a contractor on hand already, talk to us about people we recommend. We know people who can paint your house, pave your driveway, fix your water heater, or install a fence, and they’ve probably also heard all of the stories around town about every contractor, so you can save yourself some time and headaches by just starting with your brokerage first.