How do I Choose the Best Residential Brokerage?

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  • Written By: Kurt Inman
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 February 2020
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The best residential brokerage will consist of experienced agents and brokers to correctly advise both buyers and sellers of residential real estate. They should be well-versed in working with people unfamiliar with the real estate sales process; their ability to stay on top of all of the minute details and guide their customers smoothly through purchases or sales is critical. They should be knowledgeable about seller financing and potential investment value in distressed properties. Creative skills in finding and marketing properties to their existing pools of buyers and sellers are also very important.

A residential brokerage may also have its own in-house mortgage broker; it pays to consider his reputation and how many lenders he works with. Talking with previous and repeat customers about their experiences is a must. Honesty and ethics should also be paramount when choosing the best brokerage to use.


A buyer should look for a residential brokerage that is willing to approach homeowners who have not listed their property for sale; the ideal property may be sitting in plain sight even though it is not on any Multiple Listing Service (MLS). An experienced brokerage will also be aware of the many types of professional inspections which should be performed before purchasing a property; it should also be able to recommend very thorough inspectors based on personal experience with satisfied clients. Regardless of how many purchases a buyer has made, he should seek out a brokerage experienced with first-time buyers—it is more likely to be aware of incentives available to all types of buyers and to be more thorough with less-experienced clients in general. The best residential brokerage will also be very familiar with the neighborhoods that a buyer is interested in.

Buyers and sellers should look for a residential brokerage with experience in analyzing investment and distressed properties. This includes rental, multi-family, short-sale, bank-owned and foreclosure properties. While a buyer may only be interested in a single-family home, changing market values may substantially increase the value of that home in the future if there is room to expand it or re-purpose the property. Sellers may also be able to sell their homes for higher prices if they are marketed with an eye toward their potential future "higher uses."

A seller should use a residential brokerage that has a large and varied network of first-time, primary-home and investment buyer contacts, regardless of the type of property being sold. Expertise in marketing the brokerage and its listed properties on the Internet is essential. Sellers should also consider avoiding the cheapest brokerage; a flat-fee or reduced-commission company often can't afford to broadly market properties or provide quality service.

When using a mortgage broker, find out how many lenders he works with directly. The answer should be dozens, if not hundreds; if it is only one or two, a buyer could easily negotiate direct and save the broker's fees. A large number of lenders should guarantee finding a reasonably-priced loan to fit the purchase. The best mortgage broker will also be experienced with first-time buyer packages, other incentive programs and all types of loans. Check a broker's fees and interest rates against what others offer; many will negotiate or waive charges to get new clients. As with a residential brokerage, interview some previous customers to be sure their experiences are positive before committing to a mortgage broker.



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