Whether you’re selling your home or commercial property, the broker you work with during the process can make a significant difference. This is especially true in today’s market, which faces several factors including a shortage of homes and rising interest rates. It may be necessary to find the right buyer for your place, and that can take considerable time and effort.
In this series of articles, we’ll be looking at the various aspects to look for in a broker. This can be helpful to maximize both the exposure of a property and the sale’s outcome. To start, we’ll focus on how to select a broker who will really put themselves into your shoes. Check for these characteristics as you search for a professional who can help you sell one of your current assets—and potentially many more in the future.
Look Out for Your Best Real Estate Interests
When you speak to a broker, listen for signs that they are viewing the sale from your perspective. Ask yourself, “Is this broker simply seeking a quick sale to make a fast commission?” Or “Is the broker placing themselves in my situation to make the best decision?”
In a recent interview with Rod Santomassimo, a CRE broker growth coach and founder of The Santomassimo Group, on my podcast “The Insider’s Edge to Real Estate Investing,” Rod emphasized the value in qualifying brokers. One of the questions he likes to ask is, “When was the last time you advised an owner not to sell?” The answer helps reveal if the broker generally advises clients to jump into the market and make the sale, or if they tend to take a longer-term view. A sales professional who acts in the best interest of their clients might advise on the best time to sell or suggest making changes to the property before bringing it to market.
Trustworthy and Transparent
References play an important role when choosing a broker, as do personal recommendations. If someone you know and trust puts you in contact with a broker they respect, that could carry weight. You can also ask to see a list of references. Proceed with a bit of caution as you look through them, as they could be family and friends.
In addition to checking references, you might look through the broker’s track record of recent sales. Choose an address that’s similar to your property, and then pick up the phone and call the owner. Throughout my personal career, I’ve shared my entire sales list when asked for references. I tell others they can pick out any sale I’ve carried out and I’d be happy to make an introduction to the owner.
A Partner in the Process
Sometimes the negotiations for a sale can stretch out—it’s not uncommon for this step to last for six months in the commercial real estate market. The conversations during this timeframe can get tense, so you’ll want to make sure you have someone on your side who you can be with in the foxhole. Ask yourself, “Is the broker an active listener? Do they have their own agenda, or are they really just trying to understand my needs?”
Also observe the broker’s style. If they operate in a high-pressure way with you, urging you to sign on, they may work the same way with potential buyers, who might not be interested in that type of approach. Make sure the broker you choose has a communication style that is consistent with the way you like to operate.
An Experienced Player
You’ll want to draw on the expertise of a broker who truly understands the market and knows the right approach to take. There can be value in choosing a sales professional who has ample experience in the space and has been through ups and downs. Brokers with many years in the business will typically have a method they use to withstand market fluctuations. Look for someone who can read conditions and make wise decisions about going forward.
Selecting a broker to help you sell your home or commercial asset could be an involved process, and well worth your time in the end. By choosing a sales professional who is client-centric, you’ll have the assurance that they’ll help you find terms that suit your priorities and help you negotiate the right price. In the upcoming articles, we’ll take a closer look at what brokers do—and present ways to spot the sales professionals who can best present a property, expose it in the market, and ultimately, be ready and able to work with clients for the long-term.