You aren't required to use a residential real estate broker when buying, selling, or leasing a home. The decision to use a broker is a personal one that usually depends on the amount of free time you have, your knowledge of the real estate market and the legal challenges you'll face along the way.
Real Estate Brokers Save Time
Finding homes that are for sale and setting up appointments to go see them can be time consuming. But a broker can take care of these things for you. In addition, a good broker will understand your requirements and eliminate homes that you would otherwise waste time going to see.
Using a broker also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the local real estate market, the maximum price you should pay, and the quality of the local school districts.
A Broker Locates Serious Buyers
When you're the one selling the home, using a real estate broker is almost essential. Your broker will assign an agent to advertise your home, schedule and host open houses, and network with other brokers' agents who represent buyers.
Most importantly, however, brokers can do a lot of the negotiations for you to get you best price possible. Since most buyers will be represented by a broker, it's rarely advisable to handle negotiations yourself unless you're extremely knowledgeable about the real estate market.
Brokers Also Help with Rental Homes
A residential real estate broker can also be useful for renters and landlords. If you're looking for a home to rent, finding one can be more difficult than finding a home to buy.
Rather than search online and in newspapers, you can contact a broker who has multiple rental homes available and who can even deal directly with landlords on your behalf. Landlords also benefit from a broker's services since they can remain hands-off during most of the leasing process.
Things to Look for in a Real Estate Broker
You want to choose a real estate broker who is honest and has your best interests in mind. But you should also look for a broker who is familiar with contracts, leases, mortgage agreements, title insurance, homeowner warranties, and closing documents, to name just a few.
Working with a real estate broker is based on a legal contract. Buying, selling or leasing a residence is a legal transaction. In some states, it is required that a lawyer take part in this transaction. In every state, it is useful to have a lawyer at last review any documents or agreements before signing.
A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding working with a residential real estate broker is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a real estate lawyer.