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What exactly does today’s Real Estate broker do?

There are constant changes and evolutions in the world and the real estate industry is no exception. Information, both right and wrong is everywhere online. So what exactly does today’s Broker do? I hope this article can bring some clarity to today’s marketplace. Today’s Broker is not necessarily the person who “sells” you the house or even finds it for you. It is still a huge part of what they do, but with technology today the consumer has been given the chance to do that almost as effectively. The Broker is the person who guides and represents you through the purchase or sale of your home. Their true value can be seen during and after the transaction.

In a transaction for any type of property in Washington State, whether it’s brand new, a bare piece of land, or even a commercial property, you typically find two Brokers involved. One who is representing the buyer and the other the seller. In some cases, there is only one Broker serving both parties. There are both pros and cons to that situation and it needs be a discussion the client and broker have before entering into an agency relationship. As the prospective buyer or seller, you are welcome to choose who you would like to be represented by with any sale.

Who pays for real estate services? Typically, a seller is responsible for all real estate commissions when hiring a firm to list their home, known as the listing firm. Listing firms typically offer up cooperating compensation to a selling firm who represents the buyer. The value of that cooperating compensation can be questioned by sellers. These costs should be viewed as a marketing investment, not an expense. The logic by offering a competitive selling office commission can lead to greater exposure which leads to a quicker sale and higher price. In some cases, the buyer may need to pay the commission or part of it. Once again, buyers should not look at that as an expense, but should seek to find value in that. Like everything else in this world, you get what you pay for.

How do you know if the information of a property you are viewing is correct now that pretty much everything is online? The bad news is you don’t. Opinions, values, etc. are made up of choices and decisions people make, not the computer or some mathematic equation. With that said, the Broker’s number one duty is to educate, validate & guide you through this information so that you can make a sound decision and greatly reduce the risk of remorse: or worst case, lawsuit down the road.

How do you know if you are receiving the right advice? Once again, you don’t. So many things can be misconstrued online through bio’s, rating systems, social media, & SEO campaigns. In any industry, the most effective salespeople are those who know the most about their product. Ask the Broker questions. Lots of them. Whether its questions about the type of construction, the products used on the home, or the financial benefits to owning real estate… By all means, fire away! I don’t recommend challenging the Broker,but keep them on their toes. A Broker is not going to know the answer to every question. How effectively they obtain that answer can be just as much of a reassurance that you are dealing with someone who has your best interest at heart.

Justin Hjelm Real Estate Olympia


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