Big company vs. small company?
The choices are almost endless when it comes to choosing a real estate agency. There are many large big brand companies with branches and franchises around the country as well as smaller independent agencies. So which one is best? Small company or big company?
People often associate the big brand companies like Ray White, LJ Hooker and Harcourts as very result oriented in the real estate market and having the edge. This may have been the case when the Internet was still in its infancy phase but as information technology has evolved, so too have the results. The brand has become less important and it is the person that you ultimately engage to represent you that has taken over the reigns at a hierarchy level.
In every company there are good and bad agents, the brand behind the agent doing very little for you as a buyer or seller. So how does this affect your choice in choosing the best representative for selling or buying your house? The emphasis falls mainly on the real estate agent you choose to represent you.
Firstly, it is desirable to find an agent that is an expert in their field and who understands the process of negotiating the best possible price and sales terms for you, the buyer/seller. Secondly, as a seller, they actually need to get you in the house – so they need to be someone who is going to fight for you and who themselves, are mutually invested in the deal. The company representing the agent is not usually involved in any of this.
The old way of thinking about real estate originated around the 1960s and 70s when this ‘company’ model was still relevant. The big brokerage firms would take a listing and sell it within the brokerage, marketing it at a brokerage level. For this reason, you would have preferred to use the services of a larger company with a greater inventory and marketing capability, as their combined reach was much broader than that of smaller companies who were unable to take advantage of multiple listing service.
However, with the evolution of the Internet came the multiple listing services. Unlike before, you can now syndicate your listings online. Not only does it go out to the brokerage firm, it also goes out to every licensed real estate agent and their buyers through the multiple listing services. This means that big company over small company advantage is no longer valid in the real estate world.
The Internet distribution is so powerful and efficient that prospective buyers can see your listing within 24 to 48hours. Additionally, it is estimated that 89% of people start their home search online, meaning that every licensed real estate agent, regardless of what company they are with, will have access to it immediately.
With this in mind, your criteria should shift from the company, to the individual real estate agent you are going to assign to your property. This means setting up interviews with prospective real estate agents and choosing the best one for you, distinguishing who has genuine knowledge from who is still a rookie.
What sets a real estate agent apart is how they engage with you regardless of whether they are from a big or small company. The way they communicate and negotiate with you is a realistic measurement to how they will communicate and negotiate with prospective buyers.
As you begin to speak to different real estate agents you will soon realise that branding doesn't really do anything – it is the individual that will make the difference. Search for the best individual agent for you, because it is the individual agent's activities that are going to get your home sold for a top price and put more money in your pocket.
Big companies, small companies? It does not matter at the end of the day. It all comes down to the individual who is sitting in front of you who can deliver the premium results they are promising. Keep on looking and interviewing until you find the right candidate or use our free service at RealConnect. We will provide you with proposals/quotes from your local real estate agencies so you can compare the fees, services and experience, and connect with the best agent for you.
Buying first vs. selling first
One very common question often asked by real estate enthusiasts is: as a homeowner, is it better to first sell your house and then purchase a new one, or buy the new property before selling the one you have currently?
There is no simple or direct answer to this seemingly simple question but there are THREE key factors to consider before making either decision:
#1. As a buyer, how particular are you about the property you want to purchase? Do you often visit realestate.com.au and all you can do is browse through pages and pages of properties, yet you are unable to settle on any one of them?
Don’t fault yourself for being choosy – it is okay to be particular about the kind of house you want to purchase. Buying a home that may be your residence for the rest of your life isn’t like buying a TV set – it takes a lot of thought – this is a substantial investment!
#2. How common is the property you would like to buy? Is it the type of property that is so common that it appears on the market once or twice every week or is it a property that only comes up once every few months? Or maybe you are looking for something extremely rare… like perhaps a house equipped with a drawbridge and moat? More importantly, is your dream house within your current budget range?
#3. What EXACTLY do you want to sell? Is it a big home? Does it include a large piece of land? Where is your property located? In the city, on a lake, an island or in the countryside? Does it have a helipad? Does it include a pool? Is it likely to be easy to sell? Is your price point correct?
Depending on the style of home you want to sell or buy, timing is absolutely critical. While a particular period may seem to be the most ideal time to sell or a “seller’s market”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that selling your property will be easy, or sold at all. Conversely, purchasing a home first may pose similar issues, depending on whether it is a “buyer’s market” or the type of home you are seeking is available. If your existing property is going to be difficult to find a buyer for, or you are not pressured to sell, than it may be in your interest to hold onto that property to secure the best possible price. While the opposite may apply for the house you purchase; if it is a rare property and difficult to find, then it may not be an opportunity that presents itself very often and waiting to sell your property may be a missed opportunity. In this instance, finding the right agent will be paramount.
Getting the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent can be the main factor in determining if you want to sell or buy first. They can also be the key that determines if your experience in the real estate market becomes a fabulous one or a never-again escapade. Your agent has a responsibility to ensure that they clearly understand your particular situation and work in your best interests. They should not just push you into making decisions that are detrimental to your financial wellbeing just so that you can sign some paperwork to benefit them.
The right agent will help you to gauge the market and understand whether or not your expectations can be met. Coordinating and streamlining the transition from one property to another can be fraught, but a good agent will help you make the experience a positive and successful one.
Finally, as always, if you encounter any difficulties along the way in your real estate journey, RealConnect can help you to get you connected to some of the best agents to sell your property.