What's the difference between an agent and a Land Broker?
Anyone with a real estate license can call themselves a real estate agent, in Washington, all licensed agents are called Brokers. More experienced Brokers are called Managing Brokers, Branch Managers, or Designated Brokers depending on their role within their company. A Land Broker is someone who specializes in land sales and purchases. This segment of real estate professionals must have additional knowledge on issues like zoning, private water systems, on site septic and waste disposal requirements, property requirements for building, land usage policies & which municipalities have jurisdiction over each of these factors and so much more. To be a Land Broker requires all the same knowledge that any other broker has, plus a lot more.
When is it okay to contact my broker?
If you're working with Jesse, you can reach out any time via phone, text, or email. Jesse responds to calls, texts and emails frequently during the day almost every day. Sometimes she's out on showings or has family commitments that make her unavailable for a few hours, but she'll get back to you as soon as she can so don't worry about asking too many questions or writing to her too many times.
What should I look for in terms of investment property?
This is a very complicated question with many possible answers. Just like investing in the stock market, there are all kinds of strategies that can vary greatly depending on your goals, values, and expectations. Owning harvestable timber land requires different management and offers different profit margins than a crop field and owning a feedlot is different still from a sporting ranch. Your choice in the type of property you'd find the most benefit in is personal and unique to your lifestyle, budget, and values. In all cases, becoming an investor is a commitment to responsible stewardship of the land.
How does my broker get paid?
Unlike other professionals who bill their clients at hourly rates, real estate professionals are paid at the end of a sales transaction. If a real estate broker/agent works with a buyer or a seller for weeks or months without a resulting transaction, they aren't paid for their time. Real estate agent commission is typically based on a percentage of the sale price of the property; they will receive that commission only if they successfully sell a piece of property.
(Originally published on Realtor.com by Michele Lerner on December 3, 2013)
What does that mean for the client? It means you should find a broker who is knowledgeable about the kind of property, financing, and transaction structure you expect to participate in. This may include a broker with experience in FHA multi-family residence purchases, or timber properties to be used as part of a 1031 exchange. Select and commit to your broker before you ask them to travel to any property or show you any listings. Once you’ve chosen the right professional to represent you, be ready to sign a buyer representation agreement. These forms are different from state to state and can be different from office to office. Read yours carefully & ask your broker if you have any questions about it.
Common situation: Buyer Brad meets Broker Bob and agrees that Bob is who he wants to work with to buy some farmland. While out driving around one day, Brad sees Broker Jane’s “For Sale” sign on a nice field & he calls Jane. Jane tells Brad all about the field & asks if he’d like to schedule a showing and they meet that afternoon. Brad has the right to chose who to work with, but he’s already committed to Bob and Bob has already spent many, many hours researching property and finance options for Brad. If Brad signs an offer with Jane, Bob will not receive any compensation for all his hard work and he can’t help Brad during the sale. What Brad should do whenever he sees another broker’s listing he likes, is call Bob & tell him as much as he can about the field he saw & let Bob research the property & schedule a showing for Brad. This ensures (1) that Bob is involved in the transaction that Brad agreed to work with him on and (2) keeps Jane from unknowingly breaking any ethics rules by violating Brad & Bob’s representation agreement.