The housing industry in the United States has seen some interesting trends recently. When the pandemic shook the world in 2020, it was predicted that even the real estate industry would suffer but on the contrary, the housing prices soar and more and more millennials began exploring options for affordable housing. With work from home trend coming to force, working professionals started investing more in their living spaces. The year 2021 saw a rise in home prices by about 16.9% which was an all-time high. To control inflation, the mortgage rates have been increased which will lead to the market cooling off a bit, in 2023 as predicted by the experts. Therefore, now is the best time to sell your house because it would be difficult to get a good price for your property due to buyer unaffordability.
One must be well aware of the local listings and market conditions on a micro as well as macro-level to make a successful sale. For this, one needs deep knowledge and contacts. Who better than an experienced real estate agent can help you with this? Take your pick from these top real estate brokers in the country. FSBO sellers should also take a look at this as you can work around a hybrid model if you don’t want to go for full-service.
1: Are real estate brokers, real estate agents, and REALTORS® the same?
The answer is NO. Though these terms are often thrown in a similar context, they are quite different in nature and functionality. Real estate brokers have a license from the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) to not only practice the act of buying and selling houses but also hire other real estate agents under them to do the same. So, interested parties approach a firm and not an individual in this case. One has to clear one more set of examinations to acquire the license of a broker.
Agents on the other hand have a license to practice but they report to the brokers. REALTORS® are licensed members of the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) and have a responsibility to make sure that the Code of Ethics as set by the organization is followed in practice.
2: Top 5 real estate brokers in the United States
Following are a few of the very best real estate brokers we have in the country. Sellers and buyers can choose their broker after understanding the services offered and their price points.
A: Daniel Demers
Daniel Demers of Sell Your Home Services has about 13 years of experience in the field of flat fee mls and a total of 25 years in real estate. They closed over 300 sales last year at $153M. The firm is comparatively new but Demers honed his skills as a traditional full-service agent at Keller Williams for several years before offering Flat Fee MLS service. Houzeo, one of the largest companies offering Flat Fee MLS in the country, is associated with Sell Your Home Services. With Houzeo coming into the picture, sellers pay a stipulated amount as a Flat Fee for an MLS listing, online management of showings, and an excellent interface to work with. Sellers can ditch the 3% listing commission altogether and pay a flat fee of $349 and enlist Demers as their broker. This is cost-saving and an effective method.
B: Roger Pettingwell
Roger Pettingwell has more than 3 decades of experience in real estate and runs a very prestigious firm, Coldwell Banker Realty which is mostly Florida based. Innovation and aggressive marketing are the USPs of Pettingwell. The firm revolutionized the way homes were sold and bought in the country. Coldwell is generally associated with selling luxury properties and it is pricey to hire them. Once hired, it is a well-oiled, result-oriented system but it is clearly not for sellers on a budget. Roger Pettingwell enjoys a 5-star rating on Trustpilot and has closed over 108 sales at $206 last year.
C: Mauricio Umansky
Mauricio Umansky of The Agency is Hollywood’s most sought-after broker. His body of work precedes his name. With more than 15 years in this profession, his firm was instrumental in selling the famed Playboy Mansion for more than $100M. Not surprisingly, Wall Street Journal named him the No.1 broker in California as he has a sales volume of about 2 billion. The Agency mostly operates from California, the mecca of celebrity action but interested parties should note that it would be much more expensive than the 6% commission. The Agency’s rates have been known to touch more than the 10% mark. They enjoy a rating of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
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D: Coco Tan
Need to close a sale soon? You go to Coco Tan of the well-established Keller Williams Realty. It is a full-service brokerage that will cost you a traditional 6% commission but the selling point here is that Tan is well known for her record-breaking closing period. She closed $157M with 89 sales last year. It has a rating of 4.6 on Zillow. She is known for her negotiating skills and sellers, as well as buyers, get benefit from the services of a huge platform like Keller Williams Realty if they sign up with her.
E: Carlos Alvarez
Carlos Alvarez is the owner and founder of RE/MAX which is one of the most known firms with 28 years of experience in real estate. This Louisiana-based company has a nationwide reach and is known for its contacts, experience, and a certain trust value amongst its clients. This too is a full-service broker. Sellers have to pay a commission rate close to 6% but RE/MAX guarantees a good deal as they boast over 321 sales and closed over $103M.
3: Types Of Brokers
In this time and age, there is a lot more flexibility to choose your broker. Here are different kinds of brokers to choose from according to your need.
- Full-service brokers
These are traditional brokers who accept the fee of 6% commission on the sale. They handle everything from listing to the final closing and also give post-closing services.
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- Flat Fee MLS Brokers
These brokerage firms have tied up with Flat Fee MLS companies like Houzeo and they give services for a pre-decided rate. These services can be opted for by the sellers according to their needs and then pay accordingly.
- Low commission brokers
Few brokers charge less than the usual 6% for the same services. The rate of a low commission broker is generally between 0.5-1.5% which is much less than the 3% seller commission.
- Discount brokers
These brokers accept a fee beforehand which is lesser than the 3% commission charged to sellers by a full-service broker but higher than the Flat Fee MLS brokerage services. Discount brokers generally charge anywhere around $3000-$5000 or slightly more, depending on the type of property, market condition, buyer interest, and inventory.
- Virtual brokers
As the name suggests, they only offer their services through apps, video calling, and other online methods. Clients do not get any in-person support from their agents and hence it is suitable for those who are looking for a remote agent or brokerage firm to represent them.
- Luxury full-service brokers
Famous Hollywood broker Mauricio Umansky and their likes fall under this category. They are into selling super luxury celebrity homes which are sometimes worth even $100M. They offer premium services, but for a premium rate too. Their rates surpass the usual 6% and go up to 13% depending on the property, location, and market buzz.
Despite the real estate market is so dynamic with constant changes in trends, one cannot negate the role and functionality of full-service traditional brokerage firms. They have the contacts, knowledge, and expertise needed to navigate through these complicated matters. But 6% commission will surely dent savings and hence, the golden middle path here is to go for a broker like Daniel Demers whose firm is associated with Flat Fee MLS platforms like Houzeo which offers customizable packages according to the seller’s needs. You can also check out Houzeo reviews for more information.