What is the difference between a Full-Service Brokerage vs. a Discount Brokerage or a Limited Service Brokerage? There are so many types of brokerages out there these days that may offer a slightly lower fee (“Don’t get Fooled by the 1% Commission”) for a substantially diminished level of service. Or worse, most agents offer a very limited service and don’t even know it… and they still charge a full-service commission. Do yourself a favor and know the difference. See the list below of some of the services a Full-Service Brokerage offers that the others do not.
Conventional and Creative Financing Consultation (Buyers)
Before you even start looking for property, we help guide you through the pre-qualification process.
- We make sure you know your loan program options.
- We educate you on available down payment assistance programs.
- We can refer the best loan bankers and brokers to you.
- We dispel myths and make sure you know the truths about lending.
Property Location Services (Buyers)
In today’s age of technology, access to data is abundant. But that doesn’t mean its always correct. We see errors in information being disseminated to the public every day. If you’re a buyer, we’ll give you the best, most accurate resources and work collaboratively to find the best property for you.
Tax Consultation (Sellers / Buyers)
Do you understand capital gains, land contracts, 1031 exchanges, installment sales and the tax ramifications associated with them all? We do. Do you know what happens to property taxes when you pull a permit to do work on your house? We do. Understanding these things can sometimes save you thousands and thousands in both the short and long term.
Detailed Valuation Analysis (Sellers / Buyers)
“Let me run the comps for you.” or “Let me do a CMA for you.” You’ve probably heard that line if you’ve ever participated in a real estate transaction before. It’s usually an average real estate agent’s response to the question, “What is this property worth?” Well you can look on line and get a value opinion in minutes from an automated valuation model (Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor, etc.) and you’ll end up with a value opinion that has up to a 30% margin of error. Or you can ask an average real estate agent and they’ll “run the comps” and you’ll get an opinion that has a 10-20% margin of error. Or you can use our services and get a value opinion that can be confidently defended and only around a 3% margin of error. Rule of Thumb: If it took less than 2 hours to come up with a value opinion, it’s inaccurate! Ask us about our process that almost no real estate agent conducts.
Expert Negotiations (Sellers / Buyers)
What’s the principal’s motivation? Why is he/she buying or selling? Are there critical dates to consider? Is there a hole in the argument the other side is making? How do you really even know if you’re really getting a good deal or not? All good questions.
- If you’re agent can’t answer all these questions, you might want to rethink your representation.
- If you’re agent or broker hasn’t been practicing for decades (not years), you might want to rethink your representation.
- If your agent is more concerned about the other side’s feelings instead of your finances, you might want to rethink your representation.
- If your agent ever makes baseless argument that he cannot confidently defend, you might want to rethink your representation.
Inspection Consultation / Facilitation (Buyers)
- Knowing exactly what you are buying is critical. Knowing what to inspect, how to decipher disclosures and reports, and when to dig deeper is critical. The last thing you want to feel is buyer’s remorse after you close escrow on your new home.
- Can you walk through a house and know what signs to look for that maybe indicate a big red flag? There’s more to understanding the physical aspects of real estate than having a general home inspector’s phone number in your phone book. We know who to call, when to call and what questions to ask. We know the difference between substantial issues vs. the petty issues. We know when to dig deeper and when to drop it. We know how long it takes and how much it costs when it comes to curing a defect.
- And not just the physical aspects of a property should be of concern. The legal, title, tax, administrative aspects are crucial too. Where exactly is the property? Is the house really the size they seller claims? How do these easements on title affect me? What building codes exists on this particular site that may or may not allow you to make the modifications you want? Is there anything in the HOA documents that should concern me? Are there any liens or other encumbrances that run with the property? Does it matter if I’m in an earth quake, fire or tsunami zone? Only a real estate expert will be able to guide you through these questions and hundreds more. That’s what we do.
Inspection Analysis (Buyers / Sellers)
Have you ever built a house? Better yet, has your agent? Most likely not. Believe it or not, most professional home inspectors have never even built a house either. We’ve built and/or renovated hundreds! Having firsthand knowledge and experience in the construction trades comes in extremely handy during every transaction. How do you know if the old electrical panel really needs replaced or not? How do you know if the old cast iron waste line is about to fail or not? How do you know the asbestos floor tiles really pose a health hazard or not? We know these answers and hundreds more.
Fact-Based, Secondary Negotiations (Buyers)
Frequently, real estate agents or principals will try to renegotiate a contract in the middle of escrow, after the inspections have been conducted. But because they don’t truly understand the impact of the exiting defects themselves, they are not able to make viable arguments during a re-negotiation on your behalf. That will never work out well for you.
Vendor Referral Services (both Trades Services and Professional Services)
- Title Insurance
- Escrow Services
- Legal Advice
- Tax Advice
- Financing Services
Design / Renovation Consultation
Having a strong understand and practical experience in the construction of a home is paramount in a real estate transaction because the physical condition of any home plays a major role in the value of that home. Have you built a home? We’ve built and/or renovated literally hundreds. And with that experience comes the ability to offer sound, cost-effective advice on many fronts when it comes to design, remodeling and construction. And yes, you get the benefits of all that experience as one of our clients.
Utility Connection Assistance
Of course, when you move into your new home, there are so many things to remember to do. Setting up your utility accounts is frequently overlooked. Don’t worry, we assist in that too to make sure you have water, electricity, gas and communications.
Home Warranty Consultation
We’re really good about catching all the defects in a home during the inspection period but some defects / failures you just can’t predict. That’s why, on top of everything else we do for our clients, we make sure you have a home warranty too. Picking the home warranty company and helping you to choose the right coverage is part of our standard service.
REEF REALTY enjoys sharing a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience with YOU, our clients to put you in a position to make the best decisions possible. You will receive the highest level of customized coaching and guidance possible to benefit you throughout your transaction and your future as a homeowner. You’ll NEVER get this with an automated system on the internet or a lesser experienced agent. You will be armed with the best information and knowledge available to help you make the best decisions possible throughout the process and save you tens of thousands of dollars.
The reason we are able to offer all these services is because of our background and experience in many facets of the real estate industry.
▶ Building / Construction Knowledge
Most agents have never even built a sandbox, let alone a house. We have built and/or renovated hundreds of homes over the years and we share that invaluable construction experience with our clients. You’ll use the knowledge you gain during this process for the rest of your life.
- When the inspector makes mention of an old electrical panel, are you going to know if it needs replace or not?
- When a foundation pier is compromised, are you going to have any idea about the repair cost or scope of work needed to fix it?
- When a roof truss is cracked and sagging, are you going to know which vendor to call get a bid and fix it?
- When a multitude of physical defects are discovered, as they inevitably will be, are you going to know whether or not to walk away the property or move forward?
These are just a few of the hundreds of questions that may come up. We have all the answers. Only through decades of hands-on experience will any agent be able to answer these questions.
▶ Valuation / Appraisal Knowledge
Does your agent have an appraisal background? We do! Spending several years at the beginning of our real estate career work in the appraisal field, we got an incredible education in the valuation and economics of real property. When you ask your agent, “What do you think that property is worth?” or “How much do you think we should offer?”, does your agent respond with some version of “Let me look at the comps” or “Let me run a CMA”. If he does, you might want to think about getting a new agent. Rarely does an agent have a true, deep understanding of the economics and valuation of real property. Understanding how to adjust for the differences in physical characteristics between the subject property and the comparable sales is critical and can be the difference between a winning or losing negotiation. This skill along can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Time of sale, topography, functional utility, quality of construction, view, location, financing… these are all factors that should be taken into consideration but rarely are. Make sure you find and agent that has lots of experience and formal training in this area.
If you’re looking for the best person / company to represent you during your real estate transaction, make sure your prospective agent has ALL these skills and ALL this experience to ensure the best outcome possible. And if your current agent falls short in any of these areas, it might not be too late to make a change.
Call us any time to discuss how to best achieve your goals.