First: most commercial or multi-family residential properties that are for sale will be listed with a broker.
Second: commercial and multi-family are not usually marketed in the same manner as are single-family homes.
Third: a buyer who chooses not to use an agent may have difficulty in determining the real value of an investment property and end up paying too much for the property.
How To Select An Agent:
For the purchase or sale of commercial properties or multi-family residential properties, it is important to use an agent with significant commercial or multi-family experience.
The best way to select a real estate agent is the same as the best way to select a dentist, lawyer, or veterinarian; by having personal knowledge of the individual and of their abilities and experience. The next best way is to get a referral from a trusted acquaintance who has the personal knowledge.
The worst way to choose an agent would be to choose one at random from the yellow pages.
Is the agent (and his broker) properly licensed? Have any complaints been filed against either?
The Broker agreement does not have to be some preprinted form that locks a client into an exclusive agent relationship with one broker for an extended period.
So Now You Have An Agent:
Now that you have your very own agent (we assume you have a good one) you cannot sit back and wait for close of escrow.
And You're A Seller
If you are a seller, it is important that your agent have all necessary information and documentation about your property. This includes not only the positive value-adding things, but also any material defects. Failure to disclose material facts that might affect the decision of a buyer to purchase the property must be disclosed.
When the offers come rolling in, do not depend only on your agent's analysis of purchase contracts that are received.
And You're A Buyer
Even though you have an expert as your agent, you remain your own best attorney and accountant. No one has more at stake than you. Using the resources on our site and other references, learn the details of a purchase and apply them as you go.
Bottom Line: ___________________
What you don't know can hurt you. The potential problems and pitfalls inherent in any kind of investing are certainly present in real estate. However, a careful and professional analyses before you buy or sell will usually make real estate the safest place to grow and keep your money.
This is the age of specialization. No one can know everything there is to know about anything, let alone everything. Real estate investors should select the type of property you want to learn to live with, choose only investments that fit your criteria, don't hurry, and select your broker that same way.
The above topics are discussed in much more depth on our members' Selecting a Real Estate Broker page.
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