When investing in real estate an important decision to make will be whether or not you want to have a broker help make your real estate deals. Often, the answer to that question will have to do with where you are in your investing career. For those that are just beginning a broker can be a very useful tool in finding opportunities, what an investor should look for and what they don’t want to see in a property, and negotiating a deal that will make everyone happy. Those that are a bit seasoned in this area may not need so much help, but still can benefit in one way or another.
When preparing to purchase a commercial property for investment you may want the assistance of a broker. Having as much experience as they do in this field, a broker will be able to give good, solid reasons why a property may or may not be a good investment. If an investor is considering purchasing a building in order to section it off and lease out “stores” to those in retail, a broker may be able to let them know that this is not a good idea because there will shortly be a large shopping center being developed within a mile of this building. This would make it more difficult to lease out the spaces and it may not be a worthwhile investment unless the investor can come up with a different use for it. Without the knowledge of the broker, the investor may have ended up losing money due to a bad investment once the shopping mall came along.
A broker may also be able to hunt up other properties for investment. If, as an investor, you find that a property that you’ve been considering is not a good investment, a broker may be able to tell you about a few other properties that could be good for use in the way that you’re planning. A broker will also have information about properties before they even get listed. Sometimes this can work in your favor. If the Realtor knows of the property and tells you about it, you see it and are interested, you may be able to negotiate with the owner of the property before it ever gets listed. This may give you the heads up on properties that others may have outbid you on. You will not have to worry about competing with other investors because they will not have known of the property. A broker may do this for you if they will still get a commission on the deal or they may forgo a commission or two in order to claim you as a client and keep you coming back. If they make you money, you’ll be more willing to make them money. This can be a win win situation on both sides of the fence.
If you’ve been working with brokers for a while and have a reasonably good idea of what you’re doing as an investor, you may not want to work with a broker at all. Even if a broker has given you a property or two, they will not continue to do that for long. All other properties will have part of the profits divided with the broker. If you feel that you’ve gained enough experience to deal without a broker, you can potentially save yourself thousands that would otherwise be a commission to the broker.
Being able to work without a broker will mean that you’ll have to have some communication with those that are selling properties. If you’ve done a lot of networking in the time that you’ve been investing, chances are that you have done some networking and meeting of people that do what you do. You may know owners of several commercial buildings of your area. They may know that you are a good business to deal with when they decide to sell their property. In this case, there is little else that a broker will do for you besides deal with the legal end of the sale.
If you’ve paid close attention in the closings and have looked closely at the paperwork that’s changed hands during the meeting at the close of the sale, you should be able to handle this part yourself. The documents that brokers use to close a commercial property sale can be purchased at most business office supply stores and several bookstores. Additionally, you can draw up these documents yourself with the help of your computer and printer. If you purchase the documents once and make several copies of the blank documents, you’ll have a good start. After you’ve done a few closings yourself you may add some documents that pertain to your business dealings or you may always use the documents purchased. Either way, you will be able to handle the closing of property transactions which will again save you thousands over using a broker.
A broker can have their uses. When you are starting out in the field of commercial investing, they can be a wealth of information and very helpful in your transactions. In the beginning, they may be well worth the investment that you have to put into them. Over time, they may not be as necessary as previous. If you make a point to network with others in the same or related fields, you will find yourself getting information thrown at you left and right when a commercial property comes up for sale. That will eliminate the need for the broker in that sense. If you pay close attention to the closings and gather the necessary paperwork to learn how a property closing works, you will eliminate entirely the need for the broker and this will save your company thousands at each closing. It makes good business sense to use a broker in the beginning, but learning about their job will ultimately raise your profit margins as you eliminate their need and then the use of them at all.