There are two kinds of real estate salespeople: the first consists of brokers, licensed professionals who act as the buyer or seller’s agent in a real estate transaction. The second are in-house salespeople, individuals hired to market and sell property by a particular company.
As a buyer, you have the option to hire either one, depending on what you need, or what you’re looking for.
Firstly, let’s look at the broker. What defines brokers from the average real estate salesperson is their license. Brokers can only go by this very title once they’ve passed the licensure exam issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and procured a license from the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC).
Secondly, brokers are free to transact property from any party, be it an individual or a company. As such, they provide more properties to choose from.
By contrast, in-house salespeople work for the company or developer of the property. They can only market and sell properties from that developer. This makes them limited in terms of product and services.
Who should you turn to?
If you want broader selections and variety -- that is, if you’re looking across different types of property in the neighborhood -- then you should definitely go for a broker. Brokers can recommend and show you different listings, from newly constructed homes to foreclosures. They can also point you to homes owned by individuals rather than developers.
In addition, a good broker will often have connections among other types of professionals that you may need for your home -- an interior decorator, for instance, or a construction firm for renovations. And in the event that you decide to sell that home, you can always hire that broker as your agent once again.
However, if you’ve decided on a particular kind of property, under a particular brand or developer, in-house salespeople may prove to be more knowledgeable than a broker. Say you’re looking to own a unit from an upcoming condominium -- or maybe you’re interested in a house and lot from a subdivision, and you’re thinking of buying even before its completion. In-house salespeople tend to be more updated with regards to construction progress, in this respect: since they work directly for the company, they may prove to be more familiar with the brand, the project, and the product, compared to a broker who has multiple listings to keep track of.
In the end, whether you choose a broker or an in-house salesman, make sure that they have the qualifications, the experience, and the success rate that will get you the best deal possible. Sit down with them and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Request for references from previous clients to make sure that you can work with them long-term.