Real estate professionals come in five types: the broker, the appraiser, the assessor, the consultant, and the salesperson. Each of them specializes in a particular service. Familiarize yourself with these experts and what they do:
1. The real estate broker. A registered and licensed professional, the broker acts as the buyer or seller’s agent in a real estate transaction. As the mediator, the broker is in charge of negotiating the terms of the transaction, whether it be a sale, a lease, an exchange, or a joint venture. The broker can negotiate the total sales price of a property, or the conditions of the lease, for example. He or she is also in charge of advertising or listing the property, as in the case of representing a seller. For the buyer, the broker can look for suitable properties for sale or lease, as specified by the buyer’s preferences and budget.
2. The real estate inspector. A trained and licensed professional, the inspector is charged with examining the condition of a property. The inspector provides a written report of his findings, which is used to determine the sales price of the property. Note that inspectors don’t see to the property’s compliance of safety codes nor provide an estimation of the property’s future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy.
3. The real estate appraiser. Also called “property valuers” or “land valuers,” an appraiser is a registered and licensed professional. His or her job is to make an informed estimate of the property’s market value based on a home inspector’s report. The appraiser’s report informs buyers and sellers of how much a property is worth in the current market. For a seller, it’s useful information that informs him or her of how much to sell the property for; for the buyer, the appraiser’s information can tip him or her off whether the property is overpriced or worth the cost.
4. The real estate consultant. A registered and licensed professional, the real estate consultant offers professional advice on a number of processes and matters concerning real estate. In matters involving an existing property, the consultant can provide his or her expert judgment on its acquisition, enhancement, and preservation; or how to use or dispose of its lands. In terms of developing new property, the consultant can provide insight on how to plan, manage, and develop the property.
5. The real estate salesperson. An accredited professional, the salesperson often provides his services to, or in behalf of, a broker in exchange for a commission or a professional fee.