Using a Realtor® The Smart Way

Many real estate investors run the other way when using a Realtor is mentioned. They see large commissions for little effort. But that is just part of it. Those commissions bite into the return on investment they’ll realize in their deal, whether buying or selling.

Sellers frequently end up using a real estate agent anyway, as they want the exposure provided by being listed in the local MLS, Multiple Listing Service. Buyers, however, will frequently go it alone as investors. They will locate properties and work the entire deal on their own, hopefully saving the widely-advertised 3% to 6% in Realtor commissions.

By all means, if you can do it yourself safely, then get to it. But, if you find that you are spending a great deal of time and effort on transaction tasks and deliveries, you may actually find that you could do more deals if you could foist some of this transaction work off onto a real estate agent. The good news is that, in many areas, there is a new group of real estate brokers who will work for you in more economical ways than a percentage commission.

There is a designation group who trains real estate agents in being “consultants” to their clients, and doing it with innovative compensation arrangements. This isn’t an endorsement, but you may benefit from using one of this group if you can get what you want at a price you like. The ACRE Designation stands for Accredited Consultant in Real Estate, and their website is at You can even hire them “by the hour” in some cases. Their goal is to adapt to your needs, in that you can do what you want to do in the transaction, and they will take up where you leave off.

By tailoring service packages to the client, they can only provide the services you need or want, saving you the built-in wasted costs for all the rest. As a seller, you can get onto the MLS and pay much less for the exposure, as you can specifically exclude other marketing and some transaction services from the package. As a buyer, you can do all of the location and valuation research, calling on a “consultant” at a flat rate or hourly fee to handle the aspects of the transaction you don’t like or have time to do.

Every real estate investor is different, and even their investing strategies change over time. If you find that you can leverage yourself by using a real estate agent, then look for one who has recognized the waste in the “percentage commission” business model.