What Difference Does a Brokerage Make?

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I posted recently about whether the agent you hire to help you buy or sell a home really matters (yes, it does), but what about the brokerage? I think this question is debated much more among real estate agents than our customers, but you really should think about the differences in brokerages before you list your home for sale.

When you list your home for sale with a real estate agent, the listing actually belongs to that agent's brokerage. Not all brokerages are created equally. Here are some key differences to think about:

What if your agent leaves their brokerage while your property is on the market?

Since the brokerage actually owns the listing, not the agent, this can be a tricky situation at times. Some brokerages will let the agent transfer the listing to their new brokerage with the sellers' permission, but some will not. Since you likely hired the agent you liked rather than the brokerage, this may be a problem for you. You may end up having a new agent assigned to you without much choice in the matter. It's a good idea to ask your agent about their brokerages policy just in case.

What do the large, nation-wide brokerages offer that smaller, local ones do not?

Of course every brokerage is different, but in general the larger, national companies offer many more services to their agent, many of which can help them sell your property faster and at a higher prices.

For example, larger companies have a larger network of buyers' agents to promote your listing to. Many times your property can be sold before it's even listed because your agent promoted it "in-house" first. Smaller companies just don't have as large of a resource to accomplish this.

The National Association of Realtors just voted in a new policy that goes into effect May 1st, 2020 and requires any listing that is publicly promoted must be listed on the MLS within 24 hours. However, agents can promote listings within their own brokerage way in advance of listing. Typically when a listing agent takes a new listing they try to pre market it before it's ready to hit the market. These are called pocket listings. With this new rule, bigger brokerages will have an advantage to promote pocket listings to their large number of agents well before they can be promoted to the public.

Another huge advantage to listing with a larger brokerage is all the programs and services they can offer sellers and their listing agents just because they have the sales volume to support such programs. Smaller brokerages just don't do enough volume to invest in new technologies or offer innovative services to their sellers.

Here are just a few of the programs/services Coldwell Banker offers that sets them apart from other companies:

Listing Concierge: This program for listing agents helps us market your listing with more exposure and less cost to the agent. Includes professional photos, direct mail, printed marketing, TV and magazine exposure, and more. This program is fantastic at making marketing listings easy and affordable to Coldwell Banker listing agents. If it's more expensive to promote your home, is your agent going to do as much?

RealSure: With the new RealSure program through Home Partners of America, many homes can have a cash offer in hand before we even list it! You get the certainty of a real cash offer without the obligation to accept it before testing the market for 45 days.

RealVitalize: Formerly called Refresh, this program is an exclusive offering for Coldwell Banker agents and their clients in the Tampa and St. Petersburg market. Powered by HomeAdvisor, the program helps with improvements and repairs to prep your home for sale. Coldwell Banker covers the upfront costs and gets paid back when the home sells.

Military Rewards Program: All active and former military families may be eligible for special benefits and services when enrolled in Coldwell Banker's Real Estate Military Rewards program. With this program, military families may be eligible to receive $350-$7,500 in cash back or rewards when you buy or sell a home through a Coldwell Banker agent.

So let me ask you, does the listing agent you are considering hiring to sell what is likely your most valuable asset work through a brokerage that can offer you all of this? Now do you think it makes a difference which brokerage you choose?