Everyone wants a real estate agent they can trust. When you’re looking to own your next home, you want someone who can give you the best price. To accomplish this, your broker should have your interests at heart. Most people either get a broker who works independently, while others will choose one with an existing franchise, preferably from top developers like Megaworld at The Fort.
Many have argued whether one is better than the other. Is it true that franchise agents look out for the interests of the corporation? Are independents secretly in league with big developers? Learn more about the different types of brokers you commonly encounter and the advantages and setbacks of both below.
Who’s with Whom?
When you think of an independent agent, you get the idea of someone going it alone. They probably get their information from secret sources and know all the best deals. The answer is “yes and no”. Most, if not all, non-franchise-affiliated brokers will be employed by an agency. This is usually a group of agents who work to sell properties under various developers. Franchise agents are employed under a single developer and work to promote that company’s projects. Some can even play ball for both depending on the terms of the employment contract they’ve signed. Either way, the important thing to remember when finding a broker is to make sure that they are licensed by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).
It’s often supposed that signing up for independent brokerage will get you a lower price. That isn’t always the case. Long-time owners of franchised condos can often get a discount for their loyal patronage. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the relationship between you and your agent. You can negotiate price and payment terms if you try hard enough. Franchise brokers, for example, might offer fixed rates on purchase but will let work out your installment terms to create something a lot more convenient. Megaworld at the Fort is well-known for its flexible terms of payment, which makes owning your own place much easier.
There’s a big divide on the subject of who’s more reliable. Franchise agents are usually believed to uphold the interests of the developer above all, while independent contractors are in it for their own interests. To the tenant, the most important thing is who is more likely to tell the truth. You want an agent who, at the end of the day, will offer you an honest picture of the property you want to purchase. For the franchise-affiliated, their motivation is that they have a company name to uphold, while personal reputations are at stake for independents. You’ll want to go with a well-known industry name since they already have a proven history of integrity.
Another factor that will influence your choice of a broker is their experience. Most think that independents have more experience since they are open to other market opportunities. This is also possible for big name franchise brokers. Most developers will only employ reliable agents who have had time to hone their skills in the real estate market. They also provide their people with the necessary skills training to be able to deal with clients in the most favorable way possible. You’ll want to ask your agent how many properties they’ve sold and look into forum reviews on their performance. You should see more satisfied customers than complaints.
Lesson learned: when it comes to deciding independent or franchise-affiliated, we should change our way of thinking. Interested investors should pay more attention to track records and bodies of work. Your chosen agent should have the proven ability to deliver and an eye for great opportunities, and if being connected to a trusted name like Megaworld at the Fort gives you a better sense of security, then go with your instincts. Above all, your real estate agent should always keep your welfare in mind.
Have you had experiences with either independent brokers or franchise real estate agents? Which one do you personally prefer? Tell us in the comments!