Property Management: Should You Call a Realtor or a Consultant?

Whether it’s checking if you qualify for a 1031 tax-deferred exchange or calculating your building’s fair market value, it’s always a good idea to call in some experts. Properties can be tricky to manage, but with their help, you’ll be able to deal with both paperwork and pricing.

To get the best value out of your budget for hiring a professional, it’s best to know exactly what it is you’re looking for and who exactly can help you with your problem. There are two common experts that are always involved with property management: real estate consultants and realtors. So, how do you know when to hire the one or the other?

The Similarities

First, let’s talk about what they have in common. Real estate consultants and realtors are both professionally trained to understand different kinds of property and make fair assessments about their value and condition. Both of them can be your official representatives when you aren’t present to make decisions about your property.

Both professions also require a license. While the exact requirements may slightly vary from state to state, both realtors and consultants need to undergo a comprehensive test before they’re allowed to operate. Some of them band together in firms, while others strike out on their own.

When to Hire a Real Estate Consultant

Real estate consultants are trained to provide expert analysis and research on their client’s property needs. It’s a position that requires a lot of research, meetings, and legwork to provide good advice to anyone looking at the property market.

So, when are you supposed to hire a real estate consultant? Whenever you need advice on building, investing, or studying trends in the real estate market. They always have their finger on the pulse as to what sells at any moment in time, which can be critical if that’s what you’ve invested in.

When to Hire a Realtor

Handshake of a real estate agent and a client

On the other hand, realtors are real estate consultants that are part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They are expected to conform to a higher standard of ethics and professionalism than consultants, so they’re often entrusted with more valuable services and properties.

You should hire a realtor if you’re specifically looking to buy or sell a property since they have additional training and experience to handle more delicate parts of passing or owning property. Handling earnest money, setting up escrow accounts, and other technical and legal aspects are also their expertise.

While all real estate consultants are properly trained to help you buy, sell, or manage a property, only realtors have the certification and training necessary to handle the more complicated parts and paperwork.

Knowing what you’re trying to accomplish by entering the real estate market can help you quickly identify which areas you need help in, as well as the people you need to hire. While it’s possible that you might need both real estate consultants and realtors in the future, understanding your goals with the property now can help give you a clearer vision of what you want to be done.

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