When it comes to hire either a realtor or a real estate consultant to help you with your home search in the Houston area, you might be wondering just what the difference is. A realtor is a commission-based position, who will show houses without an initial fee. A realtor will only make money at the end of a sale, and takes a percentage of the sale of the home for their paycheck. Realtors are more common then real estate consultants. However, a real estate consultant is affiliated with a real estate association, and has no ethics code to follow. A consultant gets paid for their time, by the hour, rather than as a commissioned position, and will charge a standard hourly fee for buyers for house and property tours, filming home walk-throughs, and filing any paperwork, regardless of whether or not a sale goes through. So which one is right for you?
Realtors are great for one-time buyers and homeowners; a Realtor will help you to find your dream home anywhere in the world, and come with a strong Houston Association of Realtors backing and are predisposed to follow the Ethics Codes laid down by local and national associations for Realtors. They are paid only if they lead you to a purchase, which is a great motivator to keep them in contact with you and to find whatever home you may be looking for. However, since they are sale-motivated, there will be a lot more pressure to buy from a realtor, and you may not get completely honest answers from a realtor who is looking to push a sale.
A real estate consultant, however, will usually give you honest answers. Since they are paid for their time whether you purchase or not, these realtors will not want to waste your time or theirs touring homes and properties they know you will have no interest in. A consultant can also save you bit of money. If you plan to do any part of sale yourself, you may want to choose a consultant, since they are only paid for the services they perform and not a flat fee. A consultant is great for investors or frequent property buyers, or for anyone who is looking to sell their home themselves. Consultants can also act as a third-party property assessment professional, which is a necessary step in properties for sale by the owners.
If you are looking into buying or selling real estate in the greater Houston area, you may want to look at the prices and fees of realtors versus a consultant. In some cases, a consultant will save you a bit of money, and can lead you to the right home or property, for the right price you are willing to pay. Do a little homework, and see which of the two is best for your buying or selling needs.