When planning to sell or purchase a home or land, you have a lot of options in choosing a real estate firm. Choosing the right real estate firm is crucial for your success and a positive experience during the process. Larger firms often offer national brand name recognition and lots of "bells and whistles" for their agents. Smaller firms may not have a national brand name recognition or lots of "bells and whistles" for their agents, but does that really matter to either the buyer or the seller?

All real estate firms that are REALTOR members have access to the same multiple listing service and all the real estate marketing websites available online, large or small. Does the company name on the sign in the yard play any part in a buyer wanting to purchase the house? For buyers, isn't the most important part of the purchase making sure the house/property is the right fit for their needs and in budget? For sellers, isn't the most important part of the sell making sure that they get the house sold in their timeline and for the best price? 

So why choose the smaller, local firm over the big guys?

  1. The Agents in smaller, local firms are often entrepreneurs in real estate industry. Having experience in various areas of the business, including investing, renovating, property management, new construction, and development. This knowledge can be a great resource for you as their client. 
  2. The Agents in a smaller, local firm are likely to have more years of experience. Many agents starting in real estate will choose a larger firms for basic training, office leads, and brand name recognition. 
  3. The Agents in the smaller, local firm often have the ability to conduct business on their terms. Meaning, they can negotiate the real estate commission and offer creative/outside the box marketing for their clients. The smaller, local firms don't have to pay national franchising fees or support a lot of overhead costs like the large firms.
  4. Dual Representation is less likely to occur with a small, local firm. In North Carolina, real estate firms can represent sellers, buyers, and in dual agency, they can represent both simultaneously for one property. When dual agency occurs, the dual firm and agent must not harm either party. Meaning that they cannot give you recommendations for offer terms, including their opinion on purchase/sales price. The dual firm and agent must remain neutral during the transaction. As the client, you won't get all the guidance from a dual firm/agent that you would from an exclusive agent representing only you as the buyer or seller.   

Although a company name on the sign might be easily recognizable due to thousands of dollars in marketing for brand name recognition, it doesn't mean that company will do a better job to help you buy or sell a property. Full disclosure, I am a business major that has worked in small, local businesses my entire life. So, I'm probably a little biased to folks relying on themselves, not a brand name, to create a successful business through providing excellent customer service and building long standing relationships.

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