While a realtor helps clients buy or sell properties, a consultant advises their clients on building or investment activities in the local real estate market.
If you’ve ever bought a home or commercial property, you’ve worked with a real estate agent. Even if you haven’t, you probably have a pretty solid understanding of what a real estate agent does; they represent you during the process of buying or selling a property, from the early stages through the closing date.
A real estate consultant cannot replace an agent in the buying or selling process, but they can be a valuable asset to you during the purchasing process. They can provide market studies, investment analysis, portfolio valuations, and more—all of which can provide valuable insight before you take the financial plunge into real estate. Many real estate licensees can call themselves “consultants,” but a true real estate consultant differentiates themselves through the following:
Offering an Unbiased Approach
When you work with a real estate agent, you have to keep in mind that they work on commission. Most agents are working towards the potential commission they could earn from any given sale. Real estate consultants work on an hourly or flat fee basis, which allows them to make honest recommendations that are free from bias. Because time is money for both consultant and client, the last thing the consultant wants to do it waste time on an unpromising prospect, which saves both of you money in the long run.
Thorough Evaluation of Your Situation
A real estate agent has one objective: to help their client buy or sell a property. However, a real estate consultant’s objectives can vary greatly depending on your specific situation. For example, you may hire a real estate consultant for an unbiased expert opinion on whether or not a real estate investment is a sound financial decision.
Your consultant will carefully review all the information pertinent to your purchase, as well as your financial portfolio, and make a sound recommendation based on that information.
Clear Determination of Objectives
Your real estate consultant, with your input, should be able to help you determine your primary and secondary objectives to be obtained. Unlike buying or selling, which has only one outcome, consulting is based on the assumption that every consumer has their unique objectives. The consultant’s job is to determine the best approach to achieve your objectives in a cost-effective and timely manner.
For instance, if your objective is to retire in ten years, your consultant would advise you differently than if you have thirty years to achieve your retirement goals. A real estate agent will sell you a house because you want to buy one. A consultant will ask why you want to buy the house, and help you asses whether it’s a wise decision based on your level of financial stability and risk aversion.
Real estate consultants can give you valuable insight on the value of an intended purchase, as well as the value and stability of the local housing market. A real estate consultant can give you a more complete picture to base your decisions upon than a real estate agent alone.
If you would like to find a real estate consultant in Arkansas, contact Ferstl Valuation Services at 501.313.0641 to schedule a free consultation! We have over 48 years of experience in Arkansas, and we are the largest full-service appraisal firm in the state.