3rd Party Referral Sites
If you have ever researched homes for sale in your area, then chances are high that you’ve run across your share of third-party real estate referral services. These companies operate on an inbound marketing strategy, attracting prospective buyers or sellers and referring them to a broker in the appropriate region. Here is what you should know about these third-party real estate entities:
They may not have your best interest at heart.
These brokers are often registered members of the third party company’s “network”, and there are usually only a limited number of brokers available in every area, which limits competition for leads. Oftentimes, there is no screening criteria or specific list of membership requirements; you won’t even have the chance to interview the broker they refer you to. Referral services are offered to agents on a first-come, first-served basis, and the referral agency is going to act in its own best interests (not yours). They are simply running a business, which means they are going to send you to whatever agent offers the highest referral fee.
It is very uncommon to find top real estate agents through third-party referral agencies.
It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere. So, you may not get the most experienced real estate agent, and that is okay. What you should watch out for is an agent who has been in the business for a long time, but still has not built a strong enough reputation to stand alone. It is a major red flag to find an industry veteran participating in a third party referral network because these agents really should not have to. If you want a top local agent, ask your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers for a recommendation. That is a much better route.
Third-party real estate referral services are not always qualified to participate in a real estate transaction.
Buying or selling a home is a very important and personal experience. That’s why the process is so heavily regulated, from the very beginning of the mortgage process all the way through to closing. Real estate commissions hold licensed professional to a very high standard, and those standards are backed by local, state, and federal laws.
If you are working with a third party agency, ask about their credentials. If they are hesitant to provide that information or don’t answer to your satisfaction, consider that to be a major warning sign that you’re working with someone who has no business being involved with such an important process.
In fact, with a little research, you may find that many of these companies are under investigation by their local real estate commission.
If you are searching for a broker, and you’re not sure where to begin, start with us! Our optional full-service brokerage package is a great choice for anyone who would prefer to have a real estate professional work closely with them throughout the course of their transaction.
How can you recognize a third-party referral website?
Before you commit to or pay anything, contact the company and ask them who your listing broker will be. They are obligated to tell you if they will serve you themselves or refer you to some other broker. Legitimate real estate companies follow all of the appropriate regulations, including full disclosure of who your listing agent will be. Not only is this the law, but it’s what you deserve as a homeowner and client of this agency.
Discount MLS Florida is NOT a third-party referral website.
The most common third-party referral sites include: