If you are considering purchasing property in which to house your small business, where should you begin? Although you are free to search for real estate properties on your own, your best option is to find a professional realtor or real estate broker to handle the transaction for you.
There are definite advantages to working with a real estate professional, such as:
- Peace of mind. Real estate transactions can be tricky, and if you do not know what you are doing, you could end up spending more money than you had originally budgeted. Having a real estate professional at your side can help you meet important deadlines and avoid costly mistakes.
- Savings in time and money. Let a professional realtor use his or her experience to save you money by negotiating in your best interest. And you can devote your valuable time to your own business.
- Reduced frustration. Let’s face it, real estate transactions are rarely a walk in the park. Handing over the paperwork to a professionally trained real estate agent can help you avoid a lot of headaches.
But how best to select the right person or firm to represent you and your business goals? No doubt the local telephone book is filled with real estate professionals just waiting to be contacted. But if you haven’t used a real estate agent before and do not know where to start, it is helpful to have some general guidelines.
Make sure to choose a realtor or real estate professional who:
- Works full-time. While there are many part-time real estate professionals out there, it is advisable to choose a full-time realtor or agent. If you choose a person who handles real estate transactions only on weekends or a few days a week, you run the risk of missing out on many opportunities.
- Has experience. Make sure to pick an experienced real estate professional. Inquire how many real estate transactions he or she typically handles each year. The more seasoned the professional, the smoother your real estate transaction will be, so put yourself in the hands of someone who has been around the block.
- Is likeable and trustworthy. As with any other business relationship, your realtor should be someone you feel comfortable with. He or she should be confident, easy to talk to, and trustworthy. This person will play a large role in the future of your business, so make sure to engage someone who has a clear understanding of your business goals.
- Agrees to an “out clause.” One of the worst things that can happen to a small business owner is to get stuck in a six month contract with a real estate agent they can’t stand. Perhaps you were impressed during the initial interview, or maybe he or she had first-class references. But even the closest relationship can sour over time, so writing an “out clause” into the contract is a smart move.
- Is Internet savvy. As with most other businesses, the world of real estate has moved onto the Web. These days, it’s all about how fast you can find a property, so make sure to go with a real estate professional who is comfortable using the Internet.