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Evaluating A Broker’s Track Record When Selling Property

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If you’re selling a property and are looking to hire a broker, you’ll want to know about their past transactions. It can be helpful to ask them for references, as I addressed in a previous article (see How To Check References When Selling Property). This can give you an idea of how long they have been in the business, what type of properties they usually sell, and what geographic area they frequently cover.

That said, it can be helpful to look beyond initial references and ask additional questions. That’s because a broker’s list of references will typically include individuals they have worked with in the past who have been satisfied with the result. While these people might provide insight into the broker’s strengths, they may not be giving the full picture.

Consider these factors related to track record as you consider hiring a broker to sell your property.

Evaluate Previous Sales

When, as an investment sales broker, I talk to owners who are thinking of selling their property, I often offer to share a list of the last 100 properties I’ve sold. I mention that I would be happy to introduce the owners to any of the clients on the list. I explain that these sellers can share if they thought my team and I performed well during the sales process. Stuart Milstein, founder of Drake Street Partners, discussed ways that he built a track record over time, which allowed him to move into different opportunities, on my podcast.

Look for Continued Engagement

In real estate, a broker cannot rely on their track record alone. While they may have a portfolio that showcases incredible sales, you’ll want to check when these transactions took place. If the broker hasn’t sold a property in the past year or longer, that could be a sign that they are not as active in the market. For instance, they might be approaching retirement and choosing to not transact as frequently.

For this reason, you’ll want to look for factors that indicate the broker is continuing to build and grow their business. I am especially proud that the Tri State investment sales group I oversee is continually looking for how to improve. We actively seek out ways that we can carry out processes more efficiently and achieve higher performance levels.

On a personal note, I have been in the business for the past 25 years. If I was still doing what worked for me two decades ago, I wouldn’t be developing as a broker and able to help sellers unlock value. It’s important to read about trends, investigate the latest technology, and be aware of market cycles to best help clients. I outline ways to do this in my book, “The Insider’s Edge to Real Estate Investing.”

Consider New Professionals

While new brokers won’t have a long list of previous sales to share with you, they may be willing to share ideas and go above and beyond the norm to help you carry out a transaction. They might also have more bandwidth and be able to dedicate more time to the sale of your property. I am often in favor of a less experienced broker working with a senior broker who has a long track record. The pair can give you the best of both worlds.

When selling your property, you’ll want to start by asking for references and checking a broker’s track record. Ensure that they have a solid history of successful sales similar to your property type. Check for continued engagement in the market, as an active broker is likely to be more in tune with current trends and technologies. While experienced brokers offer proven expertise, don't overlook new professionals who may bring fresh ideas and dedicated attention. By considering these factors, you can choose a broker who will effectively represent your interests and help achieve the best possible outcome for your sale.

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