Why Choose Brook?

The real estate industry is steeped in tradition not well-understood by industry outsiders. Property owners hire brokers to perform specific tasks for a negotiated fee, which is then shared with other licensees, increasing the odds of a successful result. The irony of these relationships is that owners who engage listing companies, who then cooperate with other agents, unintentionally compensate Buyer Agents tasked with the duty of negotiating against the very person who pays them. Common sense would say this is a backwards arrangement with serious flaws that opens the door for the development of mistrust and disrespect between parties.

If the industry were created today, each principal (buyer and seller) would be responsible for their advocate’s compensation based on the laws of agency and fiduciary obligations. Commission fee practices should be updated, but as in most non-crisis situations, tradition trumps logic, resulting in a confused, misaligned, and conflicted industry.

While Northern Michigan is blessed with some tremendous real estate professionals, real estate agents are oftentimes at the bottom of the respect totem pole in the public eye. This is due to low barriers for part-timers moonlighting as professionals, with no real credentials other than a license and business card. Although this prejudiced opinion has gradually improved, advice, counsel, negotiation, and process management skills are still only as good as the person giving them, so be wary of who you rely upon.

A recent Ivy League collegiate study found that for consumers, one of the most difficult decisions involves selecting qualified service providers. Most people will ask friends or acquaintances for a referral. This makes intuitive sense, but what does the referring party know about specialists with complex skills outside their areas of expertise? This is how the world tends to go around, producing random outcomes, even if in the end all parties might be happy with the result.

So, how do most start their search for a property? Newspapers, magazines, the internet, and referrals are usually the first steps, but this does not assist in educating a buyer. Paid advertising sources still leave interested parties on their own to figure out how the market works, along with a host of other difficult issues. Buyers are well-advised to find an agent who has the skills, experience, and a proven track record of success, because there are a lot of amateurs in the business. Looking for an agent when all you want to do is find the right property may seem counter-intuitive. Trust in the fact that it’s the person you hire and not the property search that makes the difference. 

True investment-focused realtors are rare and hard to find, because every agent will tell you “they are one.” Remember: it’s not the brand, it's not the results of a successful transaction broker, it’s not market share or international reach, and it’s not the number of agents or offices.

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