Real estate companies specialize in several different fields, such as
appraisals, brokerages, relocation, development, and property management.
Real estate appraisers offer professional property valuation services.
Real estate brokers assist real estate sellers to market their properties
and assist real estate buyers to find properties that meet their needs.
Real estate developers focus on building residential, commercial, and
industrial buildings and infrastructures. Property management firms
provide maintenance, security, landscaping, cleaning, and other services
for property owners. Relocation firms help relocate people or businesses
to new locations in the same country or internationally.
In the following real estate company glossary, you can learn about these
real estate specialties in greater detail, and find out how each type of
real estate company can benefit real estate owners, buyers, and sellers.
Real Estate Company Glossary
In even the simplest real estate transaction, you may have to deal with
a number of different real estate-related companies:
Real Estate Appraisers: An appraiser will conduct an
independent, unbiased valuation of the property. In addition to
the valuation (the appraised value), the appraisal also includes a
written explanation of how the valuation was determined (most often it
is based on an analysis of comparable recent sales of similar properties
Builders/developers: If you are buying a property from another
owner, you may not even ever know who developed the area and built the
property. Or you may buy from the builder (in a residential
subdivision, for example) or from a developer (in a residential condo
building or commercial building).
Home inspectors: A home inspector will conduct an independent,
unbiased review, this time of the structural and mechanical condition of
the property. Anytime you buy a residential property (with the
exception, perhaps, of a new home being sold by the builder) you should
hire a home inspector. You never know what problems may be lurking
behind the walls or in the attic.
Mortgage lenders/brokers: Unless you're buying a property with
cash (perhaps from the sale of your previous property), you'll have to
borrow money from a mortgage lender. You can either go directly to
the lender (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, etc.) or you can
go through a broker, who will set up the mortgage for you with a lender,
but will also charge you a fee.
Property management firms provide maintenance, security,
landscaping, cleaning, and other services for property owners.
If you are going to be renting out properties, you'll have to hire a
property management company, unless you want to take care of all the
management details yourself.
Real estate agents: If you're buying a property from another
owner, you'll likely have your own real estate agent (the buyer's agent)
and the seller with have his own agent (the seller's agent). (If
you are buying from a builder or developer, you'll likely have an agent
but the developer may not.)
Real estate agents are often confused with realtors; they're not
the same. A real estate agent is a person licensed to negotiate
and execute the sale of real estate. A realtor is a real estate
agent or broker that has been licensed by the National Association of
Realtors and holds an active Association membership.
Relocation firms help relocate people or businesses to new
locations in the same country or internationally; once you have bought
or sold the property, now you have to move all your stuff!
Title companies: The title company will inspect and insure the
title (deed) to the real property. Before a title can be released,
the title company must run a search to ensure that there are no
outstanding liens on the property.
RealEstateCompanies.us features information about, and directories of,
residential real estate franchises and commercial real estate brokers in the United States,
plus a selection of helpful real estate resources for consumers.
Whether you are buying or selling a home, developing or managing an apartment
complex, or involved with commercial real estate in some way, you will be
working with these types of real estate-related companies. If your
interests lie more in the real estate investing arena, be sure to read
this article about real estate investment trusts.
Crook, D. (2006).
Complete Real Estate Investing Book.
New York: Three Rivers Press.
Fisher, S. (2007).
The Commercial Real Estate Investor's Handbook.
Ocala, Florida: Atlantic Publishing Group.
Jacobus, C. (2009).
Real Estate Principles (Eleventh Edition).
Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Kein, L. (2007).
The Fundamentals of Listing and Selling Commercial Real Estate.
West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Infinity Publishing.
Miles, M. E., Barens, G., and Weiss, M. A. (2007).
Real Estate Development: Principles and Process.
Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute.