Best agent type for multi-family properties of various sizes?

17 Replies

Seems like a silly question, but can a Commercial Real Estate Agent represent the buyer in a Residential MFH (2-4 unit)? And how about vice-versa, can a Residential Real Estate Agent represent the buyer in a Commercial multi 5+ or apartment property?

Thanks in advance!

I believe it depends on the state. I would recommend just getting a residential agent if you're purchased residential and commercial if you're purchasing commercial. The respective agents will be more familiar with their markets: e.g. local cap rates (commercial), purchase prices, etc... The two different sectors can be very different within one area market.

@Sandy Metivier , in Ohio a real estate sales agent is an real estate sales agent, with no different licensing or course work for to sell commercial vs residential.

So, in Ohio a commercial broker could sell a single family home and a residential broker could sell a $100m apartment complex.  In reality, the commercial broker won't work with someone looking at a 4 family since this broker is working on commissions that might be as much as the 4 family's purchase price.  Alternatively, a residential broker will likely not serve any purpose or provide any value in trying to negotiate a $100m apartment transaction.  

Depending on the markets you are looking in, residential agents are most commonly listing 8 units and under, at least in the markets I have looked.  When you get to the 8-20 unit range, you get a mixed bag of residential and commercial agents, and over 20 tend to heavily skew to agents marketing themselves as commercial agents.  But back to my first comment, from a licensing standpoint in Ohio, any agent can do any listing.

@Sandy Metivier

Any real estate agent in Ohio can represent you in the purchase and sale of real property. If you’re looking for a good commercial broker ask if they own investment property as well.

Originally posted by @Sandy Metivier :

Seems like a silly question, but can a Commercial Real Estate Agent represent the buyer in a Residential MFH (2-4 unit)? And how about vice-versa, can a Residential Real Estate Agent represent the buyer in a Commercial multi 5+ or apartment property?

Thanks in advance!

 In Ohio, they can do either. Although most agents are poor with both.

Sure brokers are brokers.  Resi guy may focus on knowing buyers/sellers in resi market and comm in owners of his product type.

Comm guy may know the math a little better though.

@Sandy Metivier a license is a license, but like the folks above said...you will benefit from working with a specialist. Residential agents often represent MF deals, but not well...the worst thing is that the client doesn't know any better. It's a risky equation. MF transactions behave differently than single family.

Best of luck

@Sandy Metivier

No difference here in Illinois, but you are going to want to find a broker/agent who specializes in the type of real property you are looking to purchase. If 99% of an agents business is in SHF and they have only ever done one multi or commercial property, then you probably want to find another agent for your search.