There are three main areas of specialization in the real estate industry. Each has it’s own laws, procedures, and focus that separate it from the other two. The differences between them are so much that most realtors choose to only focus on one of the three areas. Those that do specialize in these areas can achieve high level certifications, showing that they have superior levels of knowledge and experience in that field.
The first of these circles is land. Unlike the other two circles, this one focuses on raw, unimproved property. This type of real estate is ideal for people looking to start from scratch, whether they want to build a home, commercial business, or start a farm. While zoning laws will impose some restriction, vacant land is going to be the most versatile form of real estate that can be purchased. Specialists in this circle are called Accredited Land Consultants, or ALCs.
Second is commercial real estate, places that have been established as businesses, offices, industrial, or institutions. These are less flexible than open land as there is already some form of construction on the property, but that may be beneficial for anyone looking to pick up where the previous owner left off. For example, a person looking to own and operate a convenience store would have much less work to do when buying an existing business, as compared to buying an empty lot and building from the ground up. However, sometimes the location of the property is more important that the structures that are on it, and quite a lot of work may need to be done to make it usable. Specialists in this circle are called Certified Commercial Investment Members, or CCIMs.
The third circle is residential, which focuses on places that people live. This is probably the most familiar category of real estate for most people. Many more people buy homes each year than business or empty tracts of land, which means that a majority of real estate agents are going to specialize in this area. Specialists in this circle are called Certified Residential Specialists, or CRSs.
Overlap between these areas does exist, which means that these specialists will need to have at least some knowledge of the other areas of real estate in order to do their jobs well. It also means that choosing the right type of specialist to work with may not be easy.
For example, a large acre farm for sale in Wake county is technically a residential property, since the family that runs the farm lives there. However, since the farm is nearly 50 acres, it might have more appeal to buyers looking to buy undeveloped land. To further complicate things, the location of that farm may be close to a highway or growing metropolitan area, where the best use of that farm might be clearing the entire property and building a shopping plaza, putting it into the commercial circle.
Most real estate sales won’t be that complicated, but it’s important to know that there are options available that, as a seller, you may not be aware of. Choosing a real estate agent that will look out for you and inform you of these types of decisions and obstacles is the best way to make sure you profit as much as possible when selling your property.