How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Do you know 50 People?  I’m sure you do.  How about 100, or even 200.  With Facebook, twitter, and social media being quite popular lately, friends list start going upwards to 500 and more.  My linked in Account- it’s in the 1000s. Now obviously I don’t know all of those people… I’m pretty generous on accepting those invites (no offense if you are on there).  I’m certain someone like you though has plenty of friends, and likely 1 or 10 of them are Real Estate agents.

Speaking to the Department of Professional Regulations today we were shocked to discover that in Florida, there are roughly $368,000 Real Estate Licenses. Out of a population around 19.3 Million in 2013, that leaves 1 real estate licensee for every 50 people.  So if you have 500 friends, you should know about 10 Real Estate agents.

Here is the problem that we come to time and time again… You need to sell your home.  You know 10 agents.  How do you choose who lists your home?  Ok, so Bob lives in another state, he is out, but has a great referral.  Susan lives down the street form you, knows the neighborhood, but is a full time nurse.  Pat, your favorite waiter or bartender, has a license, but they work at night when you are available.  Frankie says he can do it, but lives on the other side of town.  WHO DO YOU CHOOSE?!  Know one will be happy if you don’t choose them.  It’s just too hard!

Real Estate is business- it’s our business.  There are times, granted, that choosing a friend or relative MAY be beneficial. But this is your house, your savings, your equity.  Don’t play favorites, do your homework.  Here are the questions WE ask when trying to find an agent to sell one of our homes.

10 plus Questions when choosing a Real Estate Agent.

  1. Are you a Broker or agent?
  2. Are you full time?
  3. How accessible are you?
  4. Who do you work for?
  5. Are you Commission or Salaried?
  6. Do you have a certain niche market?
  7. How many properties have you sold? What is your market share? What are your stats?
  8. Have you sold in my neighborhood?
  9. How familiar are you with the area?  Do you know the schools, developers, competition, market stats?
  10. What is the value of my home?
  11. Besides the MLS, what ways do you market my home?
  12. Are there any ways to prepare my property for sale?
  13. How do you schedule showings?
  14. Do you have an assistant?
  15. How do you gather and present feedback on properties?
  16. What can you do to protect me in a contract?
  17. Do you have any testimonials or referrals?

Real Estate is much more than just a list price on paper and a sign.  There are so many factors that go into a contract.  Closing date, post occupancy, seller contribution, repairs, escrow, inspection period.  Spoke to a gentleman the other day that moved out of his property days before closing just to have the entire deal fall through.  Heard of agents granting 30 day inspection periods and the buyer walking on day 30.  Cash offers not being cash, escrows not being recorded, contracts not being executed correctly.

If you friend or relative is a GREAT local agent, use them.  But when there is hesitation, friend or not, it is best to find a local professional. The old 80/ 20 rule applies.  80% of all the business is done by 20% of the agents.  That means, simply, that since Bob is a top producing agent in another state and Frankie is dang good but lives 45 miles away, you are left with your bartender and nurse to help you sell along with a few others similar to the latter.

Don’t settle for second best (or 10th).  Contact Waterstone Realty for all your real estate needs.