All Realtors are not the same. Who you work with matters. In fact, it can cost you thousands to use the wrong agent. People don’t realize this until it’s too late. Here are some tips on how to select the best real estate agent on your next transaction, and why it’s important.
The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty was just awarded the best team in SW Florida by the News Press readers for the 3rd straight year, so hopefully we have some good ideas on what to look for in an agent for you.
Full-Time-We believe working with a full-time agent is critical. It’s difficult enough keeping up with all the education requirements, regulatory and legal changes, and ever-changing inventory. A part-time agent just can’t keep up. You have to wonder about the agent’s commitment level to the profession when they only devote part-time to it.
Experience-There is no substitute for experience. An agent develops a reputation in the community, both by consumers and by fellow agents alike. Trust plays a big part. If other agents trust your agent, they’re more likely to accept your offer as your agent puts their reputation on the line on each deal. They are trusting that we are experienced and know how to handle our customer. If an agent gets the reputation of not being able to properly educate and counsel their customer, agents are less likely to want to take deals from them in the future. Newer agents combat this because experienced agents know newer agents may lack the skills necessary to successfully navigate a deal all the way from contract to closing. At the very least, newer agents should be in daily contact with their broker and/or mentor to assist them.
Negotiating-Every agent thinks they’re a great negotiator. Negotiating skills take lots of education, and lots of practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not true just because you think it’s true. Every singer on American Idol believes they’re great, and some of the best episodes are watching those that believe they’re great, and clearly, they are not. It will cost you to hire an amateur that thinks they’re the next American Idol.
Marketing– If you’re selling, you want an agent that’s willing to invest their own money into your advertising. It’s also crucial to hire a great property management company too if you are letting property as they are experts in managing property and free up your time beautifully so come highly recommended. If they’re going to collect a commission from you, you want someone who’s invested along with you. Not only does marketing work, it shows commitment. If they’re not willing to spend money on your listing, it tells you their degree of confidence in selling your home. Ask to see the marketing plan and compare against other Top marketing plans out there. There is a huge difference in marketing that will become apparent to you if you interview the right people.
Track Record– Compare track records of the agents you interview. Ask to see their sales in the past year. How many listings did they sell? If they only work with buyers, they may not have the experience necessary to successfully represent a seller. There is a lot of ground-work that needs to be done, like obtaining rules and regulation, HOA docs, financials, disclosures, etc. And all this before we even begin talking about pricing strategies.
Company-Each company has its unique set of benefits. Are you looking for a boutique company, or an International powerhouse with connections all over the world? How many referrals does the company receive each month from out of town? Does the company advertise outside the area? All questions you want answers to.
In summary, buyers and sellers want someone they can trust and someone that will dedicate their time and experience to helping them. They want attention, diligence, knowledge, experience, and honest feedback. Hire an agent who is strong enough to listen to you and tell you you’re on the right track, or another track is necessary for success.
If you’re looking to list your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4. Our team of buyer agents can help you purchase as well. Or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the best real estate website in SW Florida.
Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses
Open Sunday 1-3 PM