7 Tips on how to choose a real estate agent
For more than 15 years I've been working on real estate services in Miami, catering domestic and international clients in the South Florida area.
Miami is a very specific real estate market, since people from all around the world buys and sells properties in the area.
I would like to share some tips I believe are very important for anyone who wants to buy or sell a property and have questions on how to choose the best agent, not just in Miami Real Estate, but any market in US.
....so how to choose the best real estate agent?
1 - Interview several potential agents
It is advisable to interview several agents before you choose one. There are ways to find good realtors and make a small list to start. You can ask your friends or relatives to recommend someone, you can look for them online or visit them at their Open Houses.
If you try the internet search for realtors that are specialized in your neighborhood. Check if it is a well designed website with complete information. Look for a testimonial page. A good agent always have a testimonial page!
If you visit them at an Open House watch their interaction with other clients. While you are talking to them pay attention at their communication skills, specially if you are a seller, after all the agent will need good communication skills to sell your house.
Interview as many realtors as you want and feel free to switch brokerages all the time till you find the one that matches you better. There are many talented and skillful agents that will be able to get you cost saving deals and properties with their experience. Discussing your needs with different agents will help you to know the differences in their services.
Here are some questions you might ask your selected realtors:
- 1 - Are you active in the market I'm interested?
- 2 - Do you sell the type of houses you are interested in buying or selling?
- 3 - Are you active in the neighborhood I'm interested in?
For more questions see also: 10 questions to aks a realtor before picking one
2 - Find out realtor's past performance
Finding out about the past performance of a realtor is not an easy task, since there is not that much information regarding real estate as well as in other type of businesses and services. But there are ways to find out. One basic tip is to ask your realtor a list of the recent properties he or she listed and sold. Then you will be able to contact those clients and collect some good information about that agent.
3 - Check the Licensing before choosing a real estate agent
Every state has a realtor board or association that handles licensing and regulations of real estate agents. Florida also has it's own regulatory body. So, make sure whether the agent is authorized or not before signing any deal regarding Miami real estate. By checking with the state board you can also find out about any possible complaints or disciplinary actions that agent might have. Also, you will be able to have the board’s or association’s help to solve any dispute or problem regarding that agent.
4 - How long is the agent on the market?
Choose a realtor that has at least 10 years of experience. Why? Because it is important that he or she was working on real estate before the subprime crisis. That is a kind of experience you want your realtor to have!
5 - Don't be tempted to pick the highest price agent
When interviewing your selected realtors do not pick right away the one that offered the highest price for your home. That realtor is probably pricing it high just to be chosen. A good realtor will suggest you a price range and give you a fair explanation of why he priced that way based on market analysis.
6 - Check if the agent is specialized in your neighborhood
Choose an agent that is specialized the neighborhood you are buying or selling.
7 - Check if the agent is specialized in your type of property
This might be more important for sellers than buyers. If you are a seller it is important to know if the agent is specialized in selling your type of home. You can verify that using tip # 2 by comparing the past sold properties of the agent with yours.