Any real estate agent could help you buy or sell a home. But not every agent has the knowledge or skills to handle things when transactions get difficult. You need a good realtor who can successfully negotiate with the other side, understand the contract and how it works, and finalize a deal so that you can purchase or sell your home for the right price.
In Florida, where most residential real estate transactions are handled without attorneys, finding a good realtor from the start is a must.
General Characteristics of a Good Realtor
First, let’s take a look at characteristics you want to see in any realtor, regardless of if you’re the seller or buyer.
Good realtors have excellent professional reputations. One way to learn about the realtor’s reputation is by reading online reviews from Yelp, Facebook, and Zillow. You can also talk to family, friends, and neighbors about their realtor experiences. Personal recommendations are a popular way for realtors to draw up new business.
A strong professional reputation and positive online reviews indicate that the realtor knows how to do their job well. This is someone who knows the industry and knows how to fight for their client’s best interests.
Trustworthiness & Honesty
You want an agent you can trust and who will always tell you the truth—even when that truth may be hard to hear. Trustworthy realtors will always act in your best interests—even when doing so could mean a lower commission for them. They’ll also set realistic expectations at the start so that you understand what type of home your budget can buy or how much you can actually expect to sell your house for.
Real estate agents don’t work the traditional 9-to-5 Monday through Friday job. Great agents understand that clients may need to reach them earlier in the morning, later at night, or on the weekends. They’re willing to work with your schedule so that you don’t miss out on important buying or selling opportunities. When you are searching for someone to represent you, see how responsive they are during the initial phone calls.
What to Look for in a Realtor When Selling Property
A listing agent helps you list and sell your home. If you’re in the market for a good listing agent, look for the following:
- Two to Three Years of Experience – Hiring someone who’s brand new to real estate comes with its risks. Generally, you want an agent with at least two to three years of listing experience. Find out how many homes they’ve listed and successfully sold within the most recent year.
- Strong Connections – Another sign of a good agent is someone who has strong connections. They should be able to recommend professional stagers, photographers, and contractors who can help you get your home ready to sell. As you consider agents, ask about their industry connections. If they don’t have any, that’s telling.
- Marketing Expertise – Realtors often help clients sell their most valuable asset—their home. That’s why it’s so important to find a realtor who’s not just good with people and finances but who also has excellent marketing skills. A yard sign and listing homes on Zillow or Redfin don’t always cut it. Realtors with real marketing expertise will arrange professional listing photos—which may include staging your home, generating social media buzz, and hosting open houses or private tours. They will also understand how important timing is in regards to when to hit the market, and when to host the open house.
- Local Market Knowledge – A good listing agent will know the market that you’re selling in. They understand the seasonal trends in the market and can advise appropriately. They should also be able to answer any questions you have about home prices in your neighborhood, nearby active listings, and what types of buyers might want to buy your home. This information will help you stage, list, and sell your home.
What to Look for in a Realtor When Buying Property
A buyer’s agent helps you identify, tour, and buy your new home. When searching for a good buyer’s realtor, look for the following:
- 10+ Sales in the Past Year – In a competitive market like Florida, it’s crucial to hire a realtor who can help you beat out other homebuyers. Look for an agent with ten or more closed deals in the past year. That information indicates that they know the right strategies to make a winning offer on a home.
- Observant & Knowledgeable about Homes – Touring homes is an exciting yet overwhelming process. It’s hard to take note of every little thing as you walk through room after room, floor after floor. A good agent will point out features they like and any concerns about the home. They want you to find the home that’s right for your family, even if it means more work on their end. A good buyer’s agent will also do their homework before escorting you on a tour. They will be able to answer any questions you have about the home’s history, why it’s for sale, needed repairs, offer deadlines, the heating and cooling system, and more.
- Local Market Knowledge – Good buyer’s agents know the market and should be able to tell you about nearby school districts, businesses, crime, and more. Local market knowledge comes in handy as the agent compiles a list of recommended properties to check out. They take all of your wants into account—such as being away from busy roads, living in a particular school district, or remaining within a certain driving distance to your work. You also want a buyer’s agent who can tell you about local buyer trends. For example, are buyers waiving inspections to try to win bids? Are escalation clauses the best way to go in this local market?
- Patience – Buying a home is a huge decision, and you need an agent who will stick with you as you tour home after home. When a buyer’s agent is patient, they won’t pressure you into making a decision or try to convince you to purchase a home that’s not the right fit.
Work with Our Realtor Team
The team at Squarefoothomes helps clients throughout the entire real estate buying and selling process. You’ll have one dedicated realtor, with the other team members serving in a supportive role. Our team has the professional reputation, experience, and local knowledge you need to successfully buy or sell properties in South Florida.