There are a multitude real estate professionals along Florida’s Emerald Coast. You probably already know a Florida Realtor or picked up a few cards while vacationing in the Destin area. One important factor when purchasing real estate in Northwest Florida is choosing the right agent for your needs.
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing your agent. Most people will agree that experience in the local market is key. Other areas to evaluate include how often does the agent work with buyers (vs. sellers), does the agent have support from a team or broker, does the agent work full-time and how knowledgeable is the agent about the specific areas and properties you are interested in.
You can ask neighbors, friends, and family for referrals or find a variety of agents online. Referrals from someone you know are very helpful and can give you insight about the agent’s personality and dependability.
You will most likely spend a lot of time touring properties with your agent and exchanging emails and phone calls. Personality plays an important role in how comfortable you feel with your agent. Do you prefer someone who is easy going or aggressive? Do you tend to communicate better with a certain age range or gender? Before choosing an agent, spend a little time thinking about what type of personality you feel is best suited for your situation.
A good buyer’s agent should possess most of these qualities:
– Patient and compassionate
– Good listener
– Problem solver who is dedicated to figuring out what you want
– Polite and professional
– Loves showing homes
– Understands how homes are constructed and how to make improvements that increase value
– Organized and detail oriented
– Possesses excellent follow up skills
– Able to develop insight for the rock-bottom price a seller may accept
Below are several questions to ask yourself and potential agents before choosing an agent to assist you in the purchase of your Emerald Coast property. The Nathan Abbott Team strives to build lasting relationships with our clients and want you to be comfortable and informed from the very beginning. Feel free to contact us to discuss why our Buyer Specialist are able to serve as your trusted real estate advisors along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Questions to Ask a Buyer’s Agent
What percentage of your clients are buyers (vs. sellers)?
Many agents work with both buyers and sellers. Some agents (like our Buyer Specialists) work mainly with buyers and are able to better tend to a buyer’s needs.
Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent?
If an agent has a second job or only works in real estate part-time, it may be a little harder to reach them when needed.
How many years of education and experience do you have?
Experience and continuing education typically make for better agents. But that doesn’t mean that freshly licensed agents aren’t valuable. Many new agents have access to mentors and fresh training. Newer agents tend to have more time to concentrate on you. But you have to be aware they may be learning a few things as your transaction progresses. Experienced agents are more likely to do less ‘hand-holding’, may be more direct with you in regards to your real estate desires, but also tend to have a lot of network connections that will greatly benefit you.
In which neighborhoods/cities do you primarily work?
If you have an idea of where you want to purchase property, finding an agent with knowledge and purchasing or selling experience in those areas/neighborhoods is a wonderful advantage to you. Usually, they have already established connections with other agents and homeowners in the area and are able to find you the property you are looking for more efficiently. Agents who have insight into the local school systems, utilities, local contractors and inspectors are very helpful.
Can you provide me with the names and phone numbers of past clients who have agreed to be references?
Insights from past customers can help you learn more about an agent and give you a greater comfort level. You can sometimes find reviews on the agent’s website or LinkedIn profile.
What is your strategy for meeting my needs?
As a buyer, you will need to know how the agent will search for properties. All agents have access to online software to perform detailed property searches. Some agents also attend local real estate tours and open houses to be more aware of available properties in the area. Your agent should be able to set you up with email alerts about specific neighborhoods or areas with properties that match your search parameters. Knowing how your agent searches for properties and how they plan to share those properties with you will help you decide which agent’s communication style you prefer.
What is your average list-price-to-sales-rice ratio?
Excluding hot seller’s market, a good buyer’s agent should be able to negotiate a sales price that is lower than list price. Buyer’s agent ratios should fall below 99% of ask price. Sometimes properties are listed above market value and can skew the ratios. While these ratios are not extremely important, it is nice to know if your buyer’s agent has a track record of efficiently negotiating lower prices with listing agents
Will I be working with you directly or handed off to anyone else?
In other words, will you handle all aspects of my transaction or will you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? A knowledgeable assistant can be invaluable, but you want to make sure you can connect with your agent regularly. Our Buyer Specialists work with you through the entire process. We have a closing department that handles all the details of your property’s closing. However, your real estate agent is always up-to-date and accessible to you during your real estate purchase.
What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
While this question can easily be answered with a variety of standard lines, a good agent won’t hesitate to answer. Everyone has their own checklist, but most clients are looking for agents who say they are honest, trustworthy, assertive, excellent negotiators, readily available by phone or e-mail, good communicators, friendly, and able to maintain a good sense of humor under trying circumstances.
What else do I need to know?
Pay close attention to how the real estate agent answers this question because there is always something you need to know, always. You want an agent to take her time with you – to make sure you feel comfortable and secure with her knowledge and experience. They should know how to listen and how to counsel you, how to ask the right questions to find out what they need to know create the best real estate experience for you.
If you are interested in purchasing or selling property along Florida’s Emerald Coast, The Nathan Abbott Team is here to guide you and be your trusted real estate advisor.
ResortQuest Real Estate | Broker Associate, Realtor®
Nathan Abbott Team | CEO