You only need ONE!
5 Things to know when you are picking a REALTOR.
Odds are you’ve landed here because you’ve been on a house hunt all over the internet.
You’ve popped around from Zillow to Realtor.com and maybe even landed on an agent website like mine (www.PinkLadyOfRealEstat.com) By now you’ve likely filled out various forms, done some inquiring, and now you’ve got REALTORS from all over texting, calling, and emailing you.
But here’s the thing you need to know with all these websites, all these agents sending you homes….you don’t need them all. You only need one. One agent to help you buy one home.
Websites, such as Zillow, get their information from the Multiple Listing Service or the MLS. I call these various websites, bleeder websites. They bleed all the information from the main source, the MLS. So if you are popping around from one site to another thinking you are going to find a house on that site that’s not on another site, you’re wrong. (Unless it’s for sale by owner which is a whole other blog post)
If you keep your criteria for a home the same on each site you should get the same results for homes for sale. Your criteria are things like, price, square feet, location, etc. You keep those the same, you will see the same houses. So stop popping around and signing up on every site. What should you do to find the best home for you? How do you set up the criteria to give you exactly what you want? You need ONE Realtor to help you. Not multiple agents. That’s a no-no. Let me explain why.
First, we work on commission so we don’t get paid until the home is sold. So every agent is working towards a paycheck and only 2 agents get paid at the closing table. The listing agent (the one selling the home) and the buyers’ agent (the one you the buyer contacted). It’s not fair to agents to be stringing more than one of us along. We (the agent) are giving you our time, energy, and effort (albeit it seems ‘free’ to the buyer ) with the goal of selling a home to you.
Second, and most importantly, in my opinion, is this becomes an ethical problem for agents. Once you the buyer has spoken to, been sent homes for sale, and engaged (text, emailed, spoken) with an agent, you are in a relationship with that agent and it’s ethically wrong for another agent to step in, send (more) homes or even give advice on the home buying process. Even if you ‘haven’t signed anything’ with the first agent you were communicating with.
I hear this frequently from buyers, ‘I haven’t signed any agreement for representation.’ This agreement that’s being referred to is called a buyer’s agreement. Buyer agreements are regularly used in areas such as Canada and other parts of the United States. However, in Florida, they are not as prominently used. So it’s likely the agent you’ve speaking with has not asked you to sign anything. We (the agents) are taking you in good faith that you are working solely with us. Many times agents will ask you upfront if you are working with any other agents. This is the time to be honest if you have someone say so.
But how do you decide on ‘the one’ agent you want to work with? There are so many great REALTORS out there, how do you know who to choose?
Let’s break it down:
- Recommendations Rock! Ask your friends and family who they have used in the past. What did they like about the agent? Pros and cons are always a bonus.
- Check out their bio. Every agent has a bio on themselves. You can see ours here. See if the agent is a good fit for what you are looking for both in a home and in personality. For example, my husband is a bigger golfer and knows a ton about local courses and communities. This tidbit might appeal to a buyer who is wanting a golf course home.
- Got experience? Is the agent experienced? How many years have they been selling real estate? How many homes do they sell a year? As shocking as it is many agents are not full-time REALTORS. That’s ok if you’re ok with that and you know it upfront. But if you need someone who will answer their phone, and your messages in a timely manner you may want a full-time agent. (Yes, Josh and I are full-time, year-round, this is all we do for a living agent. On average we sell more than 35 homes a year. The average for most agents is 12–15 home sales a year.)
- Got reviews? Check them out. Some agents have them on their websites or places like Zillow (click the link to see ours) Another great way to research your agent? Google them. See what you can find out about them on social media. These days you can find out a lot about someone through the internet.
- Tech-Friendly? My friends, it’s the year 2021 and we are not still selling homes like it’s 1989 or 1999 anymore. How tech-savvy is the agent? It may seem that all agents should be on par with technology, but some are not. Some still are not using online systems to get you a contract so you can sign electronically from your phone. (Don’t worry we have all the latest and greatest online systems for our customers) Another big game-changer you need to ask your agent, do they use videos? Video tours are really important especially during a time when properties move fast. Again it may seem simple, but 10 % of Realtors use video regularly and many haven’t conquered their fear of how they look or sound in front of the camera. (It’s second nature to us. We’ve sold many homes based on videos alone. And Pinky is actually a leader in the real estate industry when it comes to using video. She was a pioneer in technology and has used videos in real estate for more than ten years.)
I hope this helps you in your search for the right real estate agent. Let me know if you have questions. And if you stumbled upon this advice but you are not looking to buy or sell a home in Naples Florida but still need an agent near you, ask me. I have a large referral network with agents across the world, I’m happy to connect you! My direct email is PinkyKnowsNaples@gmail.com
Sue “Pinky” and Josh Benson are full-time, top producing agents with RE/MAX Affinity Plus, Hall of Fame recipients and Platinum Award winners.
Josh grew up in Naples, Florida, and is an avid golfer. Pinky has been an agent for more than a decade and is a sought-after real estate marketing trainer and speaker. She’s been featured in numerous news articles and segments.
To search homes for sale on our website: www.PinkLadyOfRealEstate.com
To contact Josh/Pinky: