Choose A Buyer’s Agent

Choose the Right Buyer’s Agent

chick.pngThere are several characteristics that make up an Excellent Real Estate Consultant. There is a huge difference between real estate agents and Accredited Consultants in Real Estate® – don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all agents are the same because they’re not. Searching for homes for sale and showing them to you is something anyone with an ounce of sense and training could do… it is everything that happens after you find the home of your dreams that makes all the difference between a successful transaction and potential disaster!

Characteristics of Top Consultants in Real Estate

Careful Attention to Detail: Real estate transactions are far more complex than most people realize.  Everything – each step – must be completed in a timely manner and in accordance with Florida Law or everything could fall apart at the last minute leaving you frustrated and angry and, possible, without your dream home.

When making an offer on any house, it is important for you to know that the agent is on top of things such as the chain of title, the history of any additions or other property related issues that might hold up processing of the loan, inclusion of contingencies to your offer that protect you from unforeseen problems.

You need someone with tons of experience so that they are able to anticipate possible and probable problems that may arise and head them off before they become a problem. And, because some problems are simply unavoidable it is of paramount importance that your agent is skilled in negotiating solutions to those problems when they arise (more on that later).

When selecting an agent, be sure to ask lots of questions and use your gut to determine if he/she is “anal-retentive” enough to get the job done right! There is simply no substitute for experience and attention to detail when purchasing what is the most expensive asset most people ever buy.

Service Oriented Philosophy: Sure, everyone claims to provide good customer service but actions tell a different story. How important receiving good customer service is to them is often a good indicator of the level of service they will provide to you. This is one of those areas where actions truly speak louder than words – ask for references and call them… be sure to zero in on just how attentive to providing great customer service the agent was for them.

How quickly does the agent return phone calls and emails? How thorough are their answers to your questions? How willing are they to go out of their way to meet your needs (while also acting in a professionally responsible manner by keeping a schedule – top agents are NOT available at the drop of a hat… top agents are busy and therefore maintain a schedule so they can meet the needs of all their clients).

Tim,

This is a message for both you and Susan. Pam and I were riding home from church today when we passed by so many of the neighborhoods we looked at with you guys to find us a house.

I know we have said it before but you guys are the best. If it wasn’t for your attentiveness to our needs, we never would have found our dream home. And Tim, Pam and I chuckled on the fact that sometimes you would either drive up or walk up to a house and say “No, we are not even going in there.”

Thats why you guys are so good, people of your passion.  And you found out our wants and needs and never faltered from that mission.  Pam nominated you and Susan for the ” Realtor of the Year” through some phone survey and the questioner was blown away by her frank reply on how awesome you guys were to us.

If you need any references, or if people are not sure about hooking up with you guys, send them are way. Pam and I we tell them the ” dirty little secret” — YOU CARE!!!   Sorry it took so long to say this, but it’s true.

Mike and Pam (Intracoastal West)

Excellent Communication Skills: This goes hand in hand with “service” but is certainly deserving of its own paragraph. One of the most often cited complaints that consumers have regarding their real estate agent is that they were hard to reach and that they failed to adequately communicate what was happening with them. (Granted, with the complexities of real estate transactions and the fast pace in which things often happen – especially as the closing draws near – communication does sometimes suffer but this should be the exception rather than the rule and top agents will always apologize when it happens because it is NOT their nature to allow it to happen).

The major point we are making is that in today’s “gotta have it now” environment, good communication is the bedrock of great customer service. By the way, it is our goal and pledge to you that we always return all calls (emails, text messages, etc) as quickly as possible – preferably within a couple of hours and always on the same day unless received late in the evening and even then, within 24 hours.

Emails should be absent of too many grammatical errors (typos are excusable but poor grammar and spelling are signs of a lazy or uneducated person – not someone you want handling something as valuable and important as your real estate transaction!) Communication should be professional (while friendly) and direct – beware of anyone who seems to be ‘beating around the bush’ as this is often a sign that they are either uninformed or that they are trying to hide something.

My husband and I were very excited to start looking for our first home. We had some ideas of what we wanted but also had many questions and concerns about how it all worked. We quickly realized while looking online that we had too many unanswered questions. We were getting many “opinions” from family and friends but needed a expert to guide us. That is where Tim came into this important part of our lives. He took all the “guessing” and “opinions” out of the process and gave us the facts! Tim made buying our first home feel like the fun life changing event that it should be! He gave us the answers to all of our questions that we desperately needed, the guidance that we wanted, and the home of our dreams ( Tim’s negotiating skills saved us over 20k on our home)! We are so thankful to have had his expertise to make our home buying experience everything we had ever imagined. Thank you Tim!

Lauren and Chris (Ponte Vedra / Nocatee)

Tech-Savvy Marketing Skills: You would be absolutely amazed at the number of agents, today, who do not utilize email and text messaging; much less have any idea how to capitalize on the many tools and benefits offered by web technology. I’m not talking about owning a smart phone or an iPad; I’m talking about having an extensive web presence, extensive MLS expertise and a top place in the local and national marketing arena. You should be able to do an internet search of their name, their brokerage name, etc. and get dozens of results.

Top tech-savvy agents will have their own webpage and a strong blogging presence (our blog is #1 in Duval County on the popular ActiveRain real estate network) and they should be in complete control of those sites so that they can make changes and additions whenever needed. Anyone can pay someone else to create a web presence but top agents know how to develop it themselves.

Spirit of Tenacity: In the world of real estate it is common to run into obstacles with lenders, other agents, ancillary professionals (such as inspectors, appraisers, title company, etc.). The last thing you need is to have a passive agent who is unwilling to pick up the phone, get answers to questions and make things happen! Top real estate consultants go the extra mile; they don’t take “no” for an easy answer; they negotiate on your behalf to get the most favorable results FOR YOU. And, they think outside the box and look for creative solutions when the usual just isn’t adequate!

Adheres to The Golden Rule: When all is said and done, you need to be able to rest easy knowing that your real estate consultant is going to treat your transaction as if it were their own! ‘Nuff said!