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How to Spot a Great Realtor

How to Spot a Great Realtor if you are Buying a New Home in Florida

How to Spot a Great Realtor

Having a positive home-buying experience means working with a skilled buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can help you find homes you’d never see on Zillow, can help you negotiate with sellers, and can help you make competitive offers in a tight market. 

The best buyer’s agents also know the neighborhood and the local market inside and out, so they can help you choose the house where you’ll be happiest. Good Realtors know which questions to ask you to ensure they know what to show you. A Realtor can also be an excellent source of information about the buying process itself.

You’ll only make the most of these benefits by finding a Realtor with whom you work well. Here are a few tips for finding a Realtor who is just right for you. 

Ask for Referrals 

Do you know friends, coworkers, or family members who have recently bought or sold homes? Ask them which Realtors they used and whether they were happy with the experience. Pay particular attention to the recommendations of those who bought homes, as you’ll be looking for a buyer’s agent, not a seller’s agent.

Asking for referrals can help you develop a list of Realtors to research. Working from this shorter list can be a boon since there are often hundreds of Realtors operating in any given city at any given time. 

Once you have a list, you can start researching Realtors one by one. 

Ask Your Mortgage Lender

Are you the first person in your family or friend group to buy a house? Are you brand new to the area and thus don’t know anyone here? Your mortgage lender can be an outstanding resource and can usually provide you with some names. 

You should get pre-approved for a mortgage before you choose a Realtor and before you start touring houses. That means you’ll select a mortgage lender before you choose a Realtor, making this easy information to ask for. 

Alex Doce has decades of experience and knows Realtors here in the Ft. Lauderdale area, and other counties. If you give him some information about what matters to you when choosing a Realtor, he can give you some pre-vetted referrals. 

Choose a Realtor, Not a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is someone who has completed coursework and passed a licensing exam. A Realtor is someone who has joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and who has agreed to follow the Realtor’s Code of Ethics. You can report a Realtor who violates these ethics, which means you have recourse you don’t have when working with a mere real estate agent.

All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. Choosing a Realtor means knowing the person you’ll be working with will have your best interests at heart throughout the buying process. 

Check The Realtor’s Online Presence 

Start with the Realtor’s website. Does it provide in-depth, helpful information about the buying process? Does it offer overviews of the different neighborhoods the Realtor serves? Or is the website primarily self-promotional?

Look at the types of houses they’re showing on their website as well. Does it match the type of house you’re looking for? Realtors who focus primarily on placing buyers into multi-million dollar homes aren’t going to be excited to help a first-time homebuyer purchase their condo. 

Finally, look at reviews, both on-site and off. What do past buyers have to say about working with the Realtor? Did most buyers feel the Realtor was attentive, communicative, knowledgeable, and polite? 

Check Certifications

It’s always a good idea to seek a Realtor who has completed additional education and certifications. For example, an ABR certification tells you the Realtor is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) has completed additional training in residential real estate. 

If you’re a senior, you might want someone with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) certificate. 

A lack of additional certifications doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it can nevertheless help you determine whether a Realtor can meet your unique needs. 

Interview the Short List

If possible, take the time to meet each Realtor in person. Often, you can do this while touring open houses that the Realtor is hosting. Ask about the Realtor’s experience, observe how they treat you, and ask whether they work full-time or part-time. You can also ask how they’ll help you stay competitive and whether they have references they’re willing to share.

You’re not just evaluating the answers to these questions, of course. You’re considering how well you get along with the Realtor and how you feel in their presence. You’ll most likely work with the Realtor for several months, so it’s essential for you to feel comfortable around them. 

Eliminate any Realtor who makes you uncomfortable. Check and verify the references of the Realtors you like, and then choose the ones you’re most impressed with. 

Ready to take the first step? 

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage ensures you’re prepared to buy when you start interviewing Realtors. Plus, Alex’s  5-star reviews tell you that any Realtor we recommend is going to be a good one. 

Get guidance on the right mortgage from Alex Doce and The Doce group. Alex and his team will help you meet your housing goals! 

Written By:

Alex Doce

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