Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent: 5 tips for Marco Island Buyers
A recent report by the Tampa Bay Times reported an astounding new statistic: 28,507 people earned their Florida Real Estate License in 2015. That increase puts Florida as the nation leader with 221,000 real estate agents! Even the small island community of Marco Island boasts over 400 real estate agents. With all those agents, seems impossible to find someone you can trust to help you buy or sell your home. Start with these 5 Florida-specific tips to find the right real estate agent for you.
1. Don’t use a real-estate rookie
Do you really want to trust your new home purchase to one of those 28 thousand agents who just earned their Real Estate License? A home is a very important investment so don’t take the risk! An experienced agent knows the secrets for getting the most out of your home-buying experience. Check the agents online bio, read a few reviews, or contact the state’s licensing authority to verify your agent's experience.
2. Is your real estate agent a full-time resident and full-time agent?
If you’re on a plane flying to Florida to find a vacation home, would you want your real estate agent to be on that same flight? Unfortunately, this can be the case in Florida. Some agents spend their winter months in the Sunshine State and their summer months back up north. An agent who splits time between two locations may not provide the best results or find the best deals.
Once you find a Florida agent, make sure real estate is their full-time job. Some agents use a real estate practice to make some extra income on nights and weekends. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent if they are fully committed to the industry. Their full-devotion will only improve your overall experience.
3. Find a good communicator
Even a normal home-purchasing process will take months. You read through hundreds of listings, and you spend your weekends walking through open houses. Once you’ve found the perfect place, it’s time for a few tall stacks of paperwork. Throughout this whole process, you’ll need an agent who can successfully communicate the answers to your many questions.
If you’re buying a Florida vacation home, the purchasing process could take even longer. You have a limited time in Florida - maybe two or three weeks - so you don’t have much time to find your dream home. When you leave for the season, will your home search end too? Or do you want an agent who can keep the process moving? If so, find an agent who will maintain the lines of communication, as he continues to search for your dream vacation home.
4. Do they have a strong local network?
Great real estate agents know selling a home is a matter of putting the listing in front of the right eyes. It’s a difficult process of matching the buyers wants and needs with what’s available on the market. In luxury communities like Naples and Marco Island, finding the right buyer is especially difficult. Buyers have particular needs and wants, but there is only a limited number of available homes. A well-connected real estate agent will use their network to connect buyers with the right listings.
A well-connected real estate agent will also be a great resource before, during, or after the purchase. They can recommend the best inspector in town, or maybe connect you with a landscape crew who will get your home sales-ready. Don’t hesitate to use their experience to improve the entire process.
5. Check your agent’s recent sales
As the old adage says, “the proof is in the pudding!” If you’re looking to list your property, check your agent’s recent sales. Do the properties fit your home specs? Does your agent have a history with luxury or beachfront homes? Select an agent who you think will best represent your needs and your home.
Ready to buy or sell with an experienced real estate agent? Contact Pat Wilkins today. He’s been representing satisfied customers on Marco Island for over 20 years. In 2004, Pat was the #1 Re/Max Real Estate Agent in the world.