How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent: Which Qualities are Really Important

linda-ginsberg

When choosing a real estate agent, it is essential to consider a wide range of qualities to ensure you find the right person to help you buy or sell your property. Hiring the right real estate agent is crucial for many reasons: expertise and guidance, time and stress savings, negotiation skills, access to listings, network of professionals, market insights, personalized service, marketing expertise, emotional support, cost efficiency, risk mitigation, and more. Here are some important qualities to look for in a real estate agent and how I personally meet those needs.

Experience

An agent with years of experience could be both a positive and negative trait. Experienced agents are sometimes set in their ways  and do not evolve over time, they might not be a tech savvy, and they might not be as hungry to get a deal to closing as a newer agent. Most newer agents will work with more seasoned agents until they have a few deals under their belt, so you are getting the drive and experience at the same time. (I have been licensed since 2019, have been in real estate support since 2007, am constantly taking continuing education classes, and am driven to beat my prior goals)

Local Market Knowledge

They should have in-depth knowledge of the local housing market, including neighborhoods, pricing trends, and amenities. This is important, but remember, the market changes quickly and it is sometimes better to have a hard working agent that will take the time to research current information than rely on what they read a few weeks prior. (I have lived in Naples since 1999, I have seen the evolution of different communities and the landscape, what I do not know off the top of my head, I will research and get you the most current data)

Professionalism

A professional demeanor, including punctuality and clear communication, is crucial. There is nothing more frustrating than working with an agent that doesn't answer their phone. Agents need to be available based on their customer's schedule, respond quickly, and work well with other agents and support people like attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, and title companies. (I am punctual - always, I answer my phone from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. and sometimes later - the only time I will not answer my phone is if I am with another customer, I am available on holidays, nights and weekends, and have a great working relationship with real estate related vendors)

Credentials

Ensure they are not only a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed Realtor® who has a higher level of accountability. Many Realtors have designations and while this shows they have had extensive training in certain areas, some might have trained but didn't pay the fee to remain active - this does not take away the fact that they have had extra training. (I am a licensed Realtor® and am consistently taking continuing education classes as well as having attained the following designations: SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist, RSPS - Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist, and SRS - Seller Representative Specialist)

References

Ask for references or check online reviews from past clients, Google is a great place to look. (Google Linda Ginsberg Premiere Plus Realty Naples Real Estate, read my 5.0 star reviews)

Negotiation Skills

A good agent should be a skilled negotiator to get you the best deal, and at the same time, have a good relationship with other agents in order to work through the difficult bumps in the road. (I am constantly fine tuning my negotiation skills and use my relationships with other agents to get the best deal and terms for my customers)

Availability

They should be accessible when you need them and responsive to your inquiries. Many agents have set boundaries regarding their daily hours, days they will and will not work; and that is okay if that is their business model. Most of the time, this just does not work for most buyers and sellers. (I am available on holidays, nights and weekends, and make it a point of being available when the customer needs me)

Network

A strong network of contacts, including other agents and professionals, can be beneficial in the process. (Over the years, I have acquired a number of professionals and vendors I trust and respect and will be happy to share those names with you)

Marketing Skills

Look for an agent who can effectively market your property if you're selling or help you find the right listings if you're buying. (I do extensive marketing through ads, social media, and networking)

Honesty and Integrity

Trustworthiness is vital in a real estate agent, as they handle sensitive financial transactions. (The dealings with my customers are transparent, they know exactly what is going on; all of their personal information and reasons for buying and selling are kept confidential)

Communication Skills

They should be able to explain complex concepts and keep you informed throughout the process. (I work with seasoned buyers and sellers as well as first-timers and am happy to explain how things work throughout the transaction in easy to understand language)

Tech-Savvy

In today's digital age, proficiency with real estate technology and online marketing is a plus. (I am constantly taking classes and reading up on new techology and different ways of utilizing it to become more efficient in helping my customers)

Problem-Solving Skills

Real estate transactions can be complex; an agent should be able to navigate challenges effectively. (No two transactions are the same, but I pride myself on working out problems to come up with the best solution for my customers)

Patience

A patient agent will take the time to understand your needs and won't rush you into decisions. (I am patient and will give you as much time as you need; I will also let you know when there is a good deal that shouldn't be passed up. I have worked with customers for years until they found that perfect property)

Market Analysis

Ability to provide accurate market analysis to help you make informed decisions.(I have access to many resources that will analyze market data in different ways, helping you make informed decisions)

Availability of Resources

Adequate support staff and resources can make the process smoother. (I work with an incredible group of lenders, attorneys, and title companies - I provide suggestions, the customer makes the final decision who they are best suited to work with)

Flexibility

An agent who can adapt to your changing needs is valuable. (I have patience and I understand life situations change. Whether you start out looking for condos and later decide on a single family home or change from looking in gated communities to areas that allow you to have an in-law suite - I easily work with you to meet your goals)

Ethical Standards

Ensure they adhere to ethical standards and follow the real estate code of conduct. (As a licensed Realtor®, I must follow a strict code of ethics and do so willingly)

Creativity

Thinking outside the box can be an advantage in finding or marketing properties. (No two transactions are ever the same. Based on the customer's needs, I come up with creative ways that will achieve their goals and close the transaction)

Empathy

A compassionate agent who understands your personal situation can provide better service. (My one goal is to help the customer purchase or sell their home with the best possible terms for them. If a bump in the road should arise, and their situation changes, I work with the customer based on their needs, not mine)

Remember that the right real estate agent for you may also depend on your specific needs and preferences. Take your time to interview several agents and choose one who aligns with your goals and values.

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