What To Look For In A Real Estate Agent
Home Buyers Beware!
Who should home buyers trust with one of the most important(and expensive) decisions of their lifetime?
Most consumers are so wrapped up in the excitement of the home buying process that they often overlook the most important part, selecting the best real estate agent to represent them.
Here are the top 11 criteria to consider when selecting a real estate agent to assist you in the purchase of your next home, condo or investment property:
1. Experience - No home buyer wants to be at the mercy of a new real estate agent just learning the ropes, especially when there is a lot of money at stake! Always work with a licensed real estate professional who has been practicing for at least five years. An agents' level of experience is usually what determines where you buy and how much you end up paying, so this is particularly important! William True, Broker of True Real Estate, has been in the real estate business for decades. His team of exclusive buyer agents have over 100 years of combined professional experience. In 2012, True Real Estate sold over a square mile of the State of Florida!In 2013, William True was inducted into the REALTOR REBAC Hall of Fame, the third inductee in Florida's history. Nationwide, only a few dozen REALTORS have earned this highly respected honor.
William True teaching at the Sarasota Association of Realtors®
2. Education - Unfortunately, the entry barriers to the real estate industry are relatively low. In fact, more than 50% of licensed agents failed the Florida real estate exam the first time they took the test. In Florida, agents can take the multiple choice test as many times as they need to until they eventually pass. Then, believe it or not, they are free to practice real estate. William True graduated from New York University's prestigious School of Education, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989. While attending NYU, he was elected Student Senator and served roughly 15,000 students in the School of Education.
3. Exclusive Buyer Agents Only! - Whether you are driving down the street or surfing the net, when you find a home of interest, it is tempting to call the agent whose name is on the yard sign or MLS. But wait, the agent who lists the property works for the seller, not you! You need an Exclusive Buyer Agent or EBA, who works for a brokerage that does not take listings. Agents are frequently offered incentives by their brokerage for selling in-house listings, so make sure the company you hire never lists property or works for sellers.
The listing agents protects the seller, EBA's protect you, the buyer. Be sure to find a real estate company, like True Real Estate, that ONLY works with buyers!
4. Representation - Most brokerages in Florida act as "Transaction Brokers", meaning they represent the transaction itself, not you. While many home buyers may think that their agent is acting solely in their best interest, this is true less than 5% of the time. In Florida, all licensed real estate professionals who actually represent consumers must act as "Single Agents".
At True Real Estate, we always act as Single Agents. This means we have fiduciary duties and actually represent you with 100% loyalty and confidentiality.
5. Certifications and Designations - In any profession, staying on top of your business through continuing education is key to becoming an expert in your field. In the real estate business, industry leaders take their education to the next level and are recognized by earning critically important professional certifications and designations.
William True has earned more professional certifications and designations than any other real estate professional in the State of Florida(and 48 other States) including:
- ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative
- ABRM - Accredited Buyer Representative Manager
- BPOR - Broker Price Opinion Resource
- AHWD - At Home with Diversity
- CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist
- CLHMS - Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
- CNHS - Certified New Home Specialist
- CNE - Certified Negotiation Expert
- CRB - Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
- CRS - Certified Residential Specialist
- e-PRO - Online/Internet Real Estate Professional
- GREEN Designation
- GRI - Graduate, Realtor Institute
- RCC - Residential Construction Certified
- RSPS - Resort & Second Home Property Specialist
- SFR - Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource
- SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist
- TRC - Transnational Referral Certification
- BAC- Brilliant Agent Certified
6. Full Time Professionals - While we love our job at True Real Estate, this is not our hobby! We are full time professionals. We stay busy representing educated home buyers, get a lot of practice and are always on our toes! An agent who only handles one or two deals per year, does not practice sufficiently to stay current. Real estate to the part-time practitioner is more of a hobby, less of a career. Make sure your agent is a full time real estate professional!
7. REALTOR® vs Licensed Real Estate Agent - When an individual passes the Florida Real Estate Exam, they become licensed to assist others in the business of real estate. Then, if they so choose, licensed professionals can join the National Association of REALTORS® in which they swear to adibe by the NAR's Code of Ethics and gain access to the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. It is highly recommended that all home buyers should use a REALTOR® whenever possible.
All licensed real estate professionals at True Real Estate are REALTORS® in good standing.
8. Local Knowledge - An agent needs to reside in their community for at least a decade to really know the ins and outs and maintain "local" status. At True Real Estate, we leave no stone unturned. We are extraordinarily proficient with community knowledge and can consistently offer insight helpful to your home buying process.
The entire team at True Real Estate is made up of seasoned professionals, well versed in local knowledge. Ask us anything!
9. No "Brokerage Fees" or Contracts - Most real estate companies charge home buyers an "administrative fee" or "brokerage fee". For example, in the Sarasota County market, Coldwell Banker chargers buyers up to $345.00 and Remax charges fees up to $395.00, ouch! At True Real Estate, we charge you nothing. Like our competitors, our commission is paid by the seller. The big difference here is that we feel no need for double dipping by reaching into your pocket! So our Five Star service is always free to you, the home buyer.
While most Exclusive Buyer Brokerages require you to sign a contract obligating you to use their services, at True Real Estate, we are so confident in our abilities, that you will never be asked to sign anything that is not in your best interest. After all, that is our job!
10. Pay it Forward! - There are many ways to give back to one's community. As a Florida State Licensed Real Estate Instructor, William True holds educational seminars for his fellow REALTORS®, teaching real estate technology at the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, the Venice Board of Realtors® and other professional associations, with all proceeds donated to the hosting association. He has taught many new agents the real estate business, some of whom have gone on to open their own successful brokerages.
11. Personal Traits - People work with who they like and think will do the best job! William True is an Advanced PADI Open Water SCUBA diver and former US Coast Guard licensed Captain. True enjoys the Florida lifestyle and has lived here for over 25 years. His interests include teaching, traveling, investing in real estate, windsurfing, boating and his three Labrador Retrievers.
Call William True at (941) 284-4004 to get started today!