In today’s competitive real estate market consumers don’t always know what differentiates agents working in the market. It is not uncommon to find agents trying to “break into” a community that they are not experienced in by purchasing advertising that says they are the market experts. Often consumers don’ t realize that all Realtors are not the same, and choosing the wrong agent to market your property could cost you thousands of dollars or even worse, not getting a deal at all.
The real estate market in Southwest Florida can be quite diverse and various segments of the market perform differently based on market conditions. Especially when you are working in a market like Fort Myers Beach where there is a huge variety of factors that affect the market value of homes for sale, (monthly vs weekly rentals, waterfront, beach and boating access etc.) choosing an agent that studies the market daily and can explain some of the intricacies can make a huge difference.
There is often pressure to use the agent you meet at an open house, or a friend of a friend etc. and in some cases that may be the perfect agent for you. Our suggestion would be to take some time research the agent, ask for references and talk to past clients. Many consumers do not realize that there are minimum requirements to get a real estate license in Florida. Just because someone is a FL Real Estate Licensee or goes a step further and becomes a Realtor (subject to the National Realtor Association Code of Ethics) does not mean they have the skills necessary to successfully close a transaction. We see this everyday with people getting licensed expecting to have a successful real estate career only to be out of the business in a few years. There is a great deal that can go wrong in a real estate transaction and picking the right agent is usually the first step in having a successful closing.
Agents have a great deal of flexibility of how property is marketed to consumers and choosing an agent with an effective, proven, marketing plan matters. In Southwest Florida the “average agent” sells less than one home a year and agents that are selling one or two homes a year typically don’t invest in marketing. Some agents even go far as to offer their clients a reduced commission to try and win the business. While this may sound good on the surface the truth is, just like everything else, you get what you pay for. An agent that can stand up to their client and prove their worth by explaining their marketing plan, experience, and past client reviews will do a far better job negotiating on your behalf.
If you are considering buying or selling a home in Southwest Florida don’t loose, take the time to choose an agent based on objective criteria that will set you up for success!