When talking about residential real estate in Orlando, sellers will usually do extensive research before hiring a real estate agent that they feel comfortable with. They will ask family and friends for advice, research on line, read reviews, ask for references, etc. Then after coming up with several prospects, sellers will go a step even further and interview the potential realtor in person.
Buyers however, tend to be much less cautious with their approach. If a buyer looking for a home in the Orlando area sees a sign that says “Orlando homes for sale”, they will have no problem going with that real estate agent without knowing a thing about the person. They’ve just put this person in charge of their search for a new home without thinking twice.
Most potential home buyers tend to have a “What do I have to lose?” type of attitude. They figure that if the realtor shows them some houses that they like then that’s good and if not, then no big deal, they will just go to another one. In my opinion, this is a horrible approach and a buyer could end up paying more money for a house in the long run, not to mention the potential frustration it can cause you along the way.
Researching a Buyer’s agent is just as important as researching a listing agent.
Don’t rely solely on an advertisement to tell you what you need to know about an agent. Sure, the agent will probably have ads about homes that will most likely contain a nice set of photos, a brief summary of the property’s major amenities, and a stated asking price, etc. Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are important for an ad as far as making it “eye catching” so that a buyer will want to see the property. However, this tells you absolutely nothing about the agent that you will be working with.
Here are a few things you should focus on when looking to hire a buyer’s agent.
Experience: Find out how many years of experience the realtor has in the area that you are interested in. You want an agent that will know a good deal [based on the criteria that you’ve given them] as soon as it hits the market.
Education and training: Although nothing takes the place of experience in the real estate industry, it’s important to know that your agent has had the proper training and education in order for them to be a successful buyer’s agent. Find out if they have any special endorsements in their area of expertise.
Track record: Buying a house will be one of, if not the most important decision of your lifetime. This is why you should hire someone with an excellent track record as a buyer’s agent. How many houses have they sold in the past 6 months, year, etc. Also, ask for references from past clients. If they say that they don’t have any, then something’s wrong and I suggest that you keep looking.
Area of Expertise? Although many Orlando real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers, it’s far better for the buyer to seek out a buyer’s agent. This is a real estate agent that specializes in locating houses for potential buyers. They are on the MLS everyday seeking out houses for potential buyers and are highly tuned in to what’s for sale in their farm area.
A good real estate agent, whether you’re buying or selling, is there to look out for your best interest. Looking for and finding you a house that meets your criteria is just the beginning. A good real estate agent will walk you through the entire process and make sure that everything gets done correctly legally. From negotiating the price to setting up home inspections to closing the transaction, having a good realtor in your corner will save you time and money.