Naples Realtor

Naples Real Estate Agent

In Southwest Florida, it seems that everyone you meet is a Realtor, has their real estate license or is related in the first degree to a Realtor. In Naples alone, there are over 4,000 licensed Realtors with the Naples Area Board of Realtors. With so many Realtors, does it really matter who you engage to assist you with your real estate needs? Why shouldn’t you use your friend that you met on the soccer field or your cousin who moved to Naples 6 months ago? Maybe the nice Realtor you met waiting in line at Publix is the right fit for you. Does it really matter? Over the last few months, we've had a number of transactions that without a doubt, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. It does matter who you work with.

While the soccer friend or nice agent you met at Publix might be the perfect Realtor for you, you cannot possibly know this by just meeting them outside of the real estate world. There are questions to be asked and a trial period that I would suggest you go through before you decide this is the Realtor to work with. After all, let’s be frank, your Realtor will get paid when you close on your house. Shouldn’t he/she earn his/her commission?

Let’s get started. The first question you should ask your Realtor is if they a full-time Realtor in the particular area that you are interested in buying or selling in. Why does this matter? Do you really need a full-time Realtor to open doors to houses you want to see? Well, I would suggest that if that is all you need a Realtor for, you probably don’t need a Realtor. After the door is opened to your potential new home, you will have to submit a reasonable close to market price offer on this house. Notice that I did not say close to asking price offer. Asking price, or list price, is not always market price. Sometimes market price is right at or above asking price. Sometimes it is significantly less. Especially in a tight real estate market like todays, it is important that your Realtor know the market, know the comparable sales and the current inventory available to purchasers. This way your Realtor can advise you on the market value of the house you are trying to purchase or trying to sell.

In addition, the price you offer is not the only important part of your offer. Our Naples sales contract is 10 pages long (this does not include addendums and amendments). The contract contains various terms and conditions and of course many items are negotiable. The contract also changes every year, and if your Realtor is not familiar with the changes, you could be the one to suffer. We recently spoke to someone who mentioned that they almost purchased a house using their Realtor, but they hesitated for perhaps an hour too long and a buyer that we were working with ended up purchasing it out from underneath them. While we were disappointed for them, we also knew that if their Realtor had simply written their offer differently, they likely would not have lost the deal.

After the offer and acceptance, there are many things that you need an experienced Realtor to help you with. From escrow deposits, general inspections, homeowners insurance, financing contingencies, surveys, elevation certificates, wind mitigations, 4 point inspections, association applications and approvals, negotiating defective item repairs, credits, etc. the list goes on and on. A buyer invests a significant amount of money in deposits alone. Deadlines are clearly laid out in the contract. If deadlines are not met, deposits can be at risk. Make sure you and your Realtor are aware of the deadlines, as missing the deadline could prevent you from negotiating inspection items or even put you in breach of contract, thereby putting your full deposit at risk.

Another quality you want to look for is whether your prospective Realtor is available and responsive to you. In today’s world of technology, agents should be accessible to you. If you leave a voicemail, you should get a response back by the end of the business day or sooner. Real estate is not a 9-5 business. I recently was trying to present a counteroffer to a Realtor who told me that she was part-time and couldn’t respond to me after 1 PM Monday - Friday! Her client was involved with a multiple offer situation on one of my listings. My seller was going to counteroffer and the deal would be wrapped up that night. If I was her client, I don’t think I would want my chance of getting the property to end just because my Realtor didn't work after 1 o’clock. The last thing I will say about that is that if your Realtor is not responsive to you, you can bet that they are not responsive to other agents. This is so important to you as a buyer or a seller and here’s why.

I was recently involved with a multiple offer situation where my buyer was trying to purchase a home. The listing agent and I were speaking multiple times a day, by text, email and phone, trying to hammer out a deal (Did i mention that I was also on vacation?). Then, the listing agent informed me that another offer had come in. My client submitted their best offer and we waited. After a long 24 hours, my buyer’s offer was chosen. The listing agent later told me that the offers basically identical, but she advised her Seller to go with my buyer’s offer because my buyer’s Realtor was available, responsive and courteous where the other Realtor was difficult to get a hold of and presented what we in the industry call a “sloppy contract.”

These are just a few examples of why it is important to know who you are working with. Your cousin who just moved to town might not be the best choice for you. The Realtor you meet at Publix or on the soccer field might not be a good fit, or they might be excellent. Do your homework. Ask them questions, see how their work ethic is and if they are meeting your expectations for responsiveness. Lastly, ask for testimonials or recommendations just as you would if you hired any other service professional.

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