Almost 10 years ago, I wrote a similar article and had to do a refresh because Real Estate HAS changed. When choosing a Miami Realtor, you do research, you ask around and you look at real estate sales and movement in your area - but do you know what to ask a Miami Realtor once they are in front of you? Here are some basic questions you should ask to help you make an informed decision when choosing a Realtor.
1. Are they in Real Estate Full Time?
This is huge since a lot in the industry have had to take second jobs to supplement their income. You want to make sure that the professional you choose can handle and is focused in handling your real estate needs at a moment's notice.
2. Do they leverage technology?
Especially with COVID, old-timers are falling through the cracks because their traditional methods are just not good enough. It's not only about virtual tours and zoom calls - are they doing virtual open houses? Are they doing digital staging and live walk-throughs? Do they analyze data to know who the perfect audience for your property is? How comfortable are they with the newest tech?
3. Are they multi-lingual?
Communication is key between parties and that's the number one objection we hear from our customers about the real estate industry. Ask how your Realtor will communicate with you during the process - regular e-mails, phone calls, smoke signals, snail-mail, telex (I'm dating myself here).
4. How will they promote, push and plug your property?
The word "marketing" can be very broad. Make sure the agent details their marketing plan with specifics - Social Media, Print advertising, Internet and Traditional methods. Placing a property in the MLS and putting a sign in front of a property is not enough in today's market, and neither is a pretty magazine that no one looks at.
5. Who will show the property?
Ask who will show your property - will they have an assistant available or will they use the legendary lock-box? If this is important to you, make sure you ask. I would also make sure to ask who will have the keys to your property and how will access be granted if they are not the ones showing the property. Also, do they have a COVID-19 showing Protocol to keep you and everyone safe?
6. Do they answer their phone?
I know this seems trivial, but you would be surprised how few agents answer their phone and actually return messages in a prompt manner.
7. Do they have paparazzi qualities?
This is the number one complaint from buyers today - when looking for properties they skip the ones without photos or the ones with bad or few photos. Make sure you ask your agent how quickly they will photograph the property and include those photos in all marketing and who will take the photos. (there's an inside joke in the industry about agents who photograph toilets). Sometimes a creative eye that discriminates a particular property feature will attract traffic to the listing. And professional photography is a MUST!!
Virtual tours and 3D walk-throughs have become standard today - how are they featuring your property so it stands out against the competition?
8. Can they dance?
Once your property is under contract - how do they manage the transaction? Are they experienced in dealing with all the problems and objections of today's real estate market. Do they have a complete team of problem solvers that will bring the transaction to closing? Many contracts that fall through due to poor transaction management.
9. Do they sleep around?
Will they look out for your best interest or theirs? This is a difficult question to ask and you need to be able to discriminate against true and honest answers. One quick hint is if all they talk about is them, their achievements and their awesomeness and fail to bring you into the equation.
10. How annoying are they?
It is customary for agents to keep in touch with you so you remember them and refer them business. It's never a bad idea to ask how they plan to do this. This is very personal since you may not mind drip campaigns for the rest of your life made up of postcards and recipes, phone calls and inquiries. But this is also a great way to learn about the agent's business practice.