The 10 Biggest Mistakes you can make when choosing a Miami Realtor
Why choosing an unexperienced Miami realtor can be the biggest mistake you ever made
How to choose a Miami Realtor (For buyers and sellers)
Real Estate transactions and the involvement of realtors differ from country to country. Firstly, it is a mistake to think that real estate in Miami works like it does in your own country. In Brazil or Europe for example, you do not have a system like the MLS (Multiple Listing System) in which all Miami realtors upload their listings for everyone to see. So unlike most other countries, where different agents have access to different properties, in Miami all agents can see and offer you the exact same properties. This does not mean however, that you will get the same advice from each agent in Miami. The fact that each Miami realtor has access to the same properties does not take away from the fact that you need to screen them on experience and knowledge.
We summed up the pitfalls of picking the wrong agent and we explain how to pick the right one!
As a preferred Miami Real Estate Agent – David Siddons thinks out of the box and markets its listings with great professionalism and care. Below is one of our exclusive listing videos
The 10 biggest mistakes when choosing a Miami realtor
- Choosing a friend or a family member as your realtor just to do them a favor (do yourself a favor instead!)
- Selecting an agent without experience or a track record or someone who does this besides his or her main job. HINT: Avoid agents who say: I can sell you a home, manage it, renovate it and and broker your mortgage. You have heard the term: A jack of all trades and a master of none!
- Selecting an agent without any negotiating power (a popular technique seen in agents who just want to get the deal done and to move on).
- Selecting an agent without knowledge of the condo or neighborhood in which you want to buy or which you are selling.
- Selecting an agent who doesn’t know the market numbers and therefore cannot compare neighborhoods, streets or condos with one another nor does he/she know when you are overpaying for a property OR when you are selling it below market value.
- Selecting an agent who doesn’t know what questions to ask or what pitfalls to look for when purchasing a property.
- Selecting an agent whose arguments to buy a property are: “The kitchen looks good“, ” The pool is amazing“. Good investment properties can be backed up by good numbers and market analytics that show the future trends and historical stats of the surrounding neighborhood.
- Selecting an agent who is in it for the quick money and not for a long term business goal which is based on good referrals and longevity.
- Selecting an agent who doesn’t know the future developments in a certain area.
- Selecting a selling agent who won’t work for his listing and won’t invest his own time or money.
- HINTS: Cell phone pictures for listings, never picking up the phone and not showing the property in the weekends are all severe signs you should change your realtor
How to select your Miami buyer’s agent
First of all, the mere fact that you even picked a buyer’s agent already makes you a star! There are many buyers who decide to do it all on their own and they often get misled into bad investments. In Miami, using a buyer’s agent is FREE for the buyer! Yes, such a thing exists! The selling party will pay the commission to both agents and its statistically proven that you wont get a discount by not using one, so take advantage!!
Would you take stock advice from someone who just got an e-trader account and started trading stocks for the first time?
Do they have access to stocks? YES! But, are they equipped to make you money? NO!
Why? Because they don’t have enough experience and market information to read the market properly.
The same goes for the Miami Real Estate Market.
Real Life example: After we sold a property of a client of ours, the buying agent asked “What are they going to build in front and how many stories will it be? I hope it doesn’t block my client’s views! It was only Brickell’s most talked about Brickell City Centre complex, which was announced years ago – Choose your buyer’s agent wisely!
Does your realtor know the Urban Development plan and future projects that might block your city or water views? Do your research, and pick the realtor with a track record and market knowledge! has about 140,000 realtors and everyone knows someone who is a realtor. Most of these agents however, have had their license for just a short period of time, lacking a great deal of experience. Many others realtors have a normal day job and a real estate license on the side, waiting for an opportunity to come up and to make some fast cash without too much effort
Which questions to ask when selecting a potential Miami realtor
- How long has the agent been in business for and how many deals has the agent closed? (you don’t want to be their guinea pig with $1M at stake!
- Has the agent done multiple deals already and does he know the tricks of the trade?
- Has the agent dealt with likewise properties before and therefore knows what questions to ask or what pittfals to look for?
- Can the agent recommend the best in business? (The best lawyers, the best property inspectors etc)
- Is the agent an experienced negotiator who can get that deal for you against the best possible price?
- Ask the agent for references of prior clients.
- Market Knowledge
- Does the agent know the demographics and the (socio) economics in the condo or neighborhood of your choice?
- Does the agent know about urban planning and future developments?
- Does the agent know the numbers in a certain condo or neighborhood?
- Can he recognize trends or ‘predict’ future market movements based on historic data and get you a complete market overview and explanation of this market overview?
- Does he know the average sales prices per Sq.Ft in a street or in a condo to protect you from overpaying for a property?
- Can your realtor easily compare prices of different neighborhoods or condos?
- Can your agent distinguish the different condos based on some key market data and can he explain why a certain house or a certain condo offers great value for the money?
- Buyer and Seller behavior psychology
- Does he know about Buyer and seller behaviour psychology?
- The ethical aspect
- In the case of pre-construction condos especially, different developers offer agents different commission percentages. Make sure your agent doesn’t steer you into a certain condo just to get a better commission. Make sure your agent has your best interest in mind and not his highest commission check. It has become common for agents to push pre construction over resales because the commission they make is double!
- Relationship with other Agents
- For Pocket listings: Sometimes agents have pocket listings which are not on the MLS, or upcoming listings that are not marketed yet. A well connected agent will know of this via his network and he will be able to get you a property of which others didn’t even know it was selling.
- For pre-construction condos: The introduction or early phase of a new condo project is normally when the best deals can be made. A well connected agents will receive information and prices of new projects before other agents do! Moreover, developers will prefer to work with well established agents making it easy to get appointments and preferential treatment
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How to select your Miami seller’s agent or listing agent?
Sellers often say; “Everyone can see my property on the MLS, so why does it matter who lists this property?”
It matters a lot!!! When it comes to a listing agent the same pitfalls arise as stated above. Sellers choose a friend’s friend or a family member who just got the license. They don’t know the market prices and can underprice your property (and get their money quickly) or overprice the property and have it sit on the market for ages.
For selling agents the Marketing and Sales techniques are crucial besides negotiation skills and ofcourse market knowledge
Unfortunately, many realtors are given great responsibilities but are not willing to actually work for their clients. Pictures like the one depicted here are quite common. This is a multi million dollar property with great views. However the pictures are often too dark to show the room or they don’t show the potential of the property. Realtors often use cell phones with a filter on it or take pics that are not even clear. A good realtor will market your property with care and he/she will have a professional photographer come in!
What to keep in mind when selecting a listing agent?
- How does the agent market your property?
- How will the agent take pictures of your property? Professionally or with his own cell phone?
- How big is the agent’s client database?
- Does the agent have international outreach with his company or within his own group?
- What if someone wants to see your property on a Sunday morning – is the agent willing to go show it in the weekend?
- Is the agent going to organize open houses?
- Does the agent use social media to market this property or any other important websites?
- Does the agent use any other marketing material that sets him apart from the other agents? Eg. videos, glossy flyers, global campaigns and so forth
- Does the agent have a high ranking and presentable website?
- Does the agent always answer his phone? Or is it hard to reach him?
- How many properties has this agent listed / sold in his career?
- Does the agent have experience with this kind of listings and the potential buyers it attracts?
- Market knowledge
- Can your agent tell you which likewise properties have sold in the last half year, and what they have sold for?
- Can your agent tell you which properties are your 5 biggest competitors in the market right now and how your property distinguishes itself in today’s market?
- Negotiating techniques
- How are the agent’s negotiating techniques to get you the best price? Does he normally sell close to asking price?
About David Siddons – Coral Gables Luxury Real Estate Agent
David is a Chairmans Club: ‘Diamond Level’ (Top 1/2% of realtors nationwide) producing agent for EWM International and Christies. He lives with his wife and 2 daughters in Coral Gables and his offices are also located in the Gables. Originally from the UK, his natural discipline and work horse ethic is well suited to his passion for testing sports – Triathlon’s and Ironman races to name a few. David and his team consistently serve clients across the Miami-Dade county, specializing in selling property in the luxury neighborhoods of: Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Brickell, Downtown, Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Aventura and Sunny Isles. “Our aim has been to give our clients a serious competitive advantage by providing them with the most useful analysis in their specific required market. We seasonally provide reports on the respective neighborhoods and highlighting the best deals as well as trends and figures that will further impact that neighborhood.