How to Pick Your Realtor

“We would recommend  Ricky Lee Jones For a Realtor.   He was the best realtor we ever worked with and we have worked with several in Florida.  Ricky helped us from our first contact with him all the way to the closing on our Sunrise 1 bedroom condo purchase.  Ricky was very prompt answering our questions on his phone and by e-mail.  After closing he contacted us to make sure we were happy with everything,  or if we had any other questions.” -The Cater Family

If you are looking for a realtor to help you buy or sell a vacation home or condo, make sure you pick an agent that has the specific experience to meet your needs.  For example, if you are looking to purchase your first beachfront condo primarily as an investment and plan to rent it out extensively:

  • Identify the Top 10 agents in the vacation destination of your choice
  • Narrow that list to 3-4 by selecting agents that have lots of recent experience helping buyers purchase investment condos in this area
  • Interview those agents and focus on their knowledge of the condo market, insurance, and financing options
  • If possible, find agents that own investment condos and/or have experience managing vacation condo rentals
  • See if that agent can help you prepare a 10-year investment analysis that projects year by year cash flow and potential ROI

If you are selling your vacation home or condo, you can focus on many of the same items above.  However, don’t just pick the agent with the most listings.  As a seller, you want the personalized attention of your realtor, not some clerk in a large real estate office.  Pick an agent that is an expert in your resort or vacation community.  Also, select an agent that actually sells, not just lists, properties similar to yours.  An most importantly, pick an agent that you feel comfortable with and that you can trust.

Once you have narrowed your agent choices based upon the agent’s experience and criteria above, then get feedback from the buyers and sellers that the agent has worked with.  Don’t, however, let the agent handpick who you get to speak with.  Ask the agent for a list of EVERYONE they have represented in the past year. Do your own research – call someone who has no idea they will be called.  You are more likely to get an honest appraisal of the agent.

If you follow these steps, you will hopefully have not only a great real estate experience, but also a good friend for life.