Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

Dec 16, 2020 December 16, 2020

We all know someone who is a real estate agent. If you live in a major city, you probably know of many. Some are into commercial real estate, some seem to sell houses, others, you’re not so sure. And then there are big real estate agencies. You see their advertisements everywhere… But are they good? Do you know how to find the right real estate agent for you?!  

If you’ve asked yourself the same questions, and thought, “well, my brother-in-law is a realtor, I’ll use him…”  or “that gorgeous girl I met the other night, she’s a realtor, I’ll call her. She must be good,” you could be making some of the most common mistakes people make when looking for the best real estate agent. And these mistakes can be costly. What if I told you that you need to put in as much thought into hiring your real estate agent as you would someone to legitimately work for you?  

Believe it. If you are a seller, buyer or renter, you want to get the best price possible, in the shortest period of time, professionally and smoothly, and this means you need to know how to find a real estate agent who really works well for you. Who can act as your financial advisor, business partner, and simply someone who looks out for your best interest. So, you need to know both the good signals and red flags to watch out when looking for the right real estate agent for you.


TOP 12 mistakes people often make when hiring a real estate agent




12. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent based on Their Looks or Because of Attraction

Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent based on Their Looks or Because of Attraction


Just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a realtor by his or her looks. They may look like a million bucks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will help you make millions on your home sale.

So, when you sit down to talk with your prospective agent, it’s best to leave emotions and personal preferences outside and focus on more practical aspects of the sale. Key questions to ask would be what’s their experience in the market you are focused on, details on their most recent transactions, whether they have any prior experience handling a property such as yours, and how they plan to uphold your best interest throughout the process. Do not pay attention to things like the car they drive, the labels they wear, their fitness or your attraction to them, or their seeming popularity.


11. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Based on How They Dress

11. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Based on How They Dress


Almost on the same line as the point above, simply dressing sharp (read in a suit, rare watches and luxury bags, etc...) does not guarantee a smart marketer or sharp negotiator. Dressing cannot be equated with a person’s IQ or EQ. There are many instances of real estate agents dressing nonchalantly and yet having a track record of making record-breaking sales.

Key questions to ask a realtor to test their intelligence would be is the market in a favorable cycle for buyers or sellers, do you have a proper marketing plan for my home, what is a reasonable profit I can look to make off my property, what’s the average days on market for a home like mine?


10. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Because They Helped You Before

10. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Because They Helped You Before


I am not suggesting that going to someone familiar is not a good idea. The point is that your last realtor may or may not be the right person for the job this time. Simply put, although they may have been a great buyer’s agent or an expert at renting out your property, they may not have the relevant expertise to sell, or vice versa. Say you moved from a house into a condo and now you want to sell your condo. Is the realtor who specializes in selling houses the right person to sell your condo? Maybe, maybe not.

A key point when thinking about how to find a real estate agent who is right for you centers on what they specialize in. Most real estate agents specialize in a type of property and/or area of a city. So, while thinking about choosing a realtor you’ve worked with previously is a great starting point, it shouldn’t be your only option. Key questions to ask would be what kind of properties do they specialize in, what’s their area of specialty in terms of transaction type, and do they understand your property/neighborhood?


9. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent based on Social Media Profiles or an Online Ad

9. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent based on Social Media Profiles or an Online Ad

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash


There are agents who have loads of eye candy full of gorgeous homes, are funny, and have thousands of followers on their Instagram or Facebook profiles. Maybe you’re thinking about hiring them. Think again. Entertainment and expert knowledge are two very different things. Social media profiles shouldn’t be taken as testimony of anyone’s experience.

Same is true if you see a flurry of online ads in your feed for a real estate agent on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Zillow, or Trulia. Just because they claim that they are the “Best” or “No. 1” does not mean that they are. Do your homework and ask around. If you’re still putting such individuals in the mix with the rest of the candidates you shortlisted, here are a few questions you must ask: “What is their track record of sales?” “What have they sold similar to your property in the past 6-12 months?” Do they have any references or testimonials to back their performance? And finally, be sure to ask if they will be your actual realtor, or will they just pass you on to one of their assistants.


8. Don’t Choose Friends or Family, Just Because… (you feel obligated, want to be nice, etc.)

8. Don’t Choose Friends or Family, Just Because… (you feel obligated, want to be nice, etc.)


One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring a real estate agent just because he or she is a friend or family member. Of course, it’s understandable that you would have a certain level of trust and affinity towards such a person, and you want to “keep it in the family,” but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for hiring them. Be sure this friend or family member works in the area of your property. Just because you live in the same city doesn’t mean they have the expertise for that submarket/neighborhood, or availability to drive across town for a last minute showing.

Key questions to ask in this case would be am I willing to jeopardize personal relationships in case things do not work out? Do they have the relevant experience for a deal like this, do they have the expertise to see the deal to closing and check all the legal documents? If you do hire them, set a professional tone between the both of you from the beginning.


7. Don’t Choose Someone without Checking References

7. Don’t Choose Someone without Checking References


It’s always amazing to see people read up on a million reviews before buying a smartphone, but they won’t look into references before hiring a real estate agent. Past client testimonials and references offer great insight into the work ethic of your prospective realtor. Getting unbiased references and recommendations of prior clients’ experiences with the agent is key. Also, a look into the real estate agent’s social networking timeline can be great too since a lot of people leave appreciation or recommendation messages on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Key questions to ask references would be how was their overall experience, how close or off was the sale from its list price, was the agent proactive or responsive, was there anything they wished the agent would have done differently?


6. Don’t Choose a “Yes” Person

6. Don’t Choose a “Yes” Person

Photo by fauxels from Pexels


Just like in good friendships, steer clear of agents who agree to “everything” you say. The simple reason here is that if they are saying “yes” to everything, they either do not comprehend all that you’re saying, are holding back on what you need to hear and/or are just trying to get your business only to tell you the truth once they have hooked you into a contract. You need an agent who can provide accurate and timely guidance on things that you might generally overlook, as well as be a good negotiator on your behalf. After all, what good is hiring a professional if they do not bring any expertise and honest guidance to the table?


5. Don’t Choose Someone who Promises the Highest Price

5. Don’t Choose Someone who Promises the Highest Price


Just because the real estate agent listed your property at the highest price, doesn’t mean it will sell for that much. In fact, an overpriced listing can do more harm than good. For one, it will scare away potential buyers by putting it out of their range. Second, overpriced homes tend to sit much longer on the market, adding to their days on market, which indicates a potential red flag to buyers. Third, eventually you’ll need to lower the price, losing time, energy and negotiating power in the process.

Key questions to ask the real estate agent suggesting the highest price is how they figured such a high price, and what comparable properties in the neighborhood have recently sold for that signal that valuation?


4. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent with the Lowest Commission

4. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent with the Lowest Commission

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

While it’s true that commission rates are negotiable and going with the lowest bidder might seem like the smart thing to do, we’d like you to consider the following:
  • Your real estate agent will usually pay to advertise your home on a number of relevant platforms, use different marketing tools, hire professional photographers, host open houses, hire professional stagers, and more. A reduced commission means a lower marketing budget, which in turn means your home won’t get the exposure it deserves.
  • Since a buyer agent’s commission is a percentage of the listing agent’s commission, a discounted rate could turn away a considerable number of buyers’ agents that may not appreciate a cut in their share. 
  • Also, an agent who could not hold their ground in negotiations with you might not be able to hold with potential buyers either. So, would you be comfortable hiring them?


3. Don’t Choose an Agent that Sold “XX” Number of Homes Last Year

3. Don’t Choose an Agent that Sold “XX” Number of Homes Last Year


Selling homes is not just a numbers game but the entire emotional experience as well. So, simply basing your decision to hire a good realtor just because they sold the highest number of homes last year or a huge number of homes in the area over in the past few years may not be the best yardstick. While this may seem counterintuitive, someone making 10 sales or 50 sales in a neighborhood does not make them any better or worse, and you will need to dig deeper into their process.

Some key questions to ask any agent advertising high sales volumes would be what is their sales-to-listing ratio, what is their general marketing strategy, how do they prep for negotiations or high-stress scenarios, why do they think they can sell a home or help you with your needs in your part of town?    


2. Don’t Choose a Part-time Real Estate Agent

2. Don’t Choose a Part-time Real Estate Agent


Selling a home takes a considerable amount of time, work, and effort. So naturally, you need a real estate agent who is ready to roll up his/her sleeves, communicate, market, organize showings, be on-point with paperwork and get the job done. Anyone who is working only part-time will not have the time or resources to take care of all the marketing, legal, and monetary tasks tied to properly promoting, negotiating, and closing your deal.

Key questions to ask any part-time real estate agent would be how they intend to give your home or needs maximum exposure, will they be available to answer all your questions 9 to 5 or only after hours, when will they be available for all meetings or showings – or just weekends? You get the picture. 


1. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Without a Full Team of Professionals

1. Don’t Choose a Real Estate Agent Without a Full Team of Professionals


While we’ve established above that selling homes requires the full-time attention of a professional agent, it also requires an entire team of experts. This team includes marketing experts including designers, content creators, data experts and editors, as well as an administrative and legal support team. An experienced real estate agent will have this full team approach so they can be at the forefront of the real estate market and offer you expert service, including putting you in touch with the right expert at the right time.



We at Blackbook Properties and Condo Blackbook take pride in our network of highly experienced professionals that spans across disciplines, from attorneys to lenders, accountants, interior designers, stagers, and even home service vendors, to make the home selling process as smooth as possible.
 

Interested in selling your Miami condo? Or are you looking to buy a new home or condo, or are you renting? Call or email us here to have an expert answer all your questions and happily take the guesswork out of your home selling process!

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
sep@blackbookproperties.com
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

Pre-Construction Condo Spotlight: La Baia in Bay Harbor Islands
Preconstruction Pre-Construction Condo Spotlight: La Baia in Bay Harbor Islands
Looking to bring the same transformative change to Bay Harbor Islands as he did in the South of Fifth neighborhood in South Beach with the iconic Continuum Condo Towers, developer Ian Bruce Eichner launched sales for La Baia residences in October 2021. The ultra-luxury La Baia will be a bayfront, boutique condo community featuring only 68 plush residences and its own 20-boat private marina. La Baia: A Waterfront Enclave of Luxury in Miami’s Northern Islands Crafting a new language of bespoke living on the water, La Baia condo residences will be tailored to fit Bay Harbor Islands’ tranquil ambiance. Designed by Revuelta Architecture, the stylish glass building will rise only 8 stories with a total of 68 luxury residences. Big on space, the one- to four-bedroom units at La Baia will range from 1,125 to 2,500 square feet in size. Owing to the Bay Harbor waterfront setting and expansive balconies, all La Baia residents will be able to enjoy unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay, Bal...
Introducing Downtown Miami’s Okan Tower - Luxury Miami Condos
Preconstruction Introducing Downtown Miami’s Okan Tower - Luxury Miami Condos
Meet Downtown Miami’s latest supertall condo tower that is sure to become an icon of the Magic City’s skyline for years to come - Okan Tower. With sales relaunched in November 2021 and buyers going straight to contract, after putting the project on hold, Turkish developer Okan Group is determined to make up for lost time. Back in action with revamped floor plans and the addition of an all-weather, glass-enclosed rooftop deck and observatory, the Okan Tower will feature 70 stories of luxury Sky Residences, world-class amenities, and 5-star Hilton Hotel & Resort. The Okan Residences Experience - Unfolding the Tulip Tower of Miami On track for a June 2022 opening, the condo-hotel marks Turkey-based Okan Group’s first development in the U.S. Designed by the Coral Gables-based Behar Font & Partners (the architects behind Quadro), the glass tower will feature a tulip-inspired façade as an ode to Turkey’s national flower. Certain to stand out on Downtown’s skyline, the...
Video: Take a Walking Tour of Edgewater, Miami
Lifestyle Video: Take a Walking Tour of Edgewater, Miami
Having spent almost 17 years in this mainly residential locale, Blackbook Properties’ luxury condo expert Sep Niakan takes you on his bright and sunny morning walk through this Edgewater, Miami, one of the city’s most popular waterfront neighborhoods.   Filmed in December, with a balmy winter morning temperature of 79° F/ 26° C, this scenic walking tour takes you through Margaret Pace Park and onto the Venetian Causeway. Besides being popular among walkers, joggers, and runners, the bayfront Margaret Pace Park is also a hot favorite among dog lovers, picnickers, and sports enthusiasts. The 8-acre park features two lighted tennis hard courts, two sand volleyball courts, one basketball court, personal fitness equipment, a gated playground, and more. The Venetian Causeway connects the mainland to Miami Beach, and again, makes a scenic seaside escape to clear your mind or simply absorb the sights and sounds of Miami. Watch the video to walk along. If you want see available units...
Miami Condo Development Guide: 52 New Pre-Construction Projects in 2021
Real Estate News Miami Condo Development Guide: 52 New Pre-Construction Projects in 2021
It’s a trend we’ve been talking about since the last quarter of 2020 - waves of buyers are contributing to one of the biggest real estate booms in Miami history. As individuals and businesses escape high tax states like New York and California, and have the freedom to work from any location, luxury condo developers in Miami are announcing new project after new project.   Miami condo developers announced more than 52 new and relaunched condo projects last year in 2021. In an attempt to appeal to a wide range of new residents, each new project aims to be taller, more luxurious, and offer the most exciting set of amenities imaginable, and could bring more than 10,000 residential units to Miami over the next few years. With the real estate market in Miami in one of its most lucrative cycles yet, here’s a look at the latest condo projects proposed in Miami in 2021: New Miami Condo Development Projects 2021 - Table of Contents New Downtown Miami Condo Development...
Get to Know Brickell, Miami: Comparing North Brickell vs South Brickell vs Brickell Key
Real Estate News Get to Know Brickell, Miami: Comparing North Brickell vs South Brickell vs Brickell Key
Brickell is one of Miami’s most desirable and popular neighborhoods, known the world over. Starting at the junction of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, extending from Downtown Miami south along the water to the Rickenbacker Causeway that leads to Key Biscayne, Brickell is now known as the “Manhattan of the South.”  Indeed, Brickell is one of the world’s most important international financial hubs, home to many transnational companies and professionals from around the world. But Brickell is more than just Miami’s Financial District and the largest global banking center in the US south of New York. It’s an ultimate live, work, and play destination, and many celebrities have made their home in Brickell, including such Latin pop icons as Luis Miguel, Jennifer Lopez, and the late José José, as well as salsa legend Marc Anthony. To really get to know Brickell, and also know where you might want to live, Brickell actually consists of subdivisions that exist as distinctly different...
Video: Waldorf Astoria Residences, New Heights of Luxury Comes to Miami
Preconstruction Video: Waldorf Astoria Residences, New Heights of Luxury Comes to Miami
Combining the luxuries of New York City’s oldest hotel brand with Miami's first residential supertall tower, the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami will transcend and transform luxurious living in Miami – all in the heart of Downtown. Moreover, a joint venture between the developers (PMG) and city will including expanding the green spaces in front of the luxury tower along Biscayne Boulevard, transforming the main boulevard of the Miami.  Waldorf Astoria Residences will be the tallest building south of Manhattan, transcending the skyline here and the heights of Miami luxury as we know it today.  Watch the video for more information.   Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami Key Details Groundbreaking: Early 2022 ​​Completion: 2025 Architecture by: Carlos Ott (conceptual artist) & Sieger Suarez (Miami’s award-winning architects). Designed to look like 9 offset crystal cubes, this sculptural condo-hotel is set to redefine Miami’s skyline. Interiors by: San Francisco’s...