Robert Whitfield is the Principal Broker/Owner of Advantage Realtors, and the ONLY Atlanta real estate professioanl who is also an experienced ICC Code Certified Home Construction/Inspection Expert. Robert provides representation and counsel that is well beyond the competancies and expected responsibilites of any typical Realtor. Robert represents select Buyer & Seller clients primarily in the In-Town and Greater North Atlanta markets of Cobb, North Fulton, Cherokee, Gwinnett, Hall, Forsyth, and Dekalb Counties. Robert's unique due-diligence includes not only market and investment analysis but a structural and construction quality analysis as well of every property of interest to his clients - a value added service that quickly pin points the finest properties for each clients profile, and a service that has saved his buyer clients hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last few years.
When selecting an agent to represent you there really are no short cuts. It's not rocket science, but you must perform your own due diligence and that includes simply comparing the competancies and performance of various agents. If they are to act as your buyers agent, do they stand out in any meaningful way - do they have any competancies or qualifications in addition to real estate sales that actually complement thier real estate service or are they limited to the same real estate industry skill sets as any other agent except for perhaps more or less annual sales volume? If they are to act as your listing agent, check thier "meaningful" performance stats - those which reflect how well they perform for their clients - their list to sell ratio, and sold versus list prices. It does not matter if they sold $50 million dollars worth of property and are on every billboard in town if only 60% of thier listings sold or if the majority of thier sellers got a "bottom of the barrel" price! Other advice - never select an agent just because they are the professed "neighborhood expert" or have the most listing signs in an area, and do not rely merely on claims of impressive annual sales volume. Sales volume tells how well the agent did for themselves - it does not indicate how well they did for thier clients. Your agent should be familiar with the general market area inventory and market conditions in the area you are interested in, the quality of schools etc., however beyond that they do not need to be a micro market expert or live in the neighborhood to serve you well. All agents and brokers have access to local MLS and county courthouse tax data and community profiles that can give you the information you need to help you easily come to your own unbiased conclusion. Smart agents also have unique ways of finding out a variety of information for you down to the neighborhood level and even for a given street quite quickly. Lastly, if an agent represents you as your buyer broker, be very careful to make sure they are not pushing their own listings or their companies listings to the exclusion of other available properties - you should have access to all available properties from all agents, builders, and brokerage firms.