Home Buying in Fort Myers>Question Details

Mark Ronson, Home Buyer in Fort Myers, FL

How do I choose a realtor? There are too many realtors out there and I don't know who to choose. Any website for realtor shows the review like Yelp?

Asked by Mark Ronson, Fort Myers, FL Fri May 24, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Interview, ask for references, see if they have reviews. Google their name and see what comes up. Yelp is not always accurate since they will not show every review and if you are not a paying member of Yelp sometimes the reviews posted there are skewed.
6 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Sorry Steve, but you've answered this question 3 times and I don't believe what you are saying has merit. Your first response actually received 10 thumbs down, something I don't think I've ever seen here before. The only thing a mortgage broker really knows about a Realtor is who refers them business. Unless you're out with them and a buyer you have no idea as to what a Realtor really knows about pricing, neighborhoods, construction deficiencies, negotiating or anything else involved in a transaction. It is far better to get a referral for an agent from someone who has actually used that agent to help buy or sell a home. The consumer will know how competent an agent is after they've completed a transaction and see how they work through the entire process. Anything else basically comes down to "do you know a Realtor"? Lots of people know Realtors, but only those who've gone through the process of buying or selling a home with an agents help will really know how good they are.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
I would call around ask agents to provide you contacts with previous clients. They can give you testimonials about their experiences working with the agent in question, and you can learn a lot about how they feel the agent conducts their business. Just because an agent works with a reputable nationwide company like Century 21 or Coldwell Banker doesn't mean the agent him or herself is reputable. Sometimes, you can get the best service from an agent out of a local family-owned brokerage.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
There are some great Realtors in the Naples/ Fort Myers area. What skills do you imagine you would want your realtor to possess? Strong negotiating skills, good people skills, great communication, experience to keep you on the right track if things dont go smoothly? I am a Realtor with a degree in Business Studies. Like everyone else my real estate license took several weeks to get. My degree took 4 years. I learned 1% of what it took to achieve my degree. Therefore I submit to you that while there are a lot of great Realtors out there, someone with a business background and solid experience could be a powerful asset when it comes to your success.
P.S. I work hard to achieve the desired outcome of my clients, but I only work with motivated buyers who are willing to get pre approved with financing beforehand. If you believe that you are in a good position to buy please feel free to start searching for a home on my website (live MLS search) http://www.NaplesFloridaUS.com or call free 1855-9-NAPLES If you chose another option, best wishes on finding your new home. Rgds, Gerry McLoughlin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 14, 2013
I'm a Realtor and I know exactly how you feel. When I went to buy a house I couldn't get anyone to call me back. But I wasn't spending that much on a house.

I only have a couple years experience, 2 listings right now and I'm a Desert Storm Veteran and I work for Century 21
I'm educating constantly and have the following designations: Military Relocation Pro, Senior Real Estate Specialist, Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource, Certified Distressed Property Expert, Broker Price Opinion Expert.
My bio is on my website and on the Century 21 Sunbelt site. And you can google me. If you like what you read hire me

That's how you can choose a Realtor. Any realtor. Also check that they are a Realtor. Not just an agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 11, 2013
I agree, unless you contact a friend, family member or do your own research, you may not find an agent that fits your personality. A Mortgage broker, usually isn't the most accurate source of quality realtors.

Decide on what traits your looking for and then call a few agents - ones that answer the phone and has knowledge of the area, would be a good start. Ones that return the call before the end of business or if after hours also is a good trait. Linked In, Trulia are also good sites that allow other agents to recommend other agents and also have recommendations from former clients. If you are in the greater Daytona Beach area, looking, I would be happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
When you want to begin looking for a home, you will need to find a Realtor. First you should ask friends, relatives, or co-workers for a recommendation. Have them describe their experience with the agent and ask why they are recommending that person. You want to choose someone that you feel comfortable in working with.

It is not as important to find a Realtor who has sold the most homes, has the most experience or works for the largest and most well-known company as it is to find someone that is professional. You want an agent that will listen to you, uses ethical conduct, and knows the market.

You can also attend open houses and meet real estate agents. See how they interact with you and answer your questions. Pay attention to how they show the home. Take notes and collect business cards. Then you can compare the agents you saw.

Look at web sites of Realtors or real estate agents. Read any testimonials they have. Call them up and ask questions about their experience and how they work with buyers. Get a feel for them and what they can do for you.

You also want an agent that will work within your schedule. Most of the time it needs to be someone who works as an agent full-time. They are available days, nights, and weekends. Not all agents work the same way. Find one that you are comfortable with. Trust your instincts.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Sorry Donald, but unlike 99.9% of Mortgage Brokers in America, I don not depend on Realtors for my business.

I know this may come as a shock to realtors like you who have never met a Mortgage Broker like me, but I'm real.

I refer buyers to realtors,...believe it or not. And I know exactly what all goes on with a Realtor working with a buyer, so I am, in fact the perfect person to refer a buyer to a realtor.

click here and tell me if you offer this savings to your buyers?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Do YOU offer rebates to each of your customers Steve? You have this expectation that real estate agents should be offering money back to buyers yet I have not seen you offer to come out of your own pocket.

It's a little different from our perspective since we do not sit at a desk every day crunching numbers at a computer. We are in our vehicles (spending money on gas and wear & tear), oftentimes working very late to get offers submitted or answer phone calls, negotiate everything from price to repair to appraisal issues.....I can go on and on about what real professionals do.

Unless you're willing to step up to the plate and open your wallet you may want to rethink recommending other people take a pay cut.
Flag Fri Jun 7, 2013
Your blog is a good joke. I can't figure out how you are in the mortgage business if you can't do basic math. Sorry, the numbers don't work. It seems you don't know how Realtors get paid. With a $400k sale price, IF the commission to the buyers broker is 3%, the total commission to the buyers broker is $12k. Most agents get 50% of that for $6k. You want them to give $8k to the buyer as a credit?! In other words, you want an agent to not only make no money for selling a house, but you also want them to take $2,000 out of their own bank account to make the deal. Give me a break. Yes, some agents are on higher commission splits with their broker, but some listings also pay less than 3%. Bottom line, the numbers don't work.
Flag Fri Jun 7, 2013
Your best bet is to seek a referral from a friend, colleague, or family member. They will have already worked with that agent and will be the most honest with you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
-Ask a Mortgage Broker to refer you to a realtor in the area you are looking to buy.

Again, nobody knows Realtors like Mortgage Brokers. We know the good ones who really care about their buyers, ones who know what they're doing in this 2013 market to get buyers their best deal....AND... we know the ones who are full of that which can be found south of a north bound bull.

As a buyer, I would not want to work with some bee hive hair-doo, gold jacket , scarf wrapped around the waist or draped over the shoulder with and oversized dragon fly broach wear'in, driving a Lincoln Town Car, telling me how they've been selling real estate for 116 yrs while puffing on a Virginia Slim menthol cig type agent!

And as I buyer, I could care less about how many 3 and 4 letter abbreviations they list under their names on their business cards and if they are a billion...gazillion dollar agent too. I'd just want the right agent, one that after the hour of dealing with I'm not looking at my wife and rolling my eyes knowing we have made the wrong choice.

Contact me with the area you wish to buy and I'll refer you to a Realtor who will not only exceed your expectations, but if buying over a 200k property will assist with Realtor Rebate to pay closing costs or to buy down your interest rate.

Example: on a 400k purchase, you'll come to closing with as much as $8,000 less simple by working with one of my realtor partners.

Contact me on: http://www.pro-option.com

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 7, 2013
Sorry dave, but I went there and obviously nobody is finding it useful because there are almost no recommendations and most of them come from the same people in Vegas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 6, 2013
Don't waste your time going to the site recommended by dave070503. I think he must own the site or something. Has nothing to do with real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
Mark, I would suggest calling them to see if you can get them on the phone, I picked up two leads on Saturday because the client could not get the agent to answer their phone or worse yet call them back after leaving a message. This is the number one complaint with the board of realtors. I would love to work with you. Give me a call or email me.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 4, 2013
If you are not working with anyone else I would love to answer all of your questions and help streamline the search process for you. I go beyond my customers expectations by locating the perfect property that fits your needs, negotiating the best deal possible and protecting your interests every step of the way. Call me and lets talk about how I can help you find a home you will love.


Terence Trombetti • Realtor®
Licensed Florida Realtor Since 2004
Gulf Coast Realty Network
Mobile 239.560.1574
Search For Homes On The REALTOR's MLS
GO TO: http://fl.living.net/idxrealtor/1222901

*Contact me for a current list of active properties that fit your needs too. Conventional, foreclosure and short sales. All properties I send come directly from the Realtor's MLS system and therefore are real-time current information, only active and available homes.

**If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 3, 2013
The best way to find a GREAT agent is to do your research. If you do not have a friend or family member that can recommend one, find an agent that is successful in the business in your area. Chose a Realtor that is FULL Time and willing to listen to your needs. We have a very large expanded network of qualified, top notched Realtors, I would be happy to assist you in finding the best agent for your needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Only, Donald, in markets where attorneys close deals. In many markets, attorneys are nowhere to be found in transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
You are correct Mark. I was only thinking in my area of NY and even in other parts of NY attorneys are not part of a transaction.
Flag Tue May 28, 2013
I think an attorney might be a better judge of Realtors than a mortgage broker as Steve recommended. Usually attorneys work with a lot more Realtors than mortgage brokers and are much more involved in negotiations with them and actually seeing what they will do to keep a sale moving along.

I do agree with Steve in that all those 3 and 4 letter abbreviations after an agent's name don't mean all that much. Just because a Realtor may have taken a 2 day class doesn't mean that have any real experience to get the job done. I also think Steve got it right when he said just because a Realtor has 85 years of experience doesn't mean they have a clue. I know many long term agents who sell one or two homes a year and you wonder how they even manage to do that.

I agree with Annette, if you want a good mortgage broker, as your agent. An experienced agent has seen many mortgage brokers and banks and how they perform over the years. Unfortunately I've seen a number of good mortgage brokers over the years and because they were good, many agents recommended them and once they got busy, they were no longer that good. An active Realtor will know who is currently doing the best job.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Do you know what you want?
There are essentially seven questions you NEED answered.
The right agent will answer those questions without requiring you to ask them.
If you don't know what you want,
you get what you get.

The only thing worse is asking a mortgage broker.

Two of the seven questions sound like:
"What will it cost?"
"How long will it take?"
The other five are equally essential.

If you need the other five, you know what to do.
Need a good mortgage broker. Who knows them better than a real estate profesional, Get a referral from an agent for a lender or go to http://www.BankingGrades.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Best way to find the best Realtor?

Think about it, who really knows a realtor better than their Mortgage Broker?

Talk is cheap and if you were to listen to some they'll seem as if they have descended from Heaven above to sell you a property.

How many 3 and 4 letter abbreviations listed after their names is not what matters. What really matters is common sense and how they perform in tough situations. I've met so many who are weaker than circus cool-aid and can't negotiate their way out of a mud puddle!

I'm often hired by consumers who contact me to step in and save deals. More often than not I step into the middle of a complete mess....that could have been easily avoided! However, when I go to trying to UN-**** the deal, exposing and correcting the obvious mistakes it seems I always have to hear a realtor tell me how they've been selling real estate 85 yrs and they've never seen of done something that has basically been common practice for 25 yrs, etc.

Then there are times where I find Realtors who are willing to roll up their sleeves and cooperate to get the deal done. Realtors who work to be part of the solution.

I work with some very experienced, knowledgeable and caring Realtor partners all over Florida, so if you need a Realtor referral, email me at steve@pro-option.com


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Ask friends of family for a recommendation. If they know someone they have used in a real estate transaction than it would be a great place to start. Don't just get referrals of people they know who happen to sell real estate. I've seen buyers and sellers end up with a nightmare this way. Get a few referrals and talk with them. I think you'll find that there is one you feel both confident and comfortable with. An experienced agent would also be a good idea. You'll want to find someone with success who can help you through negotiations which can be critical to a successful transaction. BTW, you didn't mention if you were a buyer or a seller and that can make a difference too.

Good luck!

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - NY's #1 Real Estate Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 25, 2013
Hi Mark,

Trulia actually helps us by letting us show our experience, as well as, recommendations by our clients. What is important to you? There are a lot of realtors, but who is actually going to put in the time to help you with your real estate needs. Please call me or email me.

Kindest regards,
Pam Wittenauer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 25, 2013
Hi Mark, in answer to your question, you have made the right choice
by requesting assistance and waiting for realtors to respond to your questions and can answers your concerns.
I work in the Fort Myers, Estero and Cape Coral area.
I would be happy to start a conversion with you to find out what your needs are.
If a realtor does not ask you what is important to you, how can he assist you.
Call or e-mail me directly and I will be glad to assist you.
Directly 239-410-3604
e-mail Guymangano@aol.com
Amerivest Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 25, 2013
call several agents, concentrate on the ones who answer your call and are willing to talk with you or at least return your voice mail. Like Tara says, some of us specialize in a certain portion of the market, while the rest of us are more generalized. Most of us have reviews on our websites. I would be happy to help Give me a call at 239-560-4159
Marge Bennett
RE/MAX Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
FLORIDA MORTGAGE BROKER Responds...........Finding the “RIGHT REALTOR”

As a Florida Mortgage Broker who has been in the business since the 90’s, through the highs and lows of this rollercoaster called the Florida Real Estate Market, who has extensive experience dealing with realtors all over Florida, I can't stress to you how important it is to shop realtors in advance. But as you’ll soon see, there are a lot of realtors in Florida who want your business, so shopping for that “Right One” can be overwhelming! There are literally thousands of realtors to choose from in FL, and most are good realtors who will do a decent job and get you a decent deal, but as a 2012 buyer you want an Extraordinarily Good Deal!

They say that approx. 68% of consumers end up working with the first or second buyer's agent they contact. Unfortunately, soon after many buyers feel they commitment to working with the wrong realtor, but feel obligated to work with that realtor throughout the buying process, all the while wishing they had shopped more realtors in advance to find that “RIGHT ONE.”

So here’s a quick 5 item test to help identify that “Right One.”

Find one who:
1. treats you as if you are buying a $5,000,000 property
2. is willing to disclose good credit and scores over 700 with no Foreclosures, BKs or Short Sales
3. has a smart phone so they can answer all your calls and emails quickly throughout
4. is a broker or buyer's agent who does not have to split the 3% commission points
5. is willing to offer Realtor Rebate to buyers willing to get Pre Approved in advance

Then, here’s a simple 2 step way to get your Best Overall Deal…

contact the realtors you think you like and listen to what they say they’ll do for you. Then ask them to refer you to their very best “Preferred” or “In-House” Lender. Listen to their best purchase strategy and ask for their best written quote on an estimated sales price, on a TBD (To Be Determined) property address.

contact me, I’ll present my best purchase strategy, show you what my realtor partners can do for you. Then compare to see which team offers the best purchase strategy and your best overall deal.

You’ll be shocked at the difference you’ll find with such little effort!



NOTE TO CONSUMERS: shop multiple Lenders and realtors for your Best Overall Deal!

Call me today, I actually answer and return phone calls.

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
I thin k Steve should rebate some of his commission if he likes them so much.
Flag Fri May 24, 2013
Mark all these are good suggestions. Some Realtors focus on Waterfront, Golf Communities,and certain areas of town ,like the Downtown and Histroic River District which we focus on. Other people focus on Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach. You just need to do a little more searching for the right person. Ask a friend perhaps they have had good experience. Please take a look at our website http://www.RiversideFL.com and see if we match your needs.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Hi Mark,
Antonio mentioned that Trulia does have a place where you can find a pro and read recommendations from past clients. I would call a few agents and see what is the best fit for you. Please take a look at my recommendations, I would be happy to help you. Please let me know if you would like more information on me or the services I provide.

Have a great day,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Dear Mark,
First of all you do want to hire a Realtor who is a member of the State and Local Realtor Associations. Our associations have Ethics requirements for membership, so you are one step ahead if your agent is also a Realtor. You can find this out online from the Department of Real Estate in your state.
Then I would go to a few "Open Houses" to meet the Realtors who are showing homes. You can find out a lot about them from just chatting at the Open House. Take a look at who is selling in your neighborhood, and then ask your neighbors and friends.
After you have a list of potential Realtors, then you can interview them and choose from there. You will be working with this person for a long time, so make sure you have good understanding and rapport.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Hi Mark,
You have received some great answers here and the one I like the best is Rick LaVan.
Call a few agents and see who answers you in a timely fashion. Just talk to them and work with someone you are comfortable with. We have lived here for 22 years and would love to help you.

Marc & Annie St Martin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
You don't say whether you're looking to Buy or Sell?

I'd call 3-4 of them and see who and how they responded.
If I were selling:
I'd check to see their web presence and marketing of their current listings.
I'd pay attention to the photos they've taken of their current listings
Do they show the home in it's best light? How well is the description of the home written?

If I were buying:
I'd see what tools they would provide me to assist me in my search.
How fast they responded to questions.
How fast they can get me into view the listings I've chosen.

Then I'd see how well they have answered my initial question posted on trulia!

Have the advantage of searching like a Realtor !
Get the freshest content and listing status.
Just sign up for a listingbook account on the front page of my site, you'll receive the most up-to-date listings sent right to your inbox!
I'm a buyers agent I work for you! The listing agent works for the seller !
No tricks, No gimmicks, No harassing phone calls.
But I'll gladly answer your questions at any time !
You tell me when you're ready !!!!
Click the link below for a free listingbook account:

Best regards ,
Susan Callahan, ABR, CNS
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC
CELL: 239-896-6342
7205 Estero Blvd # 724 Fort Myers Beach, FL. 33931
E-Mail: Agent4lee@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Find an agent:
Go to the Green Trulia bar above and click on "Find a Pro", insert your zipcode. Look at the list of agents that appears, read about them and check their recommendations. Call one or two and see who you feel the most comfortable with. Ask them to email you a list of homes and set you up for daily or weekly updates, they will gladly do so. Best of all you will get a list customized to what you are looking for and it is a FREE service from the agent. Then you can agree with them when it is time to start looking inside the units and making offers.

Regretably I do not work the Fort Myers market, but im sure you will find the right agent to help you. Which brings me to another important point, don't use anyone who tells you they are an expert on every town within a 50 mile radius. "Local cannot be outsourced". Was this answer helpful? If so please click on the "green thumbs up" or the "best answer".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Mark, I would start by calling or emailing agents and see which ones call you back or respond to your emails. This is the Number ONE complaint with the Board of Realtors. I would love to apply for the job, and I will communicate with you and listen to find out what your needs are.

Best of Luck
Rick LaVan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Hello Mark!

Must be hard to choose someone out of 3000 + agents. I would check the Internet like Trulia and Zillow for recommendations and would interview some agents. You will know when you meet the right one - there has to be an instant like and understanding!!!

Good luck with your search and please check out my recommendations on Trulia and Zillow,
Thank you

Lilo Clacher
Century21 Birchwood
Direct 239-699-0142
email: Lilorealtor@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Hello Mark,
Trulia and Zillow, both real estate websites showing realtors reviews.
Best regards,

Kirsten S. Prizzi
AC Global Property Management Lee County, LLC
FL Lic Real Estate Broker
Immobilienfachwirt / Immobilienmakler
Telephone: 239.248.1667
Residential & Commercial Real Estate
Email: Kirsten@RealEstateFloridaUSA.com
Location is just the beginning!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Ask for their production numbers....more than willing to share mine. How can we help?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Check reviews on sites like Trulia.com and Zillow.com and also google the agents name. Then interview 2 or 3 agents to find the one you feel most comfortable working with. Above all when you do your interviews find an agent that truly listens to you and understands your goals. If the agent tells you how great they are and never listens to what you are saying move on to another agent. The agent you choose to work with needs to listen and communicate well with you. Feel free to contact me at leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net or call me at 239-707-4575 if you would like to discuss your real estate goals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Easy. Call me. Dan Opyt, Real Estate Broker, Florida Home Realty, Naples/Bonita Springs Florida
239 297-1193
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer