Home Buying in 32541>Question Details

Sam Kinkaid,  in Destin, FL

What is most important when looking for a Realtor?

Asked by Sam Kinkaid, Destin, FL Wed Apr 30, 2008

Do Buyers and Sellers look for an experienced Realtor or one with the most designations?

Help the community by answering this question:


I personally do not think most buyers know what a designation is. What a buyer should look for is...

1. An agent that KNOWS THE AREA they are looking in BEST

2. Is READILY AVAILABLE to work tirelessly for them

3. Has a proven track record of INTEGRITY

4. Is PASSIONATE about helping their buyers find the perfect home for their needs

5. EXPERIENCE to make the transaction smooth and easy for them.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 14, 2012
Hi Sam,

I'm sure there are a large number of buyers and sellers who feel they must have a top agent, or else they will not realize the results they are after. More than the designations themselves, you must ask, "How have they put that education to work to achieve a better result for their Buyers and Sellers". I think more than anything else, they are looking for someone who is respectful, caring and who is not condescending or who fails to validate their feelings in the process. I find most of my customers are reluctant to commit to a relationship until they determine whether I am working for them, or just out for my own gain. Many are very savvy, and they are just looking for someone with the inside track on the market to partner with and who will provide them with the foregoing qualities, along with their expertise. I think a caring, ethical professional with convey that feeling to their customers. Unfortunately, a lot of the experienced Realtors, both with and without designations, do not use their experience and education to the best benefit of their customers. Many top agents simply cannot efficiently handle the volumes of business they take on, yet Sellers will hire them based on the number of their listings. I'd rather have a limited amount of business and do my job well, than to have a lot of business and do nothing well. I have mentored two young Realtors who I feel are some of the best in the business. They are caring and ethical and work very hard to do the best job they can for their customers. They are eager to benefit from the experiences of others, and are too busy trying to build their names to have had time for the designations. I'd put either of them up against an experienced Realtor with a lot of designations. Buyers and Sellers should trust their instincts, or rely upon the referrals of a good agent to them by friends and family. Absent referrals, they should insist upon the names of past customers who would be willing to vouch for them. (And, yes, I have completed designation classes, and I have had a lot of experience. I don't rely on that in order to get hired for the job. I let my testimonials speak to that!)
Web Reference: http://www.DianneScott.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
I agree with most of what has been said below, BUT, I don't think being full-time agent necessarily makes a better agent. Several of our part-time agents in our office are our "top producers".
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
I honestly do not believe consumers care much about designations, unless they provide a tangible benefit.

Not to insult my colleagues or the designations, some of which certainly are surely extremely valuable, but as a broker of 16 years (given, I may be exceedingly stupid), I probably could not explain what benefit a CRS, a GRI or ePro would mean to to the client.

I think clients look mostly for experience, integrity, honesty and an increasing amount of counselling.

All the best,

Tobias Kaiser, MS, CIPS (see what I mean?... LOL)
Greater Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Broker + Consultant
Certified International Property Specialist
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
First, find a realtor you feel you can trust. Buying a home or investment property is one of the biggest purchases people make in their lifetimes. Second, find a full-time professional agent that knows the community and local real estate market very well. Designations are nice, but they often do not mean the agent has either of the above traits.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
I think some may look for experienced Realtors, but most just want someone who really knows the area and doesn't waste their time. To me a step in the right direction while trying to find a good Realtor is seeing which ones answer the phone when you call, or return your call when you leave a message. If you trust someone to list your home, then you have to know that they will answer their calls....It could be a buyer calling about your home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 25, 2015
Honesty and integrity are by far the most important. To many agents, like other people will lie and do what it takes to close regardless of your best interest. Some extend you can understand if you think about it, they make money by closing not advising what's best for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 19, 2014
I believe area and product knowledge is important when hiring a Realtor but you need someone who is honest and trustworthy and who will work for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 19, 2014
Both! And the two often go hand-in-hand!

Experience is vital, while designations show a realtor's commitment to continuing their real-estate related education.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Hi Sam,

I agree most with Patti Bridges. It boils down to trust. Especially for Buyer's. Buyers need to know who the broker is working for, not just who the agent is working "with". I suggest buyers look for an Exclusive Buyers Broker in their area, not just a "Buyer Rep".

My firm only represents buyers. To read more about agency check out the link below.

Lyn Woods
Exclusive Buyers Broker
KLW Properties LLC
(850) 240-7133
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 6, 2010
In my opinion experience and designations have its value if one can prove their sales numbers (units closed, volume, etc). One can have earned alot of designations but have little sales experience to prove their worth. By the same token there are many agents who are experienced and have no designations. Buyers and sellers want and need to know that we care about them, that ywe know what we are doing and that can get the job done. That is not all! Buyers and Sellers need to have the appropriate expectations; and we need to know how to manage them . In other words, if a buyer is looking for a steal and the market does not support the offer then they usually loose out. On the other hand an overpriced listing almost never sells and increases the days on the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
In my opinion buyers and sellers who are actually looking for "something" when they choose a Realtor, look for someone who is responsive and knowledgeable. In other words, answers their calls and acts in a competent manner, although until they've worked with both a competent and an incompetent agent I don't think they'll know the difference. I once worked with a buyer client who had previously spent a month trying to negotiate a deal thru another agent who told me that in the first half hour interview we had I asked him more questions than the other agent had in a month. They had not even signed a disclosure with this agent (who was, by the way, the listing agent for the property). I think a very small percentage of the public knows what any of the designations means. As for sellers, in this market what most are looking for, in my experience, is an agent who thinks their house is worth as much as they do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
Interesting question.........

Buyers and sellers are interested in working with an experienced agent buy generally have no idea what these designations are all about....

Customers look at the agent's ability to communicate, the information they have access to, poise and confidence, honesty, and if they feel they can work with the individual.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
That's what us realtors are so hoping to know. Of course experience is a great thing, and designations are great but also you need a realtor that listens to your wants and needs and is able to find a good selection of homes that will fit you and your budget. Try to never be talked into becoming house poor. One who is willing to tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. I don't like to think of myself as a salesman rather a home finder. A knowledgeable realtor with a personality that fits would be my choice.

Have a great day
Ken Gettinger
Sea Sotheby's International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
That is one of the most difficult questions in the world! But I think it may boil down to trust. Yes, experience counts. I often tell people they should ask their friends and get personal referrals regarding agents. That's where I get most of my clients. Top producers are fine but you want an agent who has the time to help you. Honesty is a must even if the agent doesn't always tell you exactly what you want to hear. And I would suggest you avoid agents who are certain that they know everything and try to tell you that you must do exactly as they say. None of us are all knowing and one of the more important things we can do is to quit talking and try listening. So I still say you should work with a person who seems worthy of your trust.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2008
I think they look for an experienced Realtor, however most experienced Realtors have at least one designation if not many. They know the value of continued education. It refreshes our outlook by taking us back to the basics or giving us fresh ideas in a changing market place. Ultimately though, I think people just want to know you are listening, you are honest, you have your clients best interests at heart, and give them the same advice you would give to yourself or your family & freinds.

Most of my business is from repeat customers and referrals, and our company believes whole heartedly in continuing education. I think our reputaion speaks volumes of our ability and would be happy to meet should you have any questions or concerns about real estate. If you want more information about me or my company visit http://www.TamelaHayes.com .

Tamela Hayes, e-PRO, REALTOR
ERA american Realty of NW Fl, Shalimar
(850) 259-6404 cell
MailTo:Tamela@TamelaHayes.com (email)
http://www.TamelaHayes.com (website)
Web Reference: http://www.TamelaHayes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2008
A buyer and seller should look for a full time experienced REALTOR that presents the information you need in an honest and caring manner. "No one cares how much you know until they know you care". My FOCUS is on my client. ps FOCUS stands means "For Our Customers Ultimate Satisfaction".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
Here are some questions you should ask a Realtor before agreeing to work with them.
1. How many homes did you and your company sell last year?
2. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job?
3. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? Look for someone who has aggressive, innovative approaches, not just someone who's going to put a sign in the yard and hope for the best.
4. What's your business philosophy? While there's no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what's important to the agent—fast sales, service, etc.—and determine how closely the agent's goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
5. Are you a REALTOR®? Members of the National Association of REALTORS®, a trade organization of more than 800,000 members nationwide.
6. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction?
7. What designations do you hold? Designations such as GRI and CRS, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held by only about one-quarter of real estate practitioners. .
8. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Using what media?
9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? Having resources such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, or assistance with technology can help an agent sell your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
I think they are looking for results. The designations don't mean anything unless we show them how it make us a better agent, actually it is the same with experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
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