Don't pay any agent an extra $295 or more in extra add-on fees!

How To choose a real estate agent to help buy a property.

Real estate agents say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. I think most agents, sellers and buyers would agree with this statement. However, if your "gut feeling" says that you should not be totally honest with your agent - why would you want to work with him/her? 

Here in SWFL, agents typically work as Transaction Brokers, unless some other agency relationship is agreed upon. No matter what type of "legal obligation" the agent may have, you will need to have some degree of trust with that agent. If you don't believe that, well I've got some ocean front swamp land to sell you:) If possible, a referral from a friend, family member or co-worker that knows the agent is a great way to go!  On-line reviews and recommendations is another helpful tool. 

Here are a few things to look for: 

How many years has the agent been selling real estate in your area? 

Real estate - is local! Just because the agent has sold real estate for 20 years in another area or State, does not mean they are as knowledgeable as someone that has been selling locally for only 2 or 3 years here. This is even more in important in a place like SWFL. We have a large influx of new residents - and new agents. SWFL has also had huge market fluctuations over the last 20+ years. Many agents dropped out of real estate and got "real jobs" when the market crashed in 2007. Now, some of those people are back selling real estate. Don't you think that working with an agent that has worked through all those market conditions is important? Try to get an agent with 15+ years of full time local real estate experience.

Is the agent a full-time professional, or sells part-time?

Part-Timers are unlikely to say they work part time. You must ask them if they have any other job, or is real estate their profession? We have known agents that have said they were "full-time" because they said they worked over 30 hours a week in real estate - while at the same time, having another "real job". Would you trust a part-time attorney for your day in court? No way! 

Provide valuable insight into the local customs of buying and selling real estate here in SWFL. 

Closing costs vary. You should know what to expect in fees and closing costs in SWFL. The agent should not only answer your questions, but give you answers to questions you did not know you needed to ask. Any service provider that really educates you is a keeper!

Can I use an agent to buy new construction?

Yes! However buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents. Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed.  At times when buyers use an advertisement to find the development themselves, or simply show up at a model home, builders can refuse to pay any commission regardless of how helpful an agent has been to you, and would have become later in the process. It is advisable to call the development first and inquire about their policy on compensating real estate agents if you are using one. If you are working with an agent, please say you are working with a real estate - make sure you give them the agent's name and company name and contact info. This is how they get paid – they are depending on your honesty as well as you are depending on theirs! It does not cost you anything to say you are working with an agent. Builders encourage agents to show their homes and build the commission into their pricing! 

VERY IMPORTANT! Confirm what their policy is on showing you ALL the homes that meet YOUR criteria. 

You should not have to worry about losing that perfect home simply because your agent is not getting a 3% commission! Agents know how much they will be paid before sending you any info or showing you the property. With so much info available on the Internet, make sure you are seeing everything - not just the high commission properties. Some agents will show you those homes, but demand you pay them the difference! Say no! If you feel that you are only being shown the company's listings or not shown listings at less than 3% - you should look for another agent. 


Got Fees?

You would be surprised to know how many agents charge buyers and sellers an extra add-on fee at closing. Those fees can range from $195 to over $750 at closing! This goes for vacant lots too! Many times, the buyers do not know about this fee until they want to write up an offer, or worse, at closing! Before you work with any agent, ask them if they plan on charging you any type of extra fee at closing. If they say yes, ask these questions: Why? What extra are you doing that is not already included in your commission and not required by law? How much do you plan on charging me? When were you planing on telling me about this fee - at contract? Is this fee negotiable? If this fee is negotiable, why were you trying to charge it to me in the first place?

Do you want to work with an agent that tries to get you to buy a home based on a higher commission and/or an agent that tries to charge you extra fees? Are they interested him helping you or themselves? Is this who you want to work with? 

** IMPORTANT ** There is no reason you should have to pay a real estate agent hundreds in extra fees simply because you gave him/her your business! ** 

Even with the low commission rate charged to sellers, Andy Lussier and Virtual Florida Realty have never charged automatic extra add-on fees to buyers or sellers!! ** Golden Rule - treat others how you would like to be treated - simple but true! 

Andy Lussier has been working as a full time real estate agent here is SWFL for over 20 years! Would you like to see what people are saying about working with Andy Lussier? Click the Zillow Icon below! 

Andrew Lussier reviews