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Choose a Real Estate Agent

Choose a Real Estate Agent

Don’t pay any agent an extra $395 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 people would agree with that statement. However, if your “gut feeling” says that you should not be totally honest with your agent – why would you want to work with that person? Here in SWFL, agents typically work as a Transaction Broker, 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, 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 or another helpful tool. Check the reviews for any agent on Zillow,, Google etc.

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 15+ 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. 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 30+ 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 successfully worked through all those market conditions is important? Try to get an agent with 15+ years of full time local real estate experience, or has lived in that market for 15+ years.

Is the agent a full-time professional, or part-time?
Part-Timers are unlikely to tell you they work part time. You must ask them if they have any other job. 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”. A part time agent may be OK, but only if they are part of a real estate team that can step in if needed. Would you trust a part-time attorney for your day in court? No way!

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! We’ve seen extra add-on fees exceed the commission! Many times, 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 planning 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?

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

Provide valuable insight into the local customs of buying and selling real estate here in SWFL.
Closing costs vary. You should have a basic understanding of 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 – even if your agent is the one that told you about the community. 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!

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 and The Lussier Team has been serving SWFL for over 30 years! We have never charged extra fees, and have no plans to start!

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