Choosing the right Southwest Florida REALTOR®
Finding the right real estate agent is essential to enjoying a painless and fruitful transaction. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20) rule seems to hold true in real estate as it does in other disciplines. This rule as applied to real estate would mean that on average 20% of the agents do 80% of the business. The problem with this is that most agents you meet are not doing the bulk of the business and therefore may not be the most experienced agents to guide you through such a big purchase. At PROGRAM Realty our agents are well seated in the upper end of the production scale but we are not big enough that we cannot service our customers properly. Here are a few questions that you should ask when looking for a Southwest Florida real estate agent to represent you.
Are you are REALTOR® or a just a real estate agent?
All PROGRAM Realty sales associates are highly experienced REALTORS®. This means that they have pledged to hold themselves to the National Association of REALTORS® and Florida Associations of REALTORS® strict code Ethics and conduct.
How do you find deals for your clients that other real estate brokers can't?
This is a trade secret but we can tell you a few of our methods. The most important part is knowledge. Finding a great deal on a home many times means being the first person to make an offer on that home if it is a great deal. PROGRAM Realty has powerful software that can notify our clients via email the instant any broker’s property is listed, the instant a home that falls out of contract becomes listed again, or the second a price reduction is made. Other ways to find deals is to become a client of PROGRAM Realty by signing a buyer’s brokerage agreement. We will let you know about new listings before they are put into the MLS system…beating the crowd to a great deal.
How will I be represented?
PROGRAM Realty typically represents its buying clients as Single Agents. In some parts of the country this is known as single agency or buyer’s agency. What this basically means is that we represent your interests and not the seller. We will disclose all known facts on the property, seller motivations, inside pricing info, basically anything we can discover we will make you aware of. If you choose to hire a run of the mill transaction broker you may not be made aware of these things.
How much does your representation cost?
Our services are free to buyers. Yes, you heard that right. When a home is listed for sale in the MLS system, an offer of compensation is given to any agent that brings a willing and able buyer. The offer of compensation is made by and paid for by the seller. This fee is already built into the transaction and is not paid by the buyer. Also, we never charge a transaction fee like most other brokerages in this part of Florida. That alone will save you $300-$500 dollars.
Should I ever buy directly from the listing agent?
If you go directly to the listing agent to buy a property you open a Pandora's Box of possible problems. The agent will have to represent you as a transaction broker and cannot disclose any known motivations involving pricing and negotiation info that might be considered inside information. The agent will have an extra motivation to sell you that particular house because without a buyer agent present, they will make twice the commission. Sometimes this extra profit motive can blur the ethics gap. Would you go to a court case and not have your own attorney looking out for your best interests? The same is true in real estate...use a buyer's agent. A buyer's agent gives you ALL the information that is available and gives advice and guidance throughout the process.
Can I save money by using the listing agent to directly write the offer?
Absolutely not. This is one of the big myths floating around the internet with no merit. The listing agent will actually receive both sides of the commission, and the net monetary result to the seller is the same. That's right the listing agent will get paid double to say and do anything in their power to get you to buy that particular home. Remember, when you hire a buyer's agent, we don't have an agenda to sell you a particular home, we just want you to buy a home that you are happy about buying.
Will you just show me your listings or every broker’s listings?
We will show you every listing available that meets your criteria by every real estate agent and brokerage in the area. At PROGRAM Realty, we can take you in any home that is listed for sale by any real estate agent in the entire state of Florida.
What about for sale by owners?
If you truly want to see every house on the market, we can even assist you with for sale by owner listings. Ask us about our “for sale by owner” buyer program.
How much real estate do you sell each year?
The average sales for per person for PROGRAM Realty's agents are higher that most every other brokerage's agents in the Englewood, Venice, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and North Port areas. Our agents are full time and very dedicated to their profession. The worst thing you can do is hire an agent that is part time or not really in the business seriously. Make sure the Realtor you hire does this for a living and not a hobby.
How well do your PROGRAM Realty agents really “know” the market?
Our agents are in the field every single day…well, except Sundays. We pride ourselves in knowing our little slice of the Southwest Florida market better than the competition. Our agents never represent clients outside of our home market as we just would not be able to represent them properly. Real estate is very local; we even have different agents that specialize in different areas within our small market. If you are looking from Venice to Punta Gorda and all points in between, you are in contact with the right people. If your search goes slightly out of that area we can refer you to capable agents that cover other parts of Florida too.
Some agents I have met are like used car salesman, are you like that too?
At PROGRAM Realty we are not about the hard sell. Our salesmanship stops after selling ourselves to represent you as your chosen buyer’s agent. We let the properties sell themselves as it should be. We will offer honest, knowledgeable advice but never steer your decisions. Buying real estate is a huge deal and we realize that people do not want to be pressured.
Home Buyer's Guide and Tools
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Learn About the Community and homes in the surrounding area before you invest. Refer to the Featured Areas section for community information.
Use the Mortgage Calculator to figure out what your mortgage payments will be on the home you want.
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