What is the best way to select a realtor to market my home?

Contributing Columnist

This is the first in a series of articles that will provide fundamental information for buyers and sellers who are thinking about a real estate transaction. Included in the series will be information related to selecting a realtor, pricing a property, marketing strategies, showing options, commissions, disclosures, inspections and closing costs.

Later in the series, we will address questions buyers may have related to realtor selection, finding a property, utilizing the internet, mortgages, closing costs, and addressing home inspection.

Readers are invited to ask follow-up questions or react or comment by emailing Sheldon Paley at spaley@lbknews.com.

Selecting a realtor can be a complex process but it is worth your time at the beginning to find the right person. Relying on recommendations, newspaper ads or the Internet may not be the best way to make a selection. Face to face meetings are essential; do not hesitate to interview more than one person. A realtor experienced with listings is crucial as many realtors consider themselves “buyer’s agents” and do not have the in depth knowledge required to represent seller interests adequately.

Finding someone who is a “good fit” is the most important criterion. The person someone else found to be great may not suit your needs or personality. You must be comfortable enough with the realtor to honestly share personal information and feelings. Sensing that there is enthusiasm, confidentiality, trust and that there will be a good working relationship are key components in finding the right person. The realtor you select should be interested in your welfare and not their own sales potential.  Your listing and sale must be a priority.

In concert with being a “good fit” with you, the seller, your realtor will be interacting and representing your property to buyers. Buyers on Longboat Key, Lido Key, Bird Key and of upper-end properties in our area demand a high level of expertise, knowledge and experience. Some of the area’s most effective realtors excelled in other careers up north and made the move south and can inherently relate to high-end second homebuyers or those in a position to choose the perfect home or investment.

The realtor you select should have experiential knowledge about the current market, your property, the community and neighborhood. The individual must be prepared to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative aspects of your home in comparison to other similar homes.

Secondly, the Company with whom the realtor is affiliated should provide a marketing platform that goes beyond local venues. Marketing is now a global endeavor and both your realtor and the company should be up-to-date in featuring your home not only locally but also nationally and internationally. The company is important from the standpoint of brand recognition and providing your home with widespread marketing visibility.

Realtors are licensed and are required to take continuing education courses every licensing period. In addition many realtors take course work for additional certifications such as Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Resort and Second Home Specialist (RSHS), the Graduate Realtor Institute designation (GRI), or the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). These designations indicate voluntary education beyond what is required and points to a commitment to more fully understanding the industry and serving their clients.  Try to determine what background your realtor has in terms of recent as well as elective education.

Finally, select someone with sufficient experience to guide you through not only marketing and selling your home but also properly handling disclosures, inspections, surveys, elevation certificates and other important closing details.

There are numerous factors inherent in waterfront and island properties including more rigorous building codes, insurance requirements and the health of a homeowners association and its reserves in the case of condominiums. An appreciation and comprehension of these facets brings confidence and avoids ambiguities in conveying the property to a potential buyer.

Is your realtor invested in the community? Is your realtor aware of the plans or policies the Town has in place regarding beach renourishment, canal dredging or the expansion of the park that may be situated next to your home? What are the redevelopment rights your home or property enjoys and who in Town Hall can specifically tell you what or what is not permissible? This level of information and understanding helps relate the true value of your home to the market in the most effective manner — and that must be a priority for the realtor you choose.

Sheldon Paley, a resident of Longboat Key for 20 years has been a realtor for 13 years who is now affiliated with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Prior to moving to longboat Key he attended Ohio State University;U of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry and Harvard Medical School for 18 months for a degree in Implantation.

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