When I left corporate America and started my career as a realtor, I had a mission: to perform as professionally as possible and to raise the bar in an industry that had been ranked low in public esteem.
This mission has guided me for over 25 years. I am constantly trying to raise the professional bar in terms of delivering a top-notch experience for all my clients.
Miami-Dade County has more than 49,747 active Realtors. Many are part-time and serve to handle the occasional sale for/on behalf of a family member or friend. They dabble in a complicated industry and are often unaware of the hundreds of details that are involved/crucial to get a transaction closed. There is a core of very hard-working full-time realtors who are in the trenches of a very challenging profession, who take calls at 11:00 at night and start answering emails at 6:00 am.
Here are some questions I think every Buyer should ask of their Realtor, be it part-time or full-time.
- Will you accompany the showings? I am relying on you to give me your professional opinion about the location, the condition of the house, the value, the circumstances that are causing the house to be sold, the history of the home, the features, the positives and the negatives… because without you there, I might as well be doing this on my own. Can you recommend architects, contractors or landscapers to me?
- When you prepare the contract, will you call the seller’s realtor; present the contract and explain the terms; and do a superlative job of explaining something about me, my family, our wants and needs, the lender we are working with and why we love the house and have arrived at the purchase price written on the contract? I want/expect you to represent me, and I want more than just emailing the contract to the listing agent without telling my story and making me real in the seller’s eyes. Will you follow up for me and give me feedback?
- Will you recommend the necessary inspections that I need to perform, along with the best inspectors in the industry with whom you have worked who will provide a fair, honest assessment of the condition of the house? Will you point out for me the difference between cosmetic and non-cosmetic repairs? Will you remind me that it is not a new house and that it was being sold as-is? Will you work hard for me to negotiate a credit for the essential repairs that the naked eye could not see? Will you help me distill an inspection report which may be as much as 120 pages long and select and explain the items that are important?
- Once we are under contract, will you provide me with a list of the critical dates which you have also calendared with all pertinent parties, so that we are all on the same page as to when the deposits are due, what the escrow letter contains and when the escrow letter has to be delivered, when the loan application has to be submitted, when the inspection period is over, when the appraisal has been done, the survey has been ordered, the title has been reviewed and that there are no open permits? In other words will you remove any roadblocks to my purchase.
- As we approach the closing date, will you make sure the attorneys/closing agents are communicating, that the loan documents have arrived on time and schedule and accompany me on my walk-thru?
Carole Smith has consistently been among the top five Realtors in Coral Gables for over 20 years. Assisting hundreds of families find their place in the world in Coral Gables has been among her most significant professional accomplishments.