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Hiring a real estate agent when buying a condo in Miami

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Hiring the right agent can help you find that perfect condo in Miami. Unfortunately, not all agents are created equal; everyone and their mama have a real estate license, and most are part-time. New buyers need answers to many questions before signing any contracts with them, especially if they're looking at condos!



In this article:


What is a buyer agent?

Buyer agents have a lot of responsibility, as they help buyers find the perfect home, negotiate prices, and help buyers navigate the complex real estate transaction. Buyers are often at their most vulnerable when looking for a property to buy. There can be such an emotional investment with buying your first condo or moving into a new city that you might not always know what is best for yourself.


Buyer agents provide valuable advice on neighborhoods, schools, condo information, and other factors, so prospective homeowners don't make mistakes in finding a condo they love and fits them well.


Some agents, like me, create systems and work with home buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords. Some agents specialize in finding homes specifically for buyers, and some agents work as part-time or full-time brokers to help sellers and buyers find suitable properties.


Why hire a buyer agent?

Hiring a real estate agent can take the hassle out of your condo search and stop you from making costly mistakes and spending too much on what might not be the best fit for your needs. A buyer agent should know condos in the areas you’re interested in and have experience navigating through the condo-buying process.


An excellent modern agent should have helpful systems and provide accessible access to information regarding your transaction and provide transparency.


The biggest reason to hire a real estate agent is the buyer will have no out-of-pocket costs for hiring an agent, making hiring a professional very appealing.



How are buyer agents compensated?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of sellers list their homes with a real estate agent. The real estate agent will be considered the listing agent or sellers agent. The listing agent receives a specific commission ranging from 5%-6% from the seller. The commission is split with the buyers’ agent if the buyer has a real estate agent. If the buyer doesn’t have a real estate agent, the listing agent will keep the full commission. Some agents like myself credit or discount to the seller when this happens.


When purchasing a new construction condo from a builder, the developers will directly compensate the buyers’ agent. This commission does not have any effect on the price of the property.


Some home sellers list their property without an agent. However, in most cases, the seller will agree to compensate the buyer agent. Sellers and developers can write off the costs of commission fees and receive tax deductions.



What to expect from your agent?

Most agents in Florida operate as a Transactional Broker meaning the agent should deal honestly and fairly; will account for all funds; will use skill, care, and diligence in the transaction. The buyers’ agent discloses all known facts that affect the value of the home of interest that may not be observable by the buyer and will submit offers and counteroffers promptly. Their objective is to help you find the right home at the best price.


Your agents will:

  • Help you determine your ideal home based on your budget, wants, and needs.

  • Be available to show you properties

  • Negotiate on your behalf

  • Assist you with paperwork

  • Recommend vendors



How to find the right agent

The Miami real estate market is a thriving economy. As a result, agents are more abundant, so you may have to spend some time researching and interviewing agents.


There are many factors involved when it comes to picking a real estate agent in Miami. Agents aren't created equal, so you need to be sure that your chosen agent is the best for you and makes sense of what's important to you. Word of mouth and online research should help you find the right real estate agent. Once you’ve found a couple of prospects, interview 2 or 3 of them to find one that fits what you’re looking for and complements your personality.


  • Ask friends and family

  • Search online and social media

  • Check out their reviews

  • Check out their website



What to look for in an agent

  • Knowledgable: Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the condo-buying process. There’s always something to learn, and agents may not know everything, but your agent should always seek answers to questions they don’t know.

  • Honest, transparent, and trustworthy: Your agent should view you as a person and not a commission check. Many real estate agents operate solely with the focus of making money instead. Hiring a real estate agent known for being honest, transparent, and trustworthy will help you purchase a condo without feeling pressured and make you feel confident in your purchase.

  • Creates content: Real estate agents should have real estate knowledge and have content showcasing their expertise for you to get answers to commonly asked questions.

  • Has systems in place: Real estate agents are typically extremely busy. Having systems in place ensures that the agents work with their clients efficiently. Many effective agents delegate tasks to others, such as showing agents and transaction coordinators, to ensure their client gets the best experience possible.

  • A tech-enabled agent: In this day and age, agents must be tech-savvy and operate off a platform that offers their clients a seamless experience.

  • Utilizes e-signature: Real estate agents that do not use e-signature platforms such as DocuSign or Dotloop tend to slow down transactions for all parties involved.

  • Focuses on a specific area and market: If you’re searching for a condo in the Metro Miami area, a real estate agent that concentrates on condos in Brickell, Downtown Miami, Edgewater, and Midtown may be more appealing than an agent that works single-family homes and condos all over Miami. This is because condos and single-family homes are two different markets, and neighborhoods are also unique in Miami.



Conclusion

If you’re looking for a Miami condo, don't settle on the first agent that comes your way. It's essential to find an agent who will help you find what you’re looking for while enhancing your experience by effectively guiding you through the condo-buying process.

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