How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Scott and Sue decided to move to the tropical warmth of the Florida coast after years of living in Massachusetts. They decided to purchase a home before making the move, so they knew they had to find just the right real estate agent to help them with the process. After a few failed meetings with different agents, Scott and Sue contacted Sarah and Tim Caudill, a husband and wife real estate team in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Sarah and Tim helped them secure their dream home and today Scott and Sue are happily settled and living the Florida life in their dream home. Here are some of Scott and Sue’s top tips for picking a real estate agent!

  • Finding the right agent doesn’t just happen.

There are hundreds of real estate agents vying for your business, so how do you pick one? Scott and Sue thoroughly researched agents and read dozens of reviews on Zillow to find the agent that best fit them. While reading reviews, don’t just skim the page and tally up how many stars they have- really read through each review to get a good idea of what that agent is like to work with. Do they have multiple reviews highlighting how responsive and available they were? Finding an agent who is readily available and responds quickly is imperative in a home search.

“We called some agents and they wouldn’t even return our call,” Scott explained. One of the things that made Tim and Sarah stand out was their responsiveness, said Scott.

While looking at an agent’s Zillow reviews and profile, don’t be mesmerized by dozens of listings. Do you want to hire an agent who has 30 listings and multiple buyers all vying for their time and attention? Pick an agent with listings, but not so many listings that you will get lost in the crowd.

Finish your research by calling them up try to get to know them. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, especially about their knowledge of the area or if they have sold many homes like the one you are looking for.

Finally, after talking with an agent but before declaring that you have found the one, check their license. Real estate agents must participate in continuing education in order to keep their license current and active. Check out your local Department of Business and Professional Regulation website and search under real estate licensees. Make sure their license says current and active. If their license is current and inactive or null and void, slowly step away!

Pro tip: Residents of Florida can download the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s app to look up licensees. Search DBPR Florida in the app store and download it to keep it at your fingertips!

  •  You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Negotiating one of the largest investments you probably ever make isn’t for the faint of heart and shouldn’t be left to an amateur. A good agent has hundreds of negotiations under their belt and understands the best approach to take. Talk to your potential agent and ask them how they handle negotiations. Getting an agent skilled in negotiations can often mean the difference between purchasing the home of your dreams or watching the deal fall apart.

In addition to negotiation, a good agent will be your ally and help you navigate through the sea of paperwork that will be waiting for you once your offer is accepted. Questions will undoubtedly arise, so make sure you find a agent who is skilled in follow-up and thorough communication.

“Tim and Sarah always had the answers or got back to us right away about the paperwork,” said Scott. They really knew how to handle the paperwork and that just made the process easy, said Sue.

sarahcauill blog

  • It’s not just about the money.

Are you a client or a commission? An agent who loves their job will stand out- their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and integrity will make it crystal clear that it is not just about a commission for them. Additionally, a good agent will be honest with you and tell you the truth- even when you don’t want to hear it or when it could cost them a sale. The right agent will never push you to make an offer on a home you aren’t sure about or push you too far out of your budget.

“Tim and Sarah never pressured us to buy. You could tell that a sale didn’t matter to them- they just wanted to make sure we were happy. We even went to a few houses and they would say no, this isn’t a good deal for you and we wouldn’t even go in.,” said Scott, who appreciated their honesty.

There is a lot to consider when picking an agent. Follow these tips and don’t let the process intimidate you- the right agent will be with you every step of the way!

Happy house hunting!



5 Reasons Why Minorca Is Your Next Dream Beach Condo

The condo community of Minorca, located on the north end of the New Smyrna Beach, is a private oasis that instantly transports guests to their own private Mediterranean island the second they step foot on the property. While Minorca is just one of the hundreds of condo communities New Smyrna Beach has to offer, we think Minorca offers amenities that help make New Smyrna Beach one of the best beach communities in the world. Let’s dive in and explore why Minorca might be your next dream condo.

Minorca balcony view edited

1) Location, location, location

Minorca is perfectly located between three major waterways; the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet and the intercostal waterway. This location gives residents the unique opportunity to enjoy all three without ever leaving the north end of the island. Residents can dock and enjoy their boat on the intercostal waterway across the street from Minorca, fish in the inlet next to Minorca or ride the waves on the beach directly in front of Minorca.

Minorca from the sky

The inlet side of Minorca resides next to Smyrna Dunes Park. The park boasts 73 acres of land on the New Smyrna Beach peninsula and holds a treasure trove of wildlife, pristine beach, and two miles of elevated walkways. Dolphins, manatees and fish of all kind can be seen in the water, and fishing is allowed throughout the park. Smyrna Dunes Park is also one of the only dog-friendly beaches in New Smyrna, so Fido can enjoy the beach alongside you (just be sure to keep Fido leashed).

When it’s time to recharge with a good meal, a peaceful 2-mile stroll down the road will take you to the charming area of New Smyrna Beach known as Flagler Avenue. Flagler Ave is filled with quaint shopping, a foodie’s dream of restaurants and several art galleries. Indulge in some of the best pizza in New Smyrna at Third Wave Café and Wine bar and then stop by for a sweet treat at Beachside Candy Co. After that, follow your ears and you will be sure to find a local artists playing at one of the many local Flagler Ave restaurants.

2) Did you say amenities?

At Minorca, there is no shortage of amenities. The property offers several heated pools, a spa and sauna, fitness center, tennis courts, a clubhouse with a pool table and library, under-building parking, a beachside pavilion and 2 gated beach walk-overs, to name a few. Each unit also provides residents with breath taking views from a private balcony. There are seven buildings on the property, with the newest building completed in 2006 and offering the comfort of modern and updated units (310 units on the property to be exact).

3) Views for days

The views at Minorca are one-of-a-kind. Each private balcony provides an oasis to enjoy the unobstructed view of the sunrise or the sunset, as well as the calming sight of the Atlantic Ocean. Views of the famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse can also be seen, enriching the history and charm of the area. The sprawling 65-acre community means that your view is of the landscape and scenery- not a parking lot.

Minorca from the balcony edited

4) Peace of mind

There is nothing like the secure feeling of a gated community. Minorca takes security seriously, and every visitor must be approved by a resident of Minorca to enter. The gatehouse entry is staffed 24/7 with a security guard and the property is regularly patrolled throughout the day and night. In addition, management is on-site, providing residents stress-free ownership.

5) Family-friendly

Located only one hour from Orlando, Minorca offers the luxury of beachside living while only a short drive to the mecca of amusement parks. Whether entertaining your own kids, grandkids, or looking for adventure yourself, Orlando offers a full range of entertainment for all ages. With Disney World, Universal Studios, and  Sea World all just a quick drive away, its hard not to see Minorca as the ultimate combination of beachside relaxation and family fun.