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How to find the best real estate agent for your needs


How to find the best real estate agent for your needs

Have you decided it’s time to sell your house? Or are you in the market for a new one? Whichever the case, you’re going to need to enlist the help of a real estate agent that specializes in the luxury market. Not all agents are the same, though, and hiring the right one is paramount. So, where do you begin?

In this guide, we’ll go through the benefits of working with a real estate agent, the common mistakes to avoid, and how to find the best real estate agents in Newport Beach.


It’s tempting to forego the help of a real estate agent when buying or selling a home. Some people will try to do it themselves in an attempt to cut costs, but if you have prior experience in buying or selling a home, you’ll know that the process requires a skilled professional. This is especially true in the luxury market, which demands a high level of expertise, marketing, and negotiation skills.

Hiring a qualified real estate agent offers numerous benefits that can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Think of it as an investment where you can gain access to a host of valuable resources, including:

  • In-depth market knowledge
  • Access to the best public and private listings
  • A top-tier professional network, which includes other agents, contractors, lenders, etc.
  • In-depth comparative market analysis (CMA)
  • Legal know-how and familiarity with the necessary paperwork
  • Experience and skill in handling negotiations

By neglecting to hire an agent, you may also be settling for a lower price or worse terms than what you could have achieved with an agent’s guidance. When it comes to the luxury market, pricing a home accurately is paramount. Pricing a home too high or too low can have negative consequences, such as losing potential buyers and attracting lowball offers.

It’s easy for many first-time buyers and sellers to underestimate the work that goes into these transactions. Don’t make this mistake! Working with an experienced agent will allow you to focus on what you want to focus on, and let the professional handle the rest.


How to find the best real estate agent for your needs

Finding a great luxury agent doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s go over some of the most common questions people have about the hiring process.

  1. Is there a difference between an agent, a real estate broker, and a Realtor?
  2. You have probably heard the terms agent, broker, and Realtor being used in real estate. Though similar, they do mean different things, and knowing these differences can help you find the right real estate professional to work with.

    A real estate agent is a general term for a professional who is licensed to facilitate real estate transactions. They can represent buyers and sellers, and they typically work under the supervision of a real estate broker.

    A real estate broker holds a higher level of licensure than an agent, having completed additional education and experience requirements. You may see brokers operating their own brokerage firm, maybe even providing services such as property management and real estate investment consulting.

    On the other hand, a Realtor® is a licensed real estate professional who is part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a trade group for those working in the real estate industry. Realtors follow the standards of practice set by the NAR, which distinguishes them from non-member agents.

  3. Who pays the real estate commission fees and what are the costs I need to shoulder?
  4. When it comes to costs, real estate agents earn a commission based on the final sale price of the property. This is typically divided between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent, with each receiving a percentage. This commission will come out of the seller’s earnings from the sale of their home. Take note that buyers may also have to pay for closing costs or inspection fees, based on what they agree to in the purchase contract.

  5. What skills and qualities should I look for in a real estate agent?
  6. How to find the best real estate agent for your needs

    Ultimately, there is more than one way to succeed as a real estate agent. Each agent brings a unique perspective to the table, shaped by their experiences, expertise, and personal strengths. However, there are certain skills that are universally valued and can significantly contribute to one’s success.

    FOR HOME SELLERS: Look for these qualities in your potential real estate professional.

    • Marketing savvy
    • A great real estate agent is also a brilliant marketer. The best agents will go beyond simply putting up a sign in your yard, pulling out all the stops in making your home attractive to the luxury market. They have connections to professional home stagers, photographers, and videographers who leverage their expertise and technology to create content that captures the interest of buyers. These people have access to top-of-the-line equipment, understanding that high-quality marketing materials are a must in today’s market.

    • Proactiveness
    • Many luxury real estate agents have to work with high-profile buyers and sellers who expect a certain level of professionalism and discretion. A top-tier luxury agent thrives in this environment, demonstrating confidence and decisiveness. They’re not intimidated by the challenges that may arise and are able to anticipate the specific needs of their clients.

    • Strong branding
    • One mark of a truly skilled seller’s agent is the ability to market themselves. Pay attention to an agent’s branding and how well they present themselves both online and offline. Their website and social media profiles should demonstrate a consistent image as well as clearly communicate their unique selling point.

    • Network and reach
    • Networking skills are paramount to succeeding in the luxury market. More than creating connections with luxury buyers, potential investors, and other real estate agents, a smart luxury agent is actively involved in their community. This may include participating in philanthropic work and joining prestigious local clubs.

    FOR HOMEBUYERS: Look for a specialized skill set when choosing your real estate agent.

    • In-depth local knowledge
    • Look for an agent who has a deep understanding of the area’s luxury market, including current trends and pricing dynamics, as well as insider knowledge of exclusive neighborhoods and amenities. Don’t believe the first person who claims to be a local expert – always make sure they have a proven track record of success, with a portfolio of closed deals and satisfied clients to back it up.

      A reputable agent should also have strong connections within the luxury real estate community. They can provide access to off-market listings and exclusive opportunities for their clients.

    • White-glove service
    • As a buyer, you know what you want in a luxury home. Find an agent who listens carefully to your needs, preferences, and price range, and doesn’t simply settle for the quickest or easiest option. A quality agent will tailor their search to find properties that align with your vision and ensure you’re satisfied with the end result.

      Similarly, choose an agent who demonstrates keen attention to detail and who communicates promptly. You’ll want an agent that keeps you informed about new listings, schedules showings, and readily answers the questions you may have throughout the process.

    • Negotiation skills
    • A savvy agent excels in negotiations. Ask your potential agent how they were able to secure the best deals for their past clients, and what their strategies are for helping you do the same. In a competitive market like Newport Beach, where high-value homes frequently attract multiple offers, a skilled agent should have the ability to craft an offer that sets itself apart from the competition.

    • Patience and persistence
    • Sometimes the right home takes time! It’s crucial to find an agent who’s in it for the long haul – someone who’s patient, persistent, and dedicated to finding the property that checks all your boxes. The best agent will actively search for listings and keep you in the loop with updates. They won’t pressure you into a decision just to get a quick commission or close a deal.

  7. What are the questions I should ask my real estate agent?
  8. How to find the best real estate agent for your needs

    In order to narrow down your search for the best real estate agent, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. A great way to start is asking about their experiences:

    • How long have you worked in the luxury market?
    • How long have you worked in Newport Beach?
    • Do you have any referrals?

    If you’re buying a home, you likely want to dig deep into the neighborhood you’re eyeing; that’s where your agent’s local knowledge really shines. It’s also important to get a good idea of how the agent works – their process, approach, and usual timeline.

    These are just some questions you can ask your candidates:

    • Can you walk me through the buying process from start to finish?
    • Are there any unique challenges or considerations specific to buying in Newport Beach?
    • What does the current Newport Beach market look like, specifically for luxury homes?
    • What’s your typical timeline for buying a home in this neighborhood?
    • How many similar properties have you sold in the past year, and at what price points?
    • Do you have access to “silent” or word-of-mouth listings?
    • How do you stay informed about new listings?
    • What’s your strategy for getting my offer accepted in a competitive market?

    If you’re selling your property, be sure to ask the following:

    • How do you plan to advertise my property? Can you walk me through your process for staging and presenting luxury properties for maximum impact?
    • How many homes have you sold in the past year?
    • What does your database or network look like? Do you have access to out-of-state buyers?
    • How do you handle confidentiality when working with high-profile clients or luxury properties?
    • What’s your secret to handling negotiations and multiple offers?

    Other questions to ask:

    • Are you affiliated with any professional organizations or networks?
    • Are you a full time or a part-time agent?
    • How often can I expect to hear from you, and through what channels?
    • Are there any extra costs involved that I need to know about?

  9. What are the common mistakes I can avoid when hiring a real estate agent?
  10. Ready to begin your next real estate journey? Be aware of these common mistakes people make before hiring an agent:

    • Neglecting to interview multiple agents. The first mistake many buyers and sellers make is thinking all agents are the same. Not everyone will have the same experience, knowledge, and skills. It’s important to interview multiple real estate agents in Newport Beach to find the best fit for your needs.
    • Hiring an agent without doing a background check. Don’t be afraid to do a little research on potential candidates, and don’t make the mistake of ignoring an agent’s online presence. Make sure to ask for references and check online reviews or social media pages to get a sense of their work and the experiences of their past clients.
    • Hiring an agent just because they tell you what you want to hear. It’s natural to want to place a high price tag on the home you’re selling. However, be wary of agents who readily agree with your estimates without the data to back it up. Such agents may be trying to win your business by flattering you, but they may not be able to deliver on their promises. You may end up with a home that sits on the market for too long, or sells for less than its true value.
    • Hiring someone solely because they’re your friend or family. While you may want to hire friends or family members who are real estate agents, it’s important to choose an agent based on their qualifications and not a personal connection.
    • Hiring someone you’re not fully comfortable working with. Although this is a professional transaction, it’s important that you and your agent have a personality fit. Buying or selling a home can be a stressful experience, so choose someone you feel at ease with.


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you deserve unparalleled white-glove service. Allow me, Georgina Jacobson, to assist you in reaching your real estate goals in Newport Beach. As a seasoned luxury Realtor, I’ve had the pleasure of working with countless clients in pursuit of their next dream home or investment property. I’ve also facilitated hundreds of successful home sales in and around the area.

Here’s what my clients have to say about the work we do for them.

Along with my team at the Georgina Jacobson Group, we are ready to take your real estate experience to the next level. Get in touch with us today at 949.285.8380, or via email.

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