Does experience matter?
Is your agent experienced enough to handle your transaction?
What does this mean for the average buyer? It means there are a large number of inexperienced agents out there!!!! If you are considering buying or selling, you should talk with agents that offer their service and determine if they have any experience. Taking a course and passing a state test does not mean that a licensed agent is experienced enough to handle your transaction. After licensing, there is a LOT to learn. State contracts, negotiating, inspections, financing, legal issues and much more comes into play when buying or selling a home. It takes most agents at least 3 to 4 years to understand most of the ins and outs needed to complete a transaction (assuming they are able to get involved in a number of transactions).
Then there is the question of whether or not the agent knows houses and neighborhoods. Anyone can walk through the home with you and point our how pretty the foyer is or how nice the pool looks. You can see that for yourself. But, does your agent have any knowledge of building codes, processes or materials? Do they know the possible issues a home has based on the year it was built? Of course, a good inspector will help to answer those questions - but that is after you have spent hundreds of dollars on the inspection. A good agent can point out the possible issues before the inspection and start a conversation with the seller's agent. Things like a dangerous electrical panel, poly plumbing, aluminum wiring, deteriorating cast iron drain lines, out of date roof, etc. Do they have enough experience to negotiate with the seller when things are not what they should be?
Experience matters! According to the Florida Association of Realtors, 87% of newly licensed agents fail to renew their license after the initial period of up to 2 years. This means there is constant turn over of failed agents and new agents.
Bottom line: Ask questions. Determine if your chosen agent is qualified to represent you in the transaction at hand. After all, it's your money at risk when you are making one of the largest investments of your life.