Tips on Picking the Right Real Estate Agent

Photo for article
Bathroom update designed by Jillian Shea for the Kupferberg Orlando Team’s clients in Muttontown.
Josh Goetz Photography

Every day people selling and buying houses search for the right deal, but something else may be crucial. Getting the right real estate agent, especially in a tight market, can matter. Agents can bring added value, helping refresh properties, bring out strengths and tap into markets through networking and connections. Properties are what they are, but picking the right real estate agent can impact sales, deals and decisions for high-end and more moderately priced properties.

The Kupferberg-Orlando team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, is a prime example of how real estate agents can make a difference to maximize offers, helping sellers and buyers. They offer responsiveness to buyers and sellers, creative problem solving and track record.

While most sellers and buyers go with a single agent, a team approach, like that of Kupferberg-Orlando, can provide an appealing option. Tracey Murray Kupferberg leads the team, Terri Orlando (certified by the International Association of Staging Professionals) stages, Lindsay Kupferberg brings marketing expertise and Jillian Shea of Jillian Shea Design adds interior design.

“I manage the team’s marketing and listings and can help advertise properties,” Lindsay Kupferberg, a licensed real estate agent for 12 years with a background in marketing, says. “We work together.”

Find out how many transactions your agent or agents have done. The Kupferberg-Orlando team closed more than $150 million in transactions. Money talks. Track record talks.

In addition to marketing services, a real estate agent may be able to help with design, if they have the expertise. Kupferberg-Orlando provides free consultations with interior designer Jillian Shea. “We come in and freshen the whole thing up,” Tracey Kupferberg says, noting small touches can beautify even the best-looking properties. “This works for sellers and buyers.” Improving lighting and painting can work wonders. “We can help the clients with a vision,” Jillian Shea adds, noting they can help realize or refine visions.

In a Manhasset house, they added new backsplashes and a counter, creating what looked like a brand-new kitchen. They added molding to a room in a Muttontown house with a low ceiling. “What was once a downside becomes an upside,” Jillian Shea says. “Adding architectural interest makes it a beautiful thing.” Changing window treatments and carpeting also can make a difference. Adding flower boxes can make homes even more welcoming.

Experience is key in picking the right real estate agent. Kupferberg’s time working at the Ritz-Carlton is another plus. And the team brings decades, not just years, of experience.

You also may want to go with agents with regional expertise. Living in and focusing primarily on Long Island’s North Shore, Kupferberg-Orlando offers contacts, connections and prospective buyers in that region.

“We live here, work here,” Tracey Kupferberg says. “We’re working where we know, where we live. And we have a lot of resources here.”

Connections and local contact lists help sellers, while buyers get the expertise of people who know tradespeople and the ins and outs of the region.

“We can tell you where to get this and that. When you live here, you can confidently recommend places,” she says. “You can help them adapt to a new community better, give them options. We know what’s going on. We’re here.”

Agents who live in the area where a house is listed not only bring local knowledge, but availability for showings. “Three of us live locally,” Lindsay Kupferberg says. “There’s always somebody available.”

They also can advise with paring down for those moving to smaller locations, helping with donating and other options.

“What do they do with their stuff?” Lindsay Kupferberg asks. “It’s a range of things, not just logistically but emotionally.”

Tech know-how also can matter. In addition to social media like Facebook and Instagram, Kupferberg-Orlando can create stand-alone websites, create videos that provide virtual tours and virtual staging, changing seasons in images of homes. Why wait for spring or fall, when software can give it to you anytime? Virtual staging can stage your house for summer in the depths of winter.

“If it’s winter, you can show it as it would look in summer, to see it in a better season,” Tracey Kupferberg says.

Brokers who have gone through the process themselves also bring better perspective. Lindsay Kupferberg and Jillian Shea both recently bought homes.

“They have a perspective on what it’s like, what it takes,” Tracey Kupferberg says. “You have somebody who’s been through it and done it recently.”