The vast majority of people do not know the difference between a buyer’s representative and a real estate agent. Simply put, a buyer’s representative is a real estate agent who wishes to focus solely on the interests of buyers, by continuing their education to provide excellent buyer representation and becoming ABR certified. However, being a buyer’s representative is so much more than continuing education, as illustrated from the following story, by Fatima Khokhar, Naples Meridian’s premier buyer representative:

 I met a couple through some dear friends who were looking for real estate property in Naples. They were not quite ready to retire, but wanted to invest in a property that was a good value proposition and a place where their family could enjoy the culture, atmosphere, and the coastal views that Naples offers.

Our first meeting was like a good first date, very informative and a lot of laughs. Based on our conversation we set out on a brief tour of available options to get a firm perspective of what they were seeking in a property. We soon realized that the properties we were looking at were not only above their price point, but also not quite what they had envisioned. Buyers often need to spend time “on the ground” visiting properties that they believe they want in order to understand that their parameters need to be expanded or refined.

After discussing their “must haves” in a Naples real estate property, we were able to narrow down the parameters of our search. In this case, their “must haves” included a condominium with stellar views of the Gulf of Mexico, a building with amenities and a space large enough where they could improve the interior to match their design aesthetic, all at a price point of $1.5 million. In Naples, finding the optimal property would take some time.

We live in a world where “nobody has time for anything”. Locating a property that fits into specific parameters takes time-especially in Naples where inventory of available properties is always limited. That is why a buyer’s representative is so vital to the process of buying a new home or investment property. As a buyer’s representative, we are always looking out for the best interests of our buyers. And when you’re looking out for your client’s best interests, time is always on your side.

We identified a few properties that made our short list and made offers on two properties yet on both occasions the deal did not come together. Properties that Naples real estate properties that require renovation need some leeway in terms of the selling price. We met a few challenges in terms of sellers not willing to accept the buyers terms. As the buyer’s advocate it is our duty to identify when a client is overpaying for a property simply for the privilege of being part of a certain community. At times the value of being part of a community outweighs the value of the brick and mortar. In this case I recommended that we suspend our search for a few months until new inventory surfaced. The buyers primary motivation was to purchase a property that would achieve their financial goals and they were prepared to wait. Several months later I was in our Sotheby’s office chatting with a colleague who shared that she was about to list a property for sale. She described the property and it fit my clients’ parameters perfectly! The condominium was in one of the only buildings on the Gulf that had the kind of direct water views that the clients wanted and the property required a total renovation. The next afternoon I toured the property and sent photos and a video to the buyers. That evening we consulted and I recommended a price to the buyers based on the market conditions, recent sales in the building and the condition of the unit. The listing agent and I had a similar conversation when I toured the property. The buyers had been studying the market with me for several months and agreed with my strategy. We made an offer the next day as the listing agent counseled the seller to agree to review our offer prior to the property being listed on the open market. The buyers made an offer without actually, physically seeing the property, only based off of the photos I sent them and a firm understanding of the current market conditions. I presented the offer to the listing agent and it was accepted that day. By taking the time to keep my client’s best interests in mind and taking our time to search and conduct the necessary due diligence we uncovered the ideal property for them. Our clients and their family will soon be enjoying the beautiful coastal views in their newly remodeled Naples home. The clients were delighted to have purchased a property that when valued after the renovations will be in line with other market sales in the building.

This successful negotiation occured because of the trust in both the seller’s and buyer’s representatives. How you represent the client, the duty you have to your client, and the properties you present to your client, is paramount in building a relationship that continues far beyond the timeframe of the transaction. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative in Florida, we do more than just help you find a home, we are your partner. We take the time to understand and to clarify the items that you consider “must have” features in your next home. With this in mind, Naples Meridian team members are proud to have earned their certification as accredited buyer representatives.

Fatima S. Khokhar has been representing buyer clients for over twelve years. She began her real estate career in The United Kingdom and relocated to Naples, Florida and launched her consultancy group, Naples Meridian in 2011.

What Does It Mean To Be ABR Certified?

Any real estate agent can become ABR certified. When a real estate agent decides to earn their ABR they will be gaining ongoing specialized information and programs, beneficial real estate education, and access to the REBEC referral network, which provides an additional competitive edge. When you partner with an Buyer’s Representative, you are working with an individual that has taken the time to advance their education to provide you with knowledge and service required to protect your best interests until you have the keys in your hand.

ABR Certification Requirements

To earn their ABR, real estate agents must complete the following:

  • Successful completion of the Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation Course. In some states this also means passing the exam with at least an 80%, as well as, completing the ABR Designation Requirements within a year.
  • Completion and an 80% passing grade on one of the elective ABR courses.
  • Verification of five completed transactions in which the individual represented the buyer, no dual agency transactions.
  • Maintain an active and good standing membership with the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council.

When your ready to buy your next home, whether it’s your first, second or even third, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative is your best choice. The proven experience and advanced level of service you receive when working with a buyer’s representative will improve and simplify the complex negotiating process to ultimately assist you in identifying the Naples real estate property of your dreams Naples Meridian is on fire about Buyer’s Representation. Not only do we represent our client’s in Naples, Florida, but we are also first point of contact in identifying for you an Accredited Buyer’s Representative anywhere in the United States that will advocate for you and your needs with no additional costs.


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