7 tips for choosing a real estate agent
There are hundreds of real estate agents around the county. How should you choose your real estate agent? These are a few ideas for you to review before selecting an agent to represent you in your real estate transaction.
1. Ask friends and former clients It’s OK to ask an agent to provide a list of homes they’ve listed and sold in the last year. Ask for contact information to. Call the past clients and see what they liked and didn’t like about the process with their agent. Be sure their comments fit with your expectations. A good question for sellers is, “How long was you home on the market?”
2. Review the agents real estate license The California Department of Real Estate has public information on agents who have had their licenses suspended in the past. Review it online here: http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp
3. Choose a winner Check the local board of Realtors in Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo or Cambria and ask what agents do the most volume in the market. Ask who has won the recent “Realtor of the Year” awards or similar designations. These can be excellent endorsements.
4. Choose a Realtor with good credentials Real estate agents specialize. Ask about the initials that come after an agents name on his or her business card. They can be an indication that the agent has taken additional classes in a certain specialty of real estate sales. Here are a few designations:
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
Realtor with a capital “R,” means the agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors. By hiring a Realtor you know they have pledged to support the code of ethics.
5. How long have they been an agent? You can find out how long the agent has been selling real estate from the California DRE, or just ask. Because many people come and go in the business, a solid track record is a good thing.
6. Look at their current listings Check out your prospective agent’s listings. Check out the agents own site and Realtor.com. How closely do the agent’s listings match the home you want to buy or sell. Are they in the same area and price range?
7. Ask about other homes nearby A good agent will know about other area properties. Ask about a house in your area that’s sold recently or is for sale. If the agent knows the property and can give you a few details, that means he or she really knows your area.
Recommended local real estate agents
Sherry Peckhoon SIM – Sims & Company 299 Cayucos Dr Cayucos, CA 3430 (805) 234-4315
Re/Max Pines By The Sea 770 Main St Cambria, CA 93428 (805) 927-2474
California Coastal Real Estate 3196 South Higuera Street, Suite D San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 540-5545
Gregg Whitfield – The Real Estate Office 297 Santa Rosa Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 235-7412