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How Can Buyers Identify a Good REALTOR®?

San Diego Association of Realtors

1. They know their license number and their business card should show their California real estate license number--required by law.

2.  They are members of a real estate trade association.  Membership does not guarantee that they will be the best realtors to work with, but hopefully they follow the minimum standard of practice in the industry.

3.  A good REALTOR®  gives you comparative market analyses (called "comps") before you make an offer.  These are properties comparable to the one you are buying.  You need different types of "comps": (a) SOLD within the 3-6 months.  (b) CONTINGENT (meaning an offer was accepted by Seller pending lender's approval).  (c) PENDING close of escrow; and (d) ACTIVE - currently on the market. 

4.  The sources of the comps may include homes listed on the MLS and those not sold through realtors or brokers.  

5.  A good REALTOR® represents your best interest.  He/she is your advocate, anticipates challenges and avoid making the situation worse.  He/she is also ethical, honest and fair--to you and to the other side even as he/she fights for your best interest. 

6. When a good realtor represents the seller, the goal is to get the best price in the shortest amount of time and with the least problems for the seller.  When that same good realtor represents the buyer, the goal is to find the right home at the best price, in the right amount of time, and with the least hassles. 

7.  A good REALTOR®  gives you all the options, explains the risks and consequences of each option, and allows you to make your own decision. Every action carries a certain risk.  So, make decisions wisely.

8. A good REALTOR® is a skilled negotiator and does not waste your time.  They also understand loans and can tell you the loan restrictions on certain properties, so that you don't waste time looking and making offers on homes that you cannot qualify for a loan.

9. A good REALTOR® is knowledgeable about the changing market conditions, sensitive to the client's concerns, and knows how to handle different types of property transactions (e.g., short sales, REOs, HUD homes or traditional sales). 

10. A good REALTOR® does not take on more than what they can handle.  They are familiar with the geographic areas that the client is interested in buying and they know when to refer the client to an expert or another professional. 

All realtors who are members of the MLS have access to the same database.  But, every home is unique and the market conditions change every day.  So, prices for the same home can fluctuate.  Accurately pricing your offer to be competitive with other offers for comparable homes is both a science and an art.  This is where a very-well educated and experienced REALTOR® can make a difference in helping you build your wealth.