By Bruce Cathcart
In preparation for this series of articles I googled “find a real estate agent”. I was amazed when my search turned up over 40,300,000 results! The information on this subject available on the Internet is truly overwhelming and ranges from the theoretical to the practical, from good helpful tips to unrealistic hype. So before I get into how to find an agent, let’s take a look at what a real estate agent is and what we are looking for in an agent.
According to Realtor.com, “A real estate agent is anyone who is licensed [by the state] to advise the public on real estate issues”. Both real estate brokers and real estate salespeople are considered real estate agents as they represent their clients in real estate transactions. Real estate salespeople must work under the supervision of a real estate broker. In the state of California, real estate salespeople must successfully complete several real estate courses and pass the state salesperson exam before obtaining their license. To become a real estate broker, a real estate salesperson must successfully complete additional classes and pass the state broker’s exam. A REALTOR is a real estate agent that is also a member of the National and California Association of REALTORS. Real estate agents are professionals and like in all professions they include among their ranks the good, the bad and the ugly.
Honesty and integrity top my list whenever I look to hire any professional service but of course that alone does not assure me that they can get the job done. There is no substitute for knowledge and experience. No one wants to be anyone’s first client (except for maybe Mom and Dad)! But in addition to having the right knowledge a good agent must be able to communicate and apply that knowledge efficiently and effectively. A good agent needs to be able educate their clients and keep them informed every step of the way… and with smart phones, texting, email, tweeting, and Facebook there is no excuse for not staying in contact with each other! I believe that real estate agents are hired to protect their clients and as such they should inspire a feeling of confidence and security. Really great agents always put their client’s needs ahead of their own and end up sacrificing vacations, days off, dinners out, and time otherwise spent with loved ones to help their clients achieve their real estate goals. Knowing this I also recommend having an agent with a positive attitude and a good sense of humor are a must. I know that all this sounds like a lot to look for in any professional but in my experience the best professional real estate agents today have all of these qualities. Next week we’ll get into how to find one of these agents.
This week’s real estate tip: When selecting a real estate agent to help you with your real estate needs it is important that after you do a little research on them you also go with your “gut” feeling. This agent is going to be an important person in your life for at least a few months and if you get a good feeling from this person it will make your time together much more pleasant. Chances are that if you like working with them others will too!
Bruce Cathcart is the Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty, “The Friendly Professionals” and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.laquintapalmsrealty.com.