There are thousands of real estate agents in the Bay Area. Of course, I’d love you to choose to work with me. In case you decide to interview other Realtors, consider these factors first.
10% of Realtors Represent 90% of the Business
In real estate, approximately 10% of licensed Realtors represent the lion’s share of real estate transactions conducted each year. Here’s why:
- Part-timers. Not all real estate agents are full-time. It’s a 100% commission profession. Getting started can be difficult and to survive the “lean” years, many agents have other jobs that split their focus.
- Not actively selling to the public. For example, a licensed agent may work for other active agents by managing paperwork behind the scenes; they never leave the office or show a home to anyone.
- Independent mortgage brokers and home flippers. Mortgage brokers must understand the real estate financing laws and regulations. If they work for independent firms, they must also hold a real estate license. Developers and home flippers may use a license for their own business reasons.
It’s a Small Community
The real estate community is a small one. Meaning, Realtors talk to each other. Often. Whether it’s part of a transaction or in a brokerage office, real estate agents get to know each other. The top 10% know which agents are ethical and trustworthy. Stories about unscrupulous and shady practices spread like wildfire.
If an agent has a poor reputation — for making untruthful claims, sloppy paperwork, or missed deadlines — their clients suffer. On the flip side, a seller or buyer benefits from an agent with a sterling reputation. Negotiations tend to be smoother, and escrows close faster.
Common Lies Told by Real Estate Agents
As in every profession, there are a few bad apples in the bunch. Or they may be simply green and lack experience. According to The Balance, here are the top lies told by real estate agents:
- Experience. Newbies are worried that buyers or sellers won’t choose them because of lack of experience. It’s relatively easy to misrepresent oneself by posting not-so-accurate info on a website. Tip: Look up the real estate license on an official licensing such as the California Bureau of Real Estate. Ask the agent or brokerage office to print out an MLS production report to see how many transactions the agent completed in the last two years.
- Credentials. Beyond a licensing exam, other credentials require special training such as Certified Negotiation Specialist (CNS), Certified Corporate Relocation Specialist, e-Pro for internet marketing, and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Each designation shows a commitment to the profession and expanding knowledge. Tip: For Realtors who are part of a brokerage, check the website or call the office manager. Reputable brokerages, like Sereno Group, monitor their agents’ credentials for accuracy.
- Listings. In the Bay Area, it’s a sellers’ market. Obtaining a property listing is very competitive. Having zero listings — whether active, pending, or sold — on a website is a telltale sign of inexperience. Some agents lie by using another Realtor’s listing as their own. Tip: Check websites such as Zillow or Redfin to verify the listing agent.
Service & Reputation Matters
We now live in an age where information is available 24/7. You can research a Realtor’s reputation by reading client testimonials and online reviews. But choosing the right real estate partner should go further, in my opinion. It has to be a good match — both in expertise and in personality.
Buying and selling a home is a personal transaction. I’ve helped hundreds of Bay Area individuals find the right place to call home. If you’re interested in working with me, I invite you to read about my background and my approach. You’ll find information on how I work with my clients and what I’ll need from you to do my best work. Then, I hope to hear from you.
Photo credit: Daniel Hartwig