San Diego Home Buyers/Sellers – How to Choose A Realtor For Your Next Home Purchase or Sale!

Posted on May 14, 2007. Filed under: Home Buyers, Home Sellers |

San Diego Home Buyers and Home Sellers certainly have a plethora of Realtors® and Real Estate Agents to choose from and it can be a confusing process.  (Yes, there is a difference between a Realtor® and a Real Estate Agent! – Later on, you may wish to read my previous blog article: “Are All Real Estate Agents Realtors?”). 

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) estimates there to be 427,389 real estate licenses held in the state of California which, by the way, is rapidly growing as we speak.   More San Diego Home Buyers than ever are turning to the Internet when it comes to Real Estate.  (See my previous blog article: “San Diego Home Buyers- Surfing The Net?”).  This method of choosing a Realtor®  is ever-increasing!  It is no wonder that so many Realtors® now realize the importance of web presence! 

Of course, many San Diego Home Buyers and Sellers still choose their Realtors® the good old fashion way – Open Houses, etc.  Whichever way you decide to go, you will want to take some precaution.  You will be hiring your Realtor® to help you buy or sell that home of yours – Perhaps the largest investment of your lifetime.  I will share with you some great tips to help you choose a great Realtor® that will work hard for you and your Family.

First, it is my own personal opinion that I recommend you to find out whether they are a Realtor® or not (A Member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)).  Members of the NAR have access to many more seminars, training classes, tools, resources – Not to mention we must also follow and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (See my previous blog article for more information on this topic).  This may or may not be a “deal breaker” for you but is in your benefit to know.

You might wish to ask if that Realtor® works Full-time.  The more time and effort they can dedicate to getting your Home sold or negotiating that Home Purchase for you – the better off you could be!  Afterall, your Home is one of the most important investments of your lifetime.  It is in your benefit to make sure you are not choosing a Realtor® who is already spread thin with time and resources.

How often will that Realtor® be able to meet with you to show you Homes to view if you are a Buyer?  If you are a Seller, how often will you receive updates (in person or by phone/e-mail) on the statistics of your Home’s showings?  And, what specifically which results are tracked? 

What Days/Hours will they be available to work?  And, if they are in a meeting or on an Appointment with another client – What is their usual turn-around time for returning phone calls and e-mails?

Another great piece of information you might want to know beforehand is how Internet savvy they are.  You can find this out by asking that Realtor® for their website address(es).  Check out their professional website.  Is this Realtor® one that has a professional appearance suited to represent you in this transaction?  Afterall, other Buyers, Sellers and Real Estate Agents/Realtors in San Diego will go to their website too.  And, If you are a Home Seller, will your Home be displayed on that agent’s website?  If so, how so.  Will it have a prominent spot on their website?  Keep in mind that If it takes more than a click or two from the time a visitor gets to the homepage – your Home Listing ad/property profile could be lost in the shuffle.  It should be near effortless for a prospective Home Buyer.

What types of Internet advertisement will that Realtor® do for you, if you are a Home Seller in San Diego?  This entails several things, really.  Does that Realtor® have proper advertisement on his professional website (so that Home Buyers may find him through that route)?  If your Home will be displayed on his/her website (I hope so), you will also want to feel secure that it will be found by potential Buyers! 

Sellers – You will also want to know that your agent will be advertising on various sites such as, Yahoo! Real Estate,,,, All major real estate company websites (with IDX – for MLS Search Integration) to name just a few!  There is no such thing as too much online exposures when selling a San Diego Home!  This is because approximately 85% of Home Buyers will search San Diego Homes on the Internet before viewing in person or setting foot inside that Home.  If your House is For Sale, you will want Buyers to be able to find it when they are looking online for it.  This can be crucial to a successful sale (Of course, there are other methods of finding Buyers – but online exposure is an important one these days).

How long have they been in the business?  What type of work experience do they have?  What did they do before becoming a Realtor®?  Of course, you will want an agent that shows they can stick it out for the long haul.  However, do not simply assume that the Old Pros are always better!  (I have seen many agents in the business 15-30 years that cannot properly price a Home or are not Internet savvy or do not know how to change with the times of a new market!)

How has this Realtor® customized or altered their Buying/Selling Proposal to accomodate the type of market you are currently in?  One of the biggest problems is that some do not bend or flex their strategies over time, as needed.  The “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” mentality.  This is especially dangerous in a market such as the one we are now currently in!  Many Real Estate Agents got used to Homes practically flying off the market on their own – in mere days to weeks.  That is not the market we are in presently.  There is great need for one’s plan to evolve with the times.

Why did they choose to become a Realtor®?  This is one of the most simple questions imaginable, yet so important to ask!  This one is often not thought of.  Why so important, you might think?  Because you are looking for an agent with pure, genuine Enthusiasm for Real Estate deals!  If there is passion in their work — if they absolutely love what they do — and love helping others then that enthusiasm can go a long way!  They will enjoy their work and work harder to help you reach your goals.  It is not something that should ever be underestimated.  This alone could mean more than all the other questions combined. 

Last but definitely not least – Do you feel comfortable working with this Realtor®?  Do not ignore your ‘gut’ feelings/instincts.  Whether the Home sells in 1 week versus 6 months, you will want your experience to be a pleasant one!  You should expect to spend lots and lots – and lots – of time with this person.  Make sure the experience will be enjoyable on a personal level as well as on a professional level. 

My suggested questions should give you a terrific foundation for a friendly interview.  Make it flow within your conversation.  Pay attention to their verbal responses as well as body language/posture and also eye contact.  Feel free to add or take away from my suggested questions as you see fit for your personalized conversation. 

I certainly hope this helps you choose a San Diego Realtor®  that is perfect for your next move.  At the very least, they may help inspire you to think of questions that are important to you personally. 

If you are a San Diego Home Buyer/Seller who found this article useful when choosing a Realtor or if you have questions/comments you’d like to add – I would love to hear the feedback. 

If you’re a Home Buyer or Home Seller in San Diego County in California, you are welcome to view my professional website with MLS instant access and community links.

Warm Regards!

Raquel Bundy of Prudential CA Realty – Visit my Blog’s Homepage! 


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