Finding a San Diego Real Estate Agent

San Diego Real Estate Agent

by Tiffany

Finding a good San Diego real estate agent / broker is crucial to enjoying a seamless real estate transaction.  The question is how can you find a quality real estate agent?  The best agent for you doesn’t necessarily work at the biggest or fanciest brokerage, close the most sales, or make the most money.  The best agent for you is an experienced professional who will listen to you, care about your unique situation, conduct herself in an ethical manner at all times, take the time to educate, and knows our San Diego market.  Whether moving to San Diego or just relocating within our city limits, here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for your ideal real estate agent who will be your partner in navigating the world of San Diego property.

1. REALTORS® vs. Real Estate Agents

Not all real estate professionals are created equally.  All Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate as an agent or a broker, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Realtors® belong to the National Association of Realtors and pledge to follow the Code of Ethics, a comprehensive list containing 17 articles and underlying standards of practice, which establish levels of conduct that are higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law. Less than half of all licensees are Realtors®, and these are authorized to display the Realtor® logo.  Look for Realtors® in San Diego. A San Diego Realtor® will specialize in our unique market.

2. Referrals

Most real estate agents stay in business because satisfied clients refer them to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.  Ask those you trust who they have used, and ask them to describe their experiences with that real estate agent.  Successful agents make customer satisfaction their number one priority and put their customers’ needs before their own.  Try to find an agent who goes the extra mile, above and beyond her responsibilities.  She’ll be the agent whose praises your friends sing loudest.

3. Search Online

There are plenty of Web sites that will refer agents to you but that is no assurance of quality.  The agents they refer are those who have paid the Web site owners a fee to be listed in their directory.  A better bet is to Google the top real estate companies in your area, go to those Web sites and look up profiles of individual agents at offices near you.  Agents who are experienced will tell you, but newer agents might have more time to spend with you.  Look for customer testimonials.

4. Attend San Diego Open Houses

By going to open houses, you can meet San Diego real estate agents in a non-threatening working environment and interact with them.  Collect business cards and make notes on them.  If you’re thinking about selling your home, pay attention to how the agent is showing the home. Is she polite, informative, and does she appear knowledgeable?  Does she hand out professional-looking promotional material about the home?  Is she trying to sell features of the home?  Or is she sitting in a corner playing on her iPhone, ignoring you?

5. Track Neighborhood Signs

Pay attention to the agent listings in your neighborhood by noticing their yard signs.  Make note of the day they go up and when the sold sign appears. The agent who sells San Diego homes the fastest might be better for you than the agent with the largest number of “for sale” signs.  Results speak volumes.

6. Use Print Advertising

Real estate agents run real estate ads for two purposes. The first is to sell specific real estate. The second is to promote themselves. Look in the Sunday newspaper for ads in your targeted San Diego neighborhood. Then look up the Web sites of the agents who are advertising. These agents could be specialists in your neighborhood. Call and ask them about their experience.

7. Recommendations from Professionals

Ask other real estate agents for referrals.  Agents are happy to refer buyers and sellers to associates, especially if the service you need is not a specialty of theirs.  Some agents specialize in residential resales while others work exclusively with new home builders/developers.  Or they are exclusively a listing agent (working for the seller), while others may specialize in buyers.  Other agents sell only commercial or investment property.  Mortgage brokers are also a resource for agent referrals as many brokers have first-hand knowledge of exceptional agents.  Pros tend to refer pros.
Tiffany Homa, REALTOR®

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