Choosing a Realtor: What You Need to Know

Are you ready to buy a home in La Cañada Flintridge or nearby California, but unsure where to start? The team at CalStar Mortgage Inc. can not only help you find home financing, but also can connect you with successful local Realtors who will help you find the perfect home. In this week’s blog, we’ll discuss some key things to consider when choosing a Realtor, so you can feel confident as you begin your search. Remember, the CalStar Mortgage Inc. team is here to help you with any remaining questions you may have about Realtors or any other aspect of homebuyer. Contact us to get started.

What is a Realtor?

Before you can find a Realtor, sometimes stylized REALTOR, it’s important that you understand exactly what that title means. A Realtor is a specially certified real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS, which has standards and certain codes of ethics. Real estate agent and real estate salesperson are other names for people with real estate licenses who are not part of the National Association of REALTORS. A real estate broker is an agent who has taken additional courses beyond the agent level and passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers often hire agents to work for and with them. Both real estate agents and brokers can be Realtors.

Why Choose a Realtor?

Because of their membership in the National Association of REALTORS, you can trust that Realtors have not been in any serious problems in their profession in the past. Realtors promise to abide by a strict code of ethics focused on honesty. Realtors are experienced with the dozens of forms and other documentation involved in making an offer for a home and closing on it, which means these processes go smoother for you. They are also skilled negotiators who can help you get a great price on a home.  They can also provide further information about the local area, with information about utilities, schools, and other basic information about the areas where you’re considering buying.

How to Choose a Realtor?

Any good Realtor will be happy to show you documentation of his or her training and membership in the Realtor association, so be sure to ask for these up front. You should ask how long your agent or broker has been practicing and ask how many homes he or she has helped closed in the past year. It’s important that your Realtor has recent experience and is familiar with the current state of local real estate landscape.

Ask your Realtor how many clients he or she has now. Not only do you want your agent to dedicate time to you while you’re out actually looking at homes, but also to have the time to spend behind the scenes working to find a home you’ll love. Some agents work as part of a team, which can be good or bad depending on how much attention you’ll receive, and how intimately each team member will understand your situation.

Ask if he or she works with primarily buyers, sellers, or both. While you want your Realtor to have experience with buyers (since you’re a buyer), it can’t hurt if he or she also has had experience selling homes in the past, which gives a new sense of perspective in the process.

In addition to talking to your Realtor, you can also ask to talk to his or her former clients. Most brokers and agents will have a readily accessible list of happy clients who will give you an honest opinion about their homebuying experience.

How to Get Started?

Call us! The lending professionals at CalStar Mortgage Inc. are so much more than mortgage brokers. We would love to help you in choosing a Realtor as well as finding a home loan with an amazing rate and great terms. Contact us in La Cañada Flintridge, CA, today.