"If you think hiring an expert is expensive - wait until you hire an amateur."
Let's start with the 3 "Must Have" qualifications:
- Membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Realtors have a code of ethics designed to protect the public in addition to providing a governing power that arbitrates violations.
- Licensed Real Estate Broker. Although other states have gone to "all Broker" states because of the higher level of education and expertise required for a broker's license, the state of California still allows agents to sell real estate. To put it in perspective with other professions, the California State Bar or CPA exams span several days and include essay questions - the exam to be a real estate agent is 3 hours long, consisting of 150 multiple choice questions! In addition, there is no apprenticeship or experience required to become a licensed agent.
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). This is the highest designation awarded in the residential sales field. The CRS designation recognizes accomplishments in education, number of real estate transactions and experience. Only 4% of all Realtors have earned the right to be called a CRS.
You are now at the point to begin interviewing the truly qualified candidates (in my experienced opinion) that are left. You will be looking for the following items at the interview:
- A written marketing and advertising plan with specific strategies and buyer targets customized for your particular needs.
- Verifiable statistics showing the number of prices reductions and the length of time it has taken the candidate to sell homes in your area.
- A written Quality Service Guarantee with an independent customer satisfaction rating posted on the internet. (www.QualityService.org)
- On a final note, you are not looking for a best friend. You want a real estate professional that is honest and knowledgeable. Choose Your Broker Wisely!