September 10, 2016

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Wayne Bell, Real Estate Commissioner discusses how to find the right real estate agent.

My name is Wayne Bell. I’m the Chief Counsel for California Department of Real Estate. I’ve been here since March of 2006.

Question: How should one go about interviewing a real estate professional?

Wayne:  First thing is after they’ve identified a group of agents who are both licensed and reputable they need to ask lots of questions. They need me to remember that they have a number of choices.

Find the Right Real Estate Agent: Questions to Ask

What I would suggest is that they ask for agents at least to, to come in and make presentations about the work that they’re going to be doing. Ask questions, make certain that they’re getting answers to each of the questions and take lots of notes. The questions include a number, but I have them identified and I like to go through a number of them right now.

First one, I would ask is how long have you been in the residential real estate business? Second question is, are you experienced in the neighborhood or neighborhoods in which I’m interested in purchasing a home? Third, I would ask, if they have any specialization or expertise? Next, I would ask if they have any professional affiliation, such as, are they a member of the
Board of Realtors? Are they a member of a Local Board?

You want to know that because that does say that they have the particular knowledge about an area and if they’re a realtor they’ve got some resources that other agents might not have.

Then I would ask how many homes have you sold or assisted in the purchase of, in the neighborhood or area in which I’m interested in buying a home? Then I would say, what are you going to do to help me locate a home? Are you going to take me on open houses or are you going to look on the Internet or are going to look at classifieds?

Then next, I would ask, how much time are you planning to spend with me each and every week. Are you going to be spending one hour, two hours? Are you going to be taking a lot of interest in me and what I’m looking for and what I want. Next, I would ask, how will you help me determine the value of the home? Then when an offer is going to be made are you going to
help me put together the offer?

Find the Right Real Estate Agent: Ask for References

Then last, I would ask, do you have a list of satisfied customers? In connection with that, I would also ask, do you have a list of personal references?

I would get phone numbers and then I would do my own diligence. I will follow up on those phone numbers. I would call those people to make certain that with they’re telling me is accurate and true.

Then beyond the questions that I’ve given you today, I would also suggest that you get on our website, that’s the California Department of Real Estate, www.dre.ca.gov and look in our Consumer Alerts. There is a consumer alert which is titled, “Consumer Alerts, What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Getting Ripped Off in Real Estate and Home Loan Relief Scams.”
That has more questions and additional follow‑up information.

Then there’s another brochure that they can pull down from our Publications on our website as well. That’s called, “Finding the Right Real Estate Agent: What You Should Do.”

I hope, I’ve given some questions that people can use and I hope that you find the right home for you. Thank you.


YouTube video posted by the Wayne Bell discusses how to find the right real estate agent.Department of Real Estate on February 3, 2012.  The Department of Real Estate is now the Bureau of Real Estate.   Wayne Bell is now the Real Estate Commissioner.


When searching to find the right real estate agent, consider Jeff Green, REALTOR®.