Owning a home in the South Bay is a rare privilege – if you have your heart set on Los Angeles County’s beach communities, a real estate agent can help you avoid the common pitfalls of buying property.
Here’s how to find the right match.
- What are their qualifications?
To become a real estate agent on California, an individual must be over 18, a U.S. citizen, complete 135 hours of BRE-approved college-level real estate courses, and pass the California Salesperson Licensure Exam and background check.
Not all agents are Realtors. To become a Realtor in Los Angeles County, one must join the California Association of Realtors (CAR), an agent must align themselves with a Realtor broker.
What’s the difference between an agent and a Realtor? Realtors are personally accountable to CAR and must adhere to a code of ethics, ensuring better performance and honest dealings.
There are several real estate designations indicating an agent’s specialization and skill set.
Designations from CAR, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Institute for Luxury Home Marketing include:
- First Time Buyers Specialist Certification (FTBS)
- Resource Efficient Home Specialist (REHS)
- Certified Transaction Coordinator (CTC)
- Property Management Certification (PMC)
- Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI℠)
- Accredited Buyer’s Representative® Designation (ABR®)
- CIPS Certified International Property Specialist
- Green Designation
- Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS)
Find an agent whose designations match your property requirements. If you’re selling luxury property, work with someone who has a CLHMS designation, and if you’re interested in energy efficient homes, find an agent with a REHS or Green Designation.
- How do they stay up to date on market trends?
It’s not enough for agents to keep abreast of the latest market data and trends, although this certainly helps support their work. Real estate is an ever evolving industry, and agents must never stop learning if they are to remain competitive. Hire someone who invests in continual education to keep their skill set fresh.
- Do they listen to your needs?
The right agent will listen to your wants and needs, taking you note of your requirements and presenting listings that match. They know how to empathize with house hunters and understand the importance of finding the right home.
- Are they a luxury real estate expert?
The high end of the market requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. Only a luxury real estate expert will understand the nuances and demands of a high profile transaction. They are also more likely to have the resources and connections to sell a luxury listing than the average agent.
Work with someone who has a CLHMS designation or someone whose most recent sales are luxury homes. The agent must have an eye for craftsmanship, finishes, furniture, and other features associated with luxury homes.
- How well do they know the area?
Find a local expert who has successfully bought and sold houses in the community of your choice. Ask them questions about the locale to gauge their knowledge, and see how deep their connections to the neighborhood go.
Coastal Luxury Living has been representing buyers and sellers in the Beach Cities for over 23 years. Call 1.310.990.4727 or send a message to Gerard(at)VistaSir(dotted)com to connect with them today.