In California, real estate law is pretty complex. It is easy to cross the law and not know if it you have not been educated in the law to the extent that realtors are educated and examined upon before they are allowed to have a license. The same is true with regard to getting a loan. Most loan officers are either employees of banks or mortgage companies who have to take a mortgage originators course and exam before being allowed to make a loan to anyone.
If either a loan officer or a realtor does something dishonest, he breaches the rules of his profession and can lose his license. All a client has to do is report him to the real estate board. For this reason, most realtors are very honest.
Selling a home requires knowledge of the law and knowledge of lending, the first so you as the owner don't get yourself in trouble, the second so the buyer can successfully complete the transaction at the highest price you can get for the home. You will need a guide to successfully navigate the sale. The best guide is an experienced realtor.
What I look for in a realtor is the same I look for in any professional: knowledge. Does he provide a path forward to a solution for you? Does he suggest a method or process, that gets you the outcome you are looking for? Does he understand your needs? Can you understand him when he talks? Is he willing to work with you? If the answers are yes, why waste time fretting about it? Why not go forth and become happy with the outcome you seek? Over thinking and over worrying can make things seem more complicated then they are. If he (or she) lays a path to success out before you, why hesitate to take it?
Don't forget, the realtor only makes money if your sale is successful, so the realtor is going to be committed to your success. In fact the more money you make from the sale, the more he makes. With that in mind, I would trust him to make you money, or if your sale situation prohibits you from making money by the fact you have no equity in the house you must sell, at least , he'll be sure to protect your interests and get the best deal under the circumstances.
In the US, most people use a realtor to complete a sale even if they are selling to a family member. The commission to the realtor may be less when you already have the buyer in hand, but the value of keeping the whole transfer legal and the loans for the new buyer intact more than make up for the cost. The realtor can arrange the transfer and make sure escrow works smoothly, all banks involved are happy etc. so the end result is your success without headaches along the way.
No one can make people happy for long, if at all, by being dishonest. Happy clients refer new customers. Every realtor knows this. This is why we work hard to make our clients happy.
I look forward to your phone call to 408-639-0211 or your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.