How to check on the background of an agent?

Asked by W. Gulder, 94402 Fri Feb 20, 2009

Is there a way to check on the background of an agent (like you can on a stock broker through the SEC)? Interviewing and asking around is an ok way, but I am looking to find an unbiased source of info on any potential agent I would ever consider using. Thanks.

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The Laugesen…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Sun Aug 30, 2009
Hello there, I would ask the realtor for the names and phone numbers of the last 5 clients they closed a contract with, call them and ask how the agent performed for them, let them know you are thinking of hiring this person. Those clients will spill the beans if they are not happy.!!!

For information about properties that are on the market or coming on the market in Burlingame, Hillsborough and surrounding areas. Give the Denise Laugesen Team a call, we will provide you with our client list!!! Our clients always walk away feeling well represented!!! Let us make your dream home a reality!
2 votes
David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Fri Feb 20, 2009
Hello W. I would check with the local board of Realtors to find out info on a particular agent. If the agent you are working with is in San Mateo County, call SAMCAR at 650-696-8200.

I would also check with that agents broker. Once you have found the agent you are looking for, ask for phone numbers from past clients so you will know what to expect.

If you are looking for a listing agent, the difference between a good agent and a great agent is their marketing plan, their knowledge, and their negotiating ability.

Whatever you do, do not go with the agent who promises to get you the most money without a clear cut plan on how they plan to achieve their goal. The worst thing a seller can do is to over price their home.

Whether you are buying or selling, pick an agent who will communicate well with you. Someone who will tell it like it is, not tell you what you want to hear.

You might also want to ask friends and relatives if they have had a good experience with a certain agent.

Good luck W.

Dave "Tap" Tapper
Cashin Company
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1 vote
Ed Gory, Agent, San Carlos, CA
Fri Feb 20, 2009
You can check the California Dept. of Real Estate (DRE)'s website. On it, there's an icon/link called "Real Estate License Lookup". Search by the realtor's name, and you'll get their history, as well as any disciplinary action against them ...
1 vote
Cheryl Bower, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Fri Feb 20, 2009
Hi there,

All great suggestions below. My recommendation is to interview at least three agents & talk with their clients as to what their experience was like working with their agent. Just because an agent doesn't have negative records with the DRE doesn't mean that you will get good representation.
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0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Fri Feb 20, 2009
W, One place you might consider starting would be public records. This link is for the State of California and will take you to the public license search machine...
It as easy as typing in the agents name...

This site is good for making the public records search easy...

Hope this helps a little, Dunes
0 votes
Raziel Ungar, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Fri Feb 20, 2009

The go to place for any disciplinary action would be the Dept of Real Estate's website: Click on the "Consumers" tab, and then click "License Status Check", and type in the agent's last name, comma, first name.

Our local real estate board, SAMCAR (San Mateo County Association of Realtors), has a Judicial committee which has information about disciplinary issues for particular Realtors, if any. 650-696-8200.

Another excellent source is Community members can post reviews about restaurants, mechanics, businesses, and, of course, Realtors.
0 votes
Daniele Summ…, , Charlotte, NC
Fri Feb 20, 2009
You can always call their Broker In Charge. They will have in depth knowledge of that agents professional performance and sales statistics.

But your best bet is to contact the local Real Estate Commission to see if there are any marks on their record.

Daniele Summerfield
Wilkinson & Associates
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Feb 20, 2009
You can contact State department who registers real estate agents, or local boards in your community.

Agents have security checks here in Texas we are now fingerprinted our license could not be renewed.

Great question !
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