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  • Writer's pictureMontana Hooks, Bay Area Realtor

Avoid these red flags! 4 tips to choose the best Bay Area Realtor for you

Updated: Nov 27, 2021



Step one: Decide to buy a home. Step 2: Find a realtor? If only it were that easy. With websites like Zillow and Realtor.com booming in the Bay Area real estate landscape, it's easier than ever to be connected with a real estate agent. But how do you know if that real estate agent is actually right for you?


While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, your real estate agent will be guiding you through what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life, so it's super important to find a good fit. Let's take a look at 4 unexpected, but super important qualities to consider when deciding to work with a real estate agent in the Bay Area.



What's their communication style?

How do you communication best? Quick phone conversations where you can hear a person's voice and tone? Are text messages better because they don't require an immediate response? Would you prefer communication to be formal and buttoned up with your real estate agent, or does anything less than six emojis per message come off as cold?


Because open lines of communication are important, any good realtor will adjust to your preferred communication style, but ease of communication is definitely something to take note of. If you have shared your communication preferences with your real estate agent, and you're still feeling overwhelmed by your real estate agent's communication style or like it is difficult to get the detailed answers you need, this may be a red flag that you two aren't in synch.


Are they responsive?

If you have a question or have found a house you're interested in, how easy is it to get a hold of your real estate agent? While real estate agents are often driving or at appointments which can leave us temporarily unavailable to communicate, your real estate agent should typically be able to get back to you by end of day - even if it's just to confirm receipt of your message and communicate to you when they'll be able to give you a better answer.


Answers may not be immediate, but if you ever feel like you are waiting in limbo when it comes to getting a response from your real estate agent, that's a definite red flag.


Are they a Realtor... or real estate agent?

While the phrases Realtor and real estate agent are often used interchangeably, there is an actual difference in meaning. According to online financial resource Investopedia, real estate agents have a professional license to help people buy, sell, and rent real estate, while a Realtor is a licensed real estate agent or broker (or other real estate professional) who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).


This designation is important, as NAR Members must comply with NAR's strict Code of Ethics. While working with a real estate agent is perfectly acceptable, the fact that Realtor's are held to a higher ethical standard can give buyers and sellers an extra level of reassurance. Okay, maybe this one is only a yellow flag.


Are they available?

Even though virtual tours and open houses practically eliminate the need for a real estate agent to accompany you to view homes that have caught your interest, there is nothing like having your real estate agent by your side to answer questions and provide valuable insight that you would otherwise not have access to.


Take note of what happens when you ask your Realtor to schedule a tour. Are they able to get you in same day or next? That's a good sign. Do they consistently push back for several days in the future or suggest you wait until the open house when you can tour the property without them? If so, that might be a red flag.


Even though Bay Area real estate agents' schedules are often jam packed, your agent should also ensure they have the bandwidth to provide top-tier customer service to every single one of their clients - either by being mindful of their schedule or by having a team of real estate agents that can provide additional support to their clients as needed.


About the Author


Gabrielle Hooks is a SF Bay Area Realtor focused on the East Bay. Raised in Fremont and a resident of Oakland since 2013, she knows Richmond to San Jose like the back of her hand.


Performing live karaoke, maintaining her house plant garden and rollerskating are a few of her favorite things (#FirstTimeHomeBuyers too!)





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