16 Tips to Find the Best Bakersfield REALTOR®

As a plethora of Bakersfield Realtors® jockey for clients, a home seller or home buyer may feel a little overwhelmed.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property in Bakersfield, then you’ll need to find a stellar REALTOR®, pronto!

But with so many to choose from, how do know who’s the best fit for you? Here are some tips on how to find the perfect Realtor® — or at least something close.

realtor bakersfield

1. Are you Buying or Selling?

When choosing a Realtor®, it’s important to decide what you need.

  • Do you need someone who can help you buy the right home?
  • Do you need someone who can help you sell your current home?
  • Or do you need help doing both simultaneously?

Some Realtors® specialize in one or the other, so it’s important to know what you need before you start looking.

2. Experience

First, you’ll want to make sure that the Realtor® you choose is experienced and knowledgeable about the Bakersfield area. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the city and its neighborhoods.

Choose someone who has been in the business for a while and knows what they’re doing. These agents can better analyze and interpret market data based on a deep knowledge of the local, Bakersfield real estate market.

A buyer should ask how the real estate agent would handle an offer in a multiple-offer situation.

A seller should ask how the real estate agent will help prepare a house for sale. 

real estate agent bakersfield

3. Look for the Right Fit

You also want to find a Realtor® that’s a good fit for your personality. If you’re someone who likes to be in control, you want an agent who’s willing to let you take the lead.

But if you prefer to sit back and let someone else handle the details, you’ll want an agent who’s more hands-on.

An experienced seller might prefer a Realtor who can handle everything. On the other hand, a first-time homebuyer might want a Realtor to hold his or her hand throughout the process.

Be sure to interview several agents to find the best fit for you.  

4. Testimonials & Referrals

Finally, you want to choose a Realtor with an excellent good reputation. Of course, you should ask for recommendations from your network of friends, family, and coworkers. But you may not like someone they like.

Read online reviews for a grasp of what others have said about their experiences with different top Realtors®. This will provide a good sense of what to expect.

You can also ask the agent for references from past clients. A top Realtor® should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied customers. Online reviews help accomplish the same task.

It’s also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed against the agent or agency.

computer bakersfield

5. Evaluate Availability

Buying or selling a home can require a good deal of time and doesn’t always mesh with normal working hours. Look for a Bakersfield Realtor® with an administrative assistant, since that relieves some of the back-office work with which agents normally wrestle. Your agent should be free to focus on the work of buying or selling your home.  

6. Check For Longevity

Ask how long a Realtor® has been licensed. Realtors® can appear to have longevity but they may have only been licensed for a year or two. That may work fine if they have a mentor or team leader, so find out.  

living room bakersfield

7. Do They Listen?

Is the Realtor® really listening? Provide your wish list of important items and features then leave it to the Realtor® to find homes that are good matches. See if the agent remembers what you told them and make your decision accordingly. 

Evaluate an agent’s follow-up and attentiveness. It’s a big problem if most of your time is spent chasing an agent for answers and researching information the agent should know or provide.

8. Inquire About a Marketing Strategy

When inquiring about a Realtor’s marketing strategy, be sure to ask what kind of advertising they will be doing for your home. If the Realtor® doesn’t have a solid marketing strategy, it may be a sign that they’re not reliable.

Most Realtors® advertise their listings through several different channels, including the Bakersfield MLS, a personal website, online property search portals, social media, print ads, and personal referrals.

In the digital age, Realtors® simply must advertise listings online. Most listings are syndicated from the MLS out to the main property search websites. In addition, most Realtors® leverage social media like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Home listings include pictures of the home and a catchy description, as well as information about the price and size of the property.

Print ads are another popular way for Realtors® to advertise their listings. They will place ads in local newspapers or magazines, which include pictures of the home as well as information about the price, size, and amenities.

house sold

9. Branding

For some home listings, choosing a top Realtor® with a strong brand can help your cause. A strong brand means that people associate positive attributes with the company.

Some of the most common attributes that people associate with real estate brands are trustworthiness, experience, and customer service. It’s a good sign if you type a Realtor’s® name in a search engine and see impressive results that reflect powerful branding.

Contact Property Wonk if you’re looking for a reliable and experienced Realtor®.

10. Attend Open Houses

A strategic way to find a top Bakersfield Realtor® is to attend open houses in your area. You can meet different Realtors® and see how they operate in their marketing milieu.

While at open houses, pay attention to how Realtors® are interacting with potential buyers. Are they friendly and helpful? Are they pushy or cocky?

Another thing to observe is how the Realtor® is marketing the property. Do they have professional-looking flyers? Are they using social media to market the property? The more professional the Realtor acts and looks, the more likely they are to be reliable.

house bakersfield

11. Some Common Questions to Ask Realtors®

Run these common questions by a prospective Realtor®:

  • What is your experience in the real estate industry?
  • How long have you been practicing real estate?
  • Do you specialize in selling or buying a specific type of property?
  • Have you had any successful transactions in the past year?
  • What kind of resources do you have at your disposal to help me buy/sell a property?
  • Are you familiar with the current market conditions in the local real estate market?
  • What are the challenges I might face when buying or selling a property?

12. Vendor Recommendations

A clever way to determine whether a Realtor® is experienced and knowledgeable is to ask about recommendations for home inspectors, contractors, handymen, lenders, and title companies.

If a Realtor® can provide a list of vendors that they trust, it’s a good sign that they’re experienced in the industry.

Alternatively, vendors you already know may have good referrals to Realtor®. It’s a small real estate world.

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13. The Old-Fashioned Way

You can also find a top Realtor® the way they did in the old days.

Look out for yard signs when you’re driving around your neighborhood or interest. Those Realtors® most likely know the area very well and can help you find a great home in your desired location.

Picking up the local newspaper and scanning the real estate section is another way to find a good Realtor®.

14. Red Flags When Choosing a Realtor®

Lack of Credentials

When searching for the best Realtors®, be sure to check their credentials. Make sure there are no suspensions or reprimands on the National Association of Realtors’ website.

Poor Reviews

If you’re looking for a reliable and reputable Realtor®, be sure to check their online reviews. A quick Google search should turn up any red flags.

When looking at a Realtor’s online reviews, it’s important to digest the overall sentiment of the reviews. Mostly negative reviews could be a sign that the Realtor® isn’t reliable. However, a few negative reviews mixed in with mostly positive reviews could mean the Realtor® is a keeper.

Also, consider answers to any negative reviews. If the Realtor® responds to complaints and tries to make things right, that’s a good sign and can provide valuable personal insight.

family kitchen bakersfield

Lack of Communication

It’s an easy red flag if your Realtor® is not returning your calls or emails. Good communication is key in any relationship, especially when it comes to something as important as buying or selling a home.

Communication is one of a Realtor’s main tasks. There’s simply no excuse for long delays in communication, especially when the clock is often ticking on time-sensitive matters.

Dual Agency Dilemma

Dual agency arises when a Realtor® is representing both the buyer and seller of the same home. It’s a conflict of interest to walk that tightrope since a Realtor is supposed to aggressively advocate for a single client.

Dual agency must be disclosed in California, but a Realtor® representing both sides of a transaction may not equally serve the best interests of both parties.

signing bakersfield 1

Not Local

If you’re looking for a top Realtor®, it’s important to choose someone who’s intimately familiar with the area. It’s highly unlikely that an out-of-town Realtor® will know the nuances of your market and neighborhood.

Also, typically a Realtor® outsider won’t have access to home listings, lock boxes, and local vendors.

Promises That Seem Too Good to Be True

A big red flag is hoisted high when Realtors® make promises that seem too good to be true. If they guarantee you an incredible deal on a home or say they will sell your home for way more than it’s worth, their veracity may be a problem.

Real estate is too unpredictable so Realtors® will rarely make promises. But they will be honest about what you can expect and work hard to carve out the best possible deal.

These are a few of the red flags to look out for when choosing a Bakersfield Realtor®.

Be sure to do your research and choose a Realtor® that you can trust!

house for sale

15. Look For Loyalty

Loyalty is an underrated characteristic. Good Bakersfield Realtor® will care more about the buyer’s or seller’s agenda than a commission, and even be willing to sacrifice some commission for the client’s best interest. Many deals that hang by a thread can be saved by well-placed, few hundred dollars.

In addition, Bakersfield Realtors® should not try to unduly influence a buyer to pay more for a home or a seller to accept less, unless the facts suggest otherwise.

Conducting professional and smooth real estate transactions is a Realtor’s priority.

couple buys house

16. Listen to Your Gut

At the end of the day, choose a Realtor® that you feel comfortable with. This is someone who you’re going to be working with closely, so it’s important to get along and trust them. If you don’t feel good about a certain Realtor®, then move on to someone else.

Most people can usually tell whether they like someone within the first few minutes of meeting them. A Realtor® who seems dubious is most likely more interested in a commission than the best interest of a client.

Winning by Working with a Realtor®

Buying or selling a home is perhaps the most important financial decision you will make in your lifetime. And while it’s possible to do it yourself, most people choose to work with a top-notch Realtor®.

By working with a Realtor®, you’re tapping into an extensive knowledge base.

For a Seller, a Realtor® will price your home competitively by providing a comparative market analysis (CMA). Pricing a home correctly is paramount, so a Realtor® should have a firm grasp on recent, comparable sales in your neighborhood.

A top-tier Realtor® will masterfully market your home to the masses. The job includes taking professional photographs and video, listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and multiple websites, and posting it on social media.

Then follows fielding offers, negotiating pricing and repairs, handling all the paperwork, then closing the deal.

For a Buyer, a Realtor will arrange and attend as many showings as it takes to find the right home.

After a contract is in place, the Realtor negotiates the best price and terms, coordinates inspections, negotiates and coordinates repairs, then handles paperwork through to the closing. The best part comes last — handing the keys to the new owner!

A perceived drawback of working with a Realtor® is the dreaded commission paid by the seller, which is typically around 5%. What most sellers don’t realize is that Realtors® usually command more money for their clients than they would get on their own.

In fact, that extra money usually exceeds the commission without the hassle of selling by running the FSBO gauntlet.

Contact us if you need help finding a Bakersfield Realtor who’s perfect for you.

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