How To Hire a Real Estate Pro

Hiring a real estate professional doesn’t mean firing Aunt Mildred, or does it?

You’re ready to start looking for a home and your parents recommend you speak with Aunt Mildred. She’s been in the business since there were single page contracts, and you know she’ll be hurt if you don’t.  You may have a serious dilemma, right? 

You will, if Aunt Mildred isn’t a full-time practicing agent, and doesn’t know her way around Winforms, short sales, foreclosures and the MLS.

Perhaps she’s nice enough, but you would feel really guilty if you didn’t use her, or a friend, or a friend of a friend – even though they might not be the most professionally qualified to guide you through the largest investment you’ll ever make!

If you’re not concerned, you should be! 

Most clients I have spoken with who began a transaction with the wrong agent (friend or family member) and/or eventually closed that transaction will say, “I’ll never do that again!”

What can you do to keep peace? 

If you know someone close to you with a real estate license, who may not
necessarily be the most qualified to help, ask the agent you select, if they’d be willing to pay a referral fee?

That’s right! Most agents would gladly pay your Aunt Mildred a referral fee and still give you the professional service you deserve when making the largest investment of your life. 

So, here’s what you do: 

  • Interview an agent, or three.
  • Check their experience and knowledge base of the area you’re interested in buying or selling.
  • Ask for the telephone numbers of their last three clients and call them to see if they’d rehire them.
  • Finally, ask them if they’d be willing to pay your aunt, friend or whomever the licensee is (who’s feelings you don’t want to hurt) a referral fee? 
  • Note: They must currently have an active real estate or broker’s license, or be an attorney in order to receive a referral fee.


I think you’ll find that most agents will understand your dilemma and gladly pay one. That means, when your transaction successfully closes a percentage of the commission earned by the agent you selected, who successfully guided you through the transaction, will be paid to the licensee you identified during the interview.  

Please feel free to call me, Robert Sizer at 760-519-8436 or email robert@andrewarroyo.com, should you be interviewing agents in the San Diego area. Aunt Mildred approved!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Daniel Woolfolk August 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM
lol, I'm glad Aunt Mildred approves. Thanks for the information!
Robert Sizer August 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM
This information can save a lot of hind sight while providing a wealth of knowledge (at least a percentage) when selecting a real estate professional.
Kent Froblom August 18, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Robert... So true... I can remember at least 3 such experiences of friends trying to help relatives/friends with real estate transactions that had less than desirable outcomes. They would not do it again. Good information...


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