By Bob Walsmith Jr.
President 2022
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a real estate agent is defined as “a person who acts as an agent for the sale and purchase of buildings and land; a real estate agent.

However, to be called a Realtor®, one must be a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the nation’s largest trade group. Not every agent is a real estate agent, but most are.

Being a realtor means you are held to a higher level of ethics by the NAR.

What is the difference between a seller and a real estate agent? Realtors are also known as real estate salespeople. But this does not mean that they can legally negotiate an agreement and write contracts. In order to properly represent a buyer or seller, an agent must first join a local council of real estate agents. Estate agent advice is how an agent accesses contracts.

In the greater Santa Barbara area, the “local council of real estate agents” is the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, of which I am proud and honored to be their president for 2022.

Now that I’ve probably really confused you, let me explain how a trusted local real estate agent can help you find your dream home or help you sell your current home, and much more.

First, ask your friends and family for the name or two of the REALTOR® they trusted to help them with their most recent real estate transaction.

Browse social media. Yes, I said social media. Why might you ask? Well, don’t you feel more comfortable with people who have values ​​close to yours? If you’re a wine, golf, food, hiking lover like me, wouldn’t you have more in common with this person and probably get along better in the long run? Logic!

Once you’ve found one or two, or maybe more, sit down with them and find out if you’re a match. If you don’t click right away, how do you think that might turn out in possibly tense negotiations?

Ask them for their client list, along with their phone numbers. Call them and ask them how it was to deal with that particular real estate agent. Also check out their customer recommendations on their website. Do your research and your homework.

Again, familiarity and comfort are key when dealing with the most expensive purchase or sale you’ve ever encountered.

Find a real estate agent who you believe has your best interests at heart and not the fact that you are just a paycheck for them.

Don’t hire someone just because they’re successful or have a slick website. You always have a choice with whom to work.

Additionally, you want to find a real estate agent who will be there after the sale is complete. What I mean by that is that they should be a wonderful resource for you for years to come. What if you need a plumber, an electrician, someone to lay artificial grass in your garden, and the list goes on and on? You should call your trusted REALTOR for this stuff.

I get calls all the time from past clients when they need a contractor or similar service. A trusted real estate agent has a list of referral partners to share with their clients. That’s another level of service they should provide.

Choose a real estate agent who you think will be a good friend for a long time. This person will always be there for you and will provide you with the level of service you deserve and expect.

I hope this article helps you explain what a real estate agent is and what they can do for you!

Bob Walsmith Jr. is a Southern California native and Realtor® at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, the Education Committee, served as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Alpha Resource Center in Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When he’s not working, Bob enjoys golfing, tasting fine wine, eating well and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or [email protected]