Choosing Your Realtor

BY: CAROL BILLUPS

This morning someone started a thread on a popular group about Cabo on Facebook. Her question was ‘who is the best realtor to work with in Cabo?’ Reading the suggestions (and thanks to those who nominated me) I realized that very few people know what to look for in a realtor. And trust me: the nice guy you met in the bar or the fun girl everybody loves may or may not be the best candidate. So here are some things to consider before making your choice.

First, let me explain that unlike most of Mexico Los Cabos has a very sophisticated and efficient multiple listing service. And, we have very strict operating procedures. So the good news is that you only have to work with one real estate agent to have access to every property for sale. The bad news is: you have to pick one.

So, how do you pick just one? The best source is personal referrals, but not just from their many friends but from satisfied clients. And think about whether your friend’s search was similar to yours. If your friend bought a cute condo in San Jose, the person who helped them may or may not be able be best qualified to help you find a single family home in San Lucas. Most of us sell in both cities, but hopefully we know our limitations. I referred a close relative to another broker when he started narrowing in on the East Cape. Yes he would have paid a bit less if I’d represented him (he’s close enough I wouldn’t have accepted the commission). But, I know he was very well served working with my colleague who lives and specializes in the little town he eventually settled on. So you’ll want to know this person’s experience with the type of property you’ll be searching for.

You’ll want to verify that this agent is truly a professional and is a member of our Multiple Listing Service. There are a number of people in town who ‘dabble’ in real estate. And while many of them are very nice, they do not have to follow our code of ethics and operating procedures, nor do they have access to the MLS system itself. Have I ever worked with a dabbler? Yes, of course, but I pick and choose them very carefully.

Experience is a tricky question. While I’m all for giving the rookies a break you might want to investigate what sort of support system they’ll have. Have they teamed up with a more experienced agent or is their broker going to be involved in the transaction? We don’t have real estate school here, so it is all on-the-job training and not all companies train alike. Enough said? Working with a new agent can be very exciting and you’re sure to get the utmost attention. But you want to know you have a safety net.

And if you’re a buyer ask about what help they will give you AFTER the sale. Let’s face it: you are going to need some help with things like utilities, shopping, movers, etc. The better agents know they are your support group and plan on that. In fact many long friendships have started out as an agent/client relationship. And my last point is that given you will be spending so much time with your agent during your search, through the closing process, and after the sale be sure you are compatible and/or share similar values.

I’m anxious to check back on that thread… there are so many good agents in Los Cabos and it will be fun to see who else is named. Doing a bit of investigate I’m sure you’ll find yourself in good hands.

Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of Cabo Realty Pros. She has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over thirteen years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine. You can read more of her articles on the website blog www.caborealtypros.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541.