How Do I Know If My Realtor Is Legit?

How Do I Know If My Realtor Is Legit?
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Published By Jennifer Jewell

Question: How Do I Know If My Realtor Is Legit?
Answer: To ensure your realtor is legitimate, verify their credentials, check their license, read reviews, and consult local real estate authorities or associations.

How Do I Know If My Real Estate Agent Is Legit? Lessons for Buyers and Sellers

Finding the right real estate agent to help you buy or sell a property can be a daunting task. With so many professionals to choose from, it’s essential to know if your chosen realtor is legitimate and trustworthy. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to verify a realtor’s legitimacy, the qualities of a reliable agent, and how to spot red flags when searching for a real estate professional.

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Verifying a Realtor’s Legitimacy

To ensure your realtor is legit, consider the following steps:

  • Check Licensing and Credentials:

    All real estate agents must be licensed by their state or province to practice. Check your realtor’s license status with your local real estate licensing authority, like the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) in Ontario, Canada. Additionally, verify if the agent holds any professional designations.
  • Look for a Realtor®:

    A Realtor® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the United States or the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in Canada. Membership in these associations indicates a higher level of professionalism, adherence to a strict code of ethics, and access to continuing education resources.
  • Read Reviews and Testimonials:

    Researching online reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insight into a realtor’s performance and client satisfaction. Websites like Zillow,, and Google Reviews allow clients to leave feedback on their experiences with real estate agents.
  • Seek Referrals:

    Personal referrals from friends, family, or colleagues who have worked with a particular real estate agent can be an excellent source of information. They can share their first-hand experiences, giving you a better understanding of the realtor’s work style, communication skills, and overall performance. [ 1 ]

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Qualities of a Legitimate Realtor

A legitimate realtor will possess the following qualities:

  • Professionalism:

    A reputable realtor will maintain a high level of professionalism in all interactions, from communication to appearance. They should be punctual, respectful, and knowledgeable about the local real estate market.
  • Excellent Communication Skills:

    A legit realtor will be an effective communicator, keeping you informed throughout the buying or selling process. They should be responsive to your calls, emails, and texts, providing timely updates on any developments.
  • Strong Negotiation Skills:

    A reliable real estate agent will be skilled in negotiating the best possible deal for their clients, whether it’s securing the right price, favourable terms, or addressing potential issues during inspections.
  • Knowledge of the Local Market:

    A trustworthy realtor will have in-depth knowledge of the local market, including property values, neighbourhood trends, and upcoming developments. This expertise will help you make informed decisions when buying or selling a property.

Spotting Red Flags When Searching for a Realtor

Be cautious of the following red flags when searching for a real estate agent:

  • Lack of Experience:

    While new real estate agents can be competent and dedicated, a lack of experience can be a potential red flag. Ensure your realtor has sufficient experience in the local market and has successfully completed transactions like yours.
  • Unrealistic Promises:

    If a realtor promises exceptionally high sale prices or incredibly fast results without substantiating their claims, be wary. Legitimate real estate professionals will provide realistic expectations based on market data and their past performance.
  • High-Pressure Tactics:

    A legit realtor will not use high-pressure tactics to persuade you to make a decision. Instead, they should provide you with the necessary information and guidance to make informed choices. If you feel pressured or uncomfortable, consider looking for a different agent.
  • Limited Availability:

    A legitimate real estate agent should be available to answer your questions, address your concerns, and attend important meetings or showings. If your realtor is consistently unavailable or unresponsive, it may be a sign of poor professionalism or lack of dedication to your transaction.
  • Unwillingness to Provide References:

    A reputable realtor should be willing to provide references from past clients. If they hesitate or refuse to share this information, it may indicate a lack of confidence in their performance or a history of unsatisfied clients.

Knowing if your realtor is legit is crucial for a successful real estate transaction. By verifying their licensing and credentials, looking for professional association memberships, and researching reviews and testimonials, you can ensure that you’re working with a trustworthy and qualified agent.

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Keep in mind the qualities of a legitimate realtor, such as professionalism, excellent communication skills, strong negotiation skills, and knowledge of the local market. Additionally, be cautious of red flags like a lack of experience, unrealistic promises, high-pressure tactics, limited availability, and unwillingness to provide references.

By following these guidelines, you can confidently select a legitimate real estate agent who will help you achieve your home buying or selling goals. Remember, finding the right realtor is an essential step in making your real estate journey a successful and enjoyable experience.



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