Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Real Estate Agents Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Kevin Kearney - Vanguard Properties (2017)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a real estate agent that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified realtor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated real estate company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

Read moreRead less

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Marin County – Real Estate Sales – Agents CATEGORY

Camara Scremin is a real estate agent with Nadine & Camara Decker Bullock Sotheby’s, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (415) 347-6988 or by email.

Camara Scremin

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Camara Scremin: An Ever-Changing Dynamic

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAUSALITO — Camara Scremin had an established profession in the financial sector, but she decided to leave it all behind to pursue a career as a real estate agent. “Prior to getting into real estate, I spent several years as a corporate manager at a mortgage banking firm, hedging interest rate risks and selling off mortgages to Wall Street,” she recounts. “Eventually, I decided I wanted to work for myself, so I got my real estate license. I immediately loved real estate—I basically took to it like a duck to water. Plus, my financial background gave me an advantage because I already knew all the underwriting guidelines.”

After achieving success in the Marin County real estate scene, Camara took things to the next level by turning her greatest competitor into her partner. “Nadine Greenwood and I both worked in Sausalito and frequently competed with each other for listings and clients,” she explains. “However, we also had a mutual respect for one another and often helped each other out. The problem was we kept finding ourselves in situations where clients would have to choose between us. Eventually, we thought, ‘Why don’t we make this decision easy for our clients and team up?’ So we did, and it has worked out beautifully.”

Today, Camara says she enjoys the daily challenges her job brings. “No two clients are the same—each brings a unique perspective and set of needs, so that keeps things interesting. It’s an ever-changing dynamic, and every day there’s a new challenge.”

A resident of Sausalito (where she lives with her husband, Dennis), Camara appreciates the vibrant character of life in the Bay Area. “I moved here from Southern California when I was in my late 20s and have since loved every minute of it,” she says. “The natural beauty, the cultural diversity, the intellect of the citizens…we have the best of everything here.”

Outside of work, Camara engages in a variety of active pastimes, from outdoor activities to attending local theater productions. “I love being outdoors, whether hiking or kayaking,” she says. “I’m also a theater buff and enjoy going to plays in San Francisco.” Additionally, Camara is an avid traveler. “Dennis and I do a big trip every year—our last one was to Greece.”

In regard to her professional career, Camara expresses her appreciation for the many friends and acquaintances she’s acquired through her work. “Nadine and I often become close friends with those we work with and represent, and I think that’s one of the biggest signs of our success,” she says. “Real estate is a fairly intimate transaction—you’re getting into the depths of people’s minds and hearts, and what they’re looking for in life. That’s why it takes a relationship built on trust to get from square one to the final transaction. I’m happy to say that, for us, this relationship often goes beyond the transaction into the long term.”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Camara says she’d invest more time toward community volunteering. “Right now, my career limits the amount of time I’m able to give to charity, but in the future I’d like to slow down and do more volunteer work. From seniors to at-risk youth, there are a lot of people who need help, so I look forward to being more closely involved with that.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: I have two: Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley and Poggio Trattoria in Sausalito.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Orange is the New Black.”

Q: What’s your favorite theater production?
A: “The King and I.”

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: A cowgirl—that was my costume for about eight years in a row.

Q: Who’s your favorite movie monster?
A: I’m big into vampires, so probably Count Dracula.

Read more

Proactive Measures for Selling a Home

Shares

SAUSALITO — When selling a home, proactive measures can go a long way toward facilitating a fast and lucrative transaction. Here are a few steps to consider: Perform inspections ahead of time. While it’s common for buyers to pay for home… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Real Estate Basics

Shares
Complete Video Transcription:

SAUSALITO —  Host, Sarah Rutan: Whether you’re selling your home or looking to buy one, it’s helpful to know some basic tips for succeeding in real estate.… Read more

John Zeiter is a 17-year veteran of the real estate industry and owner of John Zeiter – Golden GateSotheby’s International Realty, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 429-5279 or by email.

John Zeiter

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

John Zeiter: From Properties to People

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

GREENBRAE — When John Zeiter first got into real estate, his concentration was on finding profitable properties, but as his involvement in the industry progressed, his focus became less about properties and more about people. “I got into real estate after a friend asked me to partner with him to buy foreclosed properties at auctions,” he explains. “As I became more involved, I decided it would be worthwhile to get my real estate license. Not long after, a friend asked if I’d sell a condo for a client of his, and a little while later, I helped another friend buy a house. Eventually, one thing led to another and I went from flipping investment properties to representing clients full-time.”

Today, as a broker associate with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, John says his professional shift of emphasis has been a rewarding one. “As someone who likes educating and helping people, I get a lot of fulfillment from working with buyers, guiding them through the process and helping them achieve their dreams of home ownership. That’s what really drives me, because I’m very service-oriented toward my clients.”

A lifetime resident of Marin County (where he lives with his wife, Stephanie), John says having deep roots in the area where he works gives him an uncommon professional edge. “Having grown up in Marin County, I’m familiar with some of the unique features and subtle differences between towns and neighborhoods. I also incorporate some of the county’s history over the last 50 years to explain the current state of the market. Overall, my clients really benefit from my local expertise.”

Outside of work, John engages in a variety of active pastimes. “My number one passion is soccer, which I’ve both played and coached in the past,” he says. “I also like to play golf, and I’m a big fan of local sports teams like the Warriors, Raiders, and Giants.” John also enjoys playing games like backgammon and Sudoku, as well as taking the occasional drive out to the coast to watch the sunset. In addition to leisure activities, John makes a point of keeping up with his three grown children: Kyle, Gabrielle and Camille.

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, John says he’d do some traveling. “I haven’t even thought about retiring—I feel like I’ll probably never stop doing real estate. However, if I did retire, I would probably plan a big trip. I’ve always wanted to hike the Himalayas, so maybe I’d start there.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Puentez Taqueria in San Rafael.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: When I was nine years old, my parents got me a yellow GTO skateboard, which was the hot item at that time.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: An apple.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I think I would travel back to the 1950s. It seems like it was a simpler, more family-oriented and less stressful time—plus, they had some great cars.

Read more

Strategy for Finding the Right House

Shares

GREENBRAE — When planning to purchase a new house, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the task of determining your wants and needs. In addition to thinking about basic attributes like square footage and architecture style, you’ll need to decide the specific… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Strategy for Finding the Right House

Shares
Complete Video Transcription:

GREENBRAE — Host, Sarah Rutan: Finding the right house can be a daunting task, but with the right strategy, you can be prepared to make… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

View Comments
Shares

INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

vacation homes
luxury homes
modular homes
split-level homes
chalet-style homes
beach homes
A-frame homes
green homes
Craftsman homes
commercial properties
high-end homes
Victorian homes
condominiums
rental properties

rent-to-own homes
mobile homes / manufactured homes for sale
foreclosed homes for sale
bank-owned homes sales
investment properties
home listings
vacation home sales
townhouse sales
condominium sales
apartment sales
new homes for sale
commercial property sales
undeveloped property sales / land for sale
luxury homes for sale

Almonte
Bel Marin Keys
Belvedere
Belvedere Tiburon
Black Point
Bolinas
Corte Madera
Dillon Beach
Dogtown
Fairfax
Forest Knolls
Greenbrae
Ignacio
Inverness
Kent Woodlands
Kentfield
Lagunitas
Larkspur
Lucas Valley
Marin City
Marinwood
Marshall
Mill Valley
Mission Rafael
Muir Beach
Muir Woods
Nicasio
Novato
Olema
Point Reyes Station
Ross
San Anselmo
San Geronimo
San Marin
San Quentin
San Rafael
Santa Venetia
Sausalito
Sleepy Hollow
Stinson Beach
Strawberry Point
Tamal
Tamalpais Valley
Terra Linda
Tiburon
Tomales
Woodacre

94901
94903
94904
94912
94913
94914
94915
94920
94924
94925
94929
94930
94933
94937
94938
94939
94940
94941
94942
94945
94946
94947
94948
94949
94950
94956
94957
94960
94963
94964
94965
94966
94970
94971
94973
94974
94976
94977
94978
94979

Know What You Want
Questions to Consider Before Hiring a Real Estate Sales Agent in Marin County

Many factors should be considered before selecting a real estate sales agent in Marin County that will meet your needs the best. Write down everything that you’re searching for before you begin your research. Think about the following questions before making your final choice regarding a real estate sales agent.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. What is my budget?
  3. What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Alameda commercial contractor to have? (These may include good communication skills, honesty, reliability, cleanliness, etc.)
  4. What is the time frame that is most optimal for me to purchase or sell my real estate property in Marin County, including the larger cities of Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross, and Belvedere?
Read moreRead less
What To Ask In Person
What to Ask in Person with a Marin County Real Estate Sales Agent

The next step in the process of hiring a real estate sales agent in Marin County is to interview them. Consider asking the following questions.

  1. Has a client ever filed a complaint against you?
  2. How many other sellers are you representing now? (Keep in mind that the busiest real estate sales agents are often the most efficient.)
  3. Considering the current market, at what price do you think my home can sell?
  4. Can you give me a comparative market analysis of recent home that are on the market as well as recent sales in the area?
  5. Other than a CMA (comparative market analysis), what does your marketing package contain?
  6. Do you represent buyers and sellers on the same house?
  7. What sets you apart from other real estate sales agents?
  8. What if I am unhappy with your service? Do you offer a guarantee?
  9. Can I get references for your last five deals?
  10. Can I list the house with you for 60 to 90 days?
Read moreRead less
  • What To Ask References
    Find Out About Experiences of Previous Customers with a Marin County Real Estate Sales Agent

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent in Marin County because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality real estate work in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent within reach in Marin County, including the smaller cities of Almonte, Bel Marin Keys, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Marshall, San Geronimo, San Quentin, and Tomales, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your real estate sales agent.  Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the real estate sales agent are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the real estate agents will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Did the real estate agent help you devise a selling/buying plan and help you stick with it?
    2. If you sold real estate with this real estate agent in Marin County, including the larger cities of San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, and Corte Madera, did they do a good job of showcasing and showing your property both in person and on the listing sheet?
    3. Was this real estate agent respectful of your time and property? Were there any issues of theft or damage during showings?
    4. Was the real estate agent helpful in guiding you during the offer process?
    5. Was the real estate agent helpful in guiding you during negotiations?
    6. Do you feel that the real estate agent was pushy when it came to selling or buying?
    7. Was the deal was complete, were you satisfied with the real estate agent?
    8. If you need a real estate sales agent in the future, will you consider hiring this real estate agent?
    9. Was the real estate agent knowledgeable about the community, town, and market you were interested in?
    10. Did you feel that the real estate sales agent was working with your best interest in mind? Or did you feel like the real estate agent was influenced by other motivations or agents?
    11. Would you recommend this real estate sales agent to your family and friends?
    Read moreRead less
  • Review Your Options
    Finding a Real Estate Sales Agent in Marin County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of real estate sales agent is important to you and your family. So before making the final decision on the best real estate sales agent in Marin County, you may want to consider the following questions:

    1. Is my real estate sales agent well-established in the community?
    2. Does my real estate agent have good references that I have checked?
    3. Does my real estate agent have a good record for selling real estate property in a timely fashion by using successful marketing strategies?
    4. Is my real estate agent flexible regarding the commission rate?
    5. Is my real estate sales agent of choice applying pressure or sales tactics in order to get me to sign a contract before I am ready?
    6. Do I trust my real estate agent of choice?
    Read moreRead less
  • How To Work With
    When You Sign the Buyer’s Agent Agreement

    If you are purchasing real estate in Marin County, including the larger cities of Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross, and Belvedere, your real estate sales agent my ask you to sign a “buyer’s agent agreement.” This agreement protects the real estate agent if you, the client, choose to switch to a different real estate agent at the moment of signing a contract for real estate property for the purpose of saving money, etc. This contract ensures that the real estate agent will be compensated for their work. It specifies rights and duties of the buyer as well as how and when the agent will be compensated. If your real estate agent wants you to sign a buyer’s agent agreement, here are a list of issues you should carefully consider:

    • Geographic area. Be sure the real estate agent is experienced in your area. If it is possible that you will venture outside of the comfort zone of the real estate agent, make a provision in the contract that the real estate agent will refer you to another agent and collect a referral fee. Or that, in this type of case, the contract will be void.
    • Term. You can always renew later, so determine a reasonable time period for working with the real estate agent. Remember that if you purchase a property that the real estate agent showed you a few months after the contract has expired, the agent is still entitled to a commission.
    • Compensation. Be sure that total compensation is covered in the buyer’s agreement. Any commission that is paid by the seller to the buyer’s agent will reduce any commission owed by the buyer. Avoid paying a retainer fee. Also check to see how to cancel the contract if you are unhappy with the real estate agent’s performance.
    • FSBOs. If you don’t want to pay a commission on For Sale By Owner properties, make sure to put that in the contract. Keep in mind, however, that the real estate agent may be able to save you money by determining a fair purchase price and negotiating the deal.

    The contract should clearly define both the duties of the agent and the buyer. These duties should include:

    Duties of a Marin County Real Estate Agent:

    • Best effort to identify properties that meet the needs of the buyer
    • Unless requested to do so in writing, the real estate agent is not obligated to show properties that are not available in the Multiple Listing Service.
    • Assists with obtaining financing
    • Arrange for properties to be inspected
    • Negotiate contracts
    • Discloses any information that would affect the buyer’s decision to purchase

    Duties of a Marin County Buyer:

    • Work exclusively with the agent to find real estate property while the agreement is valid
    • Cooperates with the agent in order to fulfill the terms of the agreement
    • Be available to view potential properties
    • Pays compensation
    • Provide the agent with adequate financial information to research appropriate properties

    A Listing Contract

    A listing contract is the contract between a real estate agent (if the agent is acting in a broker’s name) and a seller of real estate property that gives the agent the right to offer the property for sale. The listing contract must include the following:

    • A beginning date and a termination date
    • The list price which the property will be offered for sale
    • The amount of compensation offered to the real estate agent. This can be in the form of a percentage of the sales price or a flat fee.
    • The terms and conditions under which the brokerage fee will be paid by the seller
    • Authorizes the agent to cooperate with other agents as sub-agents and also details the compensation that will be offered to those agents in the event they secure a buyer.
    • Authorizes the real estate agent to disclose or not to disclose the existence of offers formerly received.
    Read moreRead less
  • Be a Good Customer
    How You Can Be a Great Marin County Real Estate Sales Agent Customer

    It’s the real estate sales agent’s responsibility to work for you according to your needs. But you play a big part in the success of your real estate sales agent, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Marin County real estate sales agent.

    • Be honest and upfront with the real estate sales agent. Let them know what you want from your real estate sales agent, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a real estate sales agent in Marin County, including the larger cities of San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, and Corte Madera,  restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the real estate sales agent your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local real estate sales agents occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your real estate sales agent if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your real estate sales agent has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re helping you look for real estate. The real estate project will move along more smoothly if your real estate sales agent can reach you for any necessary updates or questions.
    • When your real estate sales agent contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the real estate project on schedule.
    • Why would you want to be a good client? Real estate sales agents in Marin County appreciate clients who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.
    Read moreRead less
Check The Work
Verification of the Marin County Real Estate Contract

In order for your real estate purchase or sell to be official in Marin County, including the smaller cities of Santa Venetia, Stinson Beach, Tamalpais Valley, Belvedere Tiburon, Bolinas, and Kent Woodlands, you must sign a written contract. It must include the following:

  • Identification of parties involved: both the seller(s) and the buyer(s) of the real estate
  • Identification of the real estate property
  • Identification of the purchase price
  • Signatures by all parties involved
  • A legal purpose
  • Consideration: This is something of value that is bargained for in exchange of the real estate. Usually the form of consideration used is money, but, for example, other property could be used in the exchange.
  • Contingencies (conditions) that must be met if the contract is to be performed. Certain types of contingencies include inspection, appraisal, another sale contingency, etc.
Read moreRead less
Written Warranties
Top Service Requests from Real Estate Sales Agents

There are many types of real estate sales agents in Marin County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

There are many types of real estate sales agents in Marin County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

  • Real estate agent
    This is a licensed salesperson. Unlike a real estate broker, a real estate agent must work for an employing real estate broker rather than independently. Requirements for a real estate agent vary from state to state.
  • Realtor
    This is a title that simply means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). A realtor can be either a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Members of NAR also belong to state and local trade associations.
  • Buyer’s agent
    A buyer’s agent is also known as a selling agent. Though a buyer’s agent may work with both sellers and buyers, it is not usually in the same transaction.
  • Dual agent
    A dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer.
  • Broker associate
    This is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker. Though they could choose to work independently, many real estate brokers choose to join a larger real estate network.
  • Transaction agent
    A transaction agent writes an offer for the buyer. They do not represent either party but, rather, facilitate the transaction.
  • Real estate broker
    A real estate broker usually has more education than a real estate agent. A real estate broker typically has a four year degree as well as the completion of eight college-level real estate  courses that qualify them to take the broker’s real estate exam. However, if the real estate broker does not have a four year degree, two years of real estate sales experience will qualify them to be able to take the eight college-level real estate courses. Thirdly, lawyers who belong to the bar can qualify to be a real estate broker if they pass the exam.

There are also many different types of listing agreements. The best choice for you will depend on your ability and willingness to undertake some of the home selling requirements. It also depends on the climate of the real estate market in your area.

  • Exclusive right to sell listing
    This type of listing gives the exclusive right to earn a commission. The broker represents the owner and is responsible for bringing a buyer either directly or through another brokerage. The owner is responsible for paying both the selling broker fees and the listing. If you as the the owner sells the property in your own, you must pay a commission to the broker.
  • Exception to the contract
    This type of listing allows the seller a certain number of days to sell the property without owing a commission.
  • Length of listing
    This listing agreement negotiates the duration of the listing. Common terms include 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year, or more.
  • Exclusive agency listing
    In this type of listing, the broker represents the owner; however, the owner still has the right to sell the property without paying a commission.
  • Selling commission
    This determines the total percentage of commission that will be paid to the selling agent versus the listing broker. By determining a larger amount to the selling office, it can motivate a real estate agent to worker harder to sell your property.
  • Cancellation of contract
    This type of listing allows you as a client of the real estate agent to be released from a contract if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the service.
  • Open listing
    This lets owners sell the home by themselves; however, they must pay a broker to represent the buyer if a real estate agent finds a buyer to purchase the real estate property. If, on the other hand, they find a buyer themselves, they won’t owe anybody a commission.
  • Expiration of contract
    This type of listing means that, if the owner and broker do not renew a contract, the owner must still pay a commission to the broker if the property is purchased by a prospective buyer (whose name is given to the owner by the broker) within a specified time period.
Read moreRead less
Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests from Real Estate Sales Agents

There are many types of real estate sales agents in Marin County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

  • Real estate agent
    This is a licensed salesperson. Unlike a real estate broker, a real estate agent must work for an employing real estate broker rather than independently. Requirements for a real estate agent vary from state to state.
  • Realtor
    This is a title that simply means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). A realtor can be either a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Members of NAR also belong to state and local trade associations.
  • Buyer’s agent
    A buyer’s agent is also known as a selling agent. Though a buyer’s agent may work with both sellers and buyers, it is not usually in the same transaction.
  • Dual agent
    A dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer.
  • Broker associate
    This is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker. Though they could choose to work independently, many real estate brokers choose to join a larger real estate network.
  • Transaction agent
    A transaction agent writes an offer for the buyer. They do not represent either party but, rather, facilitate the transaction.
  • Real estate broker
    A real estate broker usually has more education than a real estate agent. A real estate broker typically has a four year degree as well as the completion of eight college-level real estate  courses that qualify them to take the broker’s real estate exam. However, if the real estate broker does not have a four year degree, two years of real estate sales experience will qualify them to be able to take the eight college-level real estate courses. Thirdly, lawyers who belong to the bar can qualify to be a real estate broker if they pass the exam.

There are also many different types of listing agreements. The best choice for you will depend on your ability and willingness to undertake some of the home selling requirements. It also depends on the climate of the real estate market in your area.

  • Exclusive right to sell listing
    This type of listing gives the exclusive right to earn a commission. The broker represents the owner and is responsible for bringing a buyer either directly or through another brokerage. The owner is responsible for paying both the selling broker fees and the listing. If you as the the owner sells the property in your own, you must pay a commission to the broker.
  • Exception to the contract
    This type of listing allows the seller a certain number of days to sell the property without owing a commission.
  • Length of listing
    This listing agreement negotiates the duration of the listing. Common terms include 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year, or more.
  • Exclusive agency listing
    In this type of listing, the broker represents the owner; however, the owner still has the right to sell the property without paying a commission.
  • Selling commission
    This determines the total percentage of commission that will be paid to the selling agent versus the listing broker. By determining a larger amount to the selling office, it can motivate a real estate agent to worker harder to sell your property.
  • Cancellation of contract
    This type of listing allows you as a client of the real estate agent to be released from a contract if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the service.
  • Open listing
    This lets owners sell the home by themselves; however, they must pay a broker to represent the buyer if a real estate agent finds a buyer to purchase the real estate property. If, on the other hand, they find a buyer themselves, they won’t owe anybody a commission.
  • Expiration of contract
    This type of listing means that, if the owner and broker do not renew a contract, the owner must still pay a commission to the broker if the property is purchased by a prospective buyer (whose name is given to the owner by the broker) within a specified time period.
Read moreRead less
Glossary Of Terms
Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent?

A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a real estate sales agent with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only real estate sales agents rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings.

A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a real estate sales agent with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only real estate sales agents rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent.

Q: How do I know if a certain property is a good investment?
A: Your real estate sales agent should be able to help by providing plenty of information regarding property in the area from low end to high end. They can even provide historical information regarding how properties in the are have performed as well as an educated guess as to where they are going.

 Q: How should I choose a realtor?
A: Ask about experience. Learn how many clients that real estate agent worked with in the last year or so and request permission to contact them.

Q: How can I maximize the value of my home?
A: There are several things that you can do to make a house more desirable for potential buyers. This is called staging. A good real estate agent will be able to help you stage your property in an effective manner.

Q: What about doing more extensive improvements?
A: Some improvements will pay for themselves when you sell the property. But this all depends. A knowledgeable real estate sales agent will be able to advise you.

Q: How can I build equity into my home besides making monthly mortgage payments?
A: Always try to send in a little extra. This extra amount will go directly to the principal of the loan rather than interest. Even $50.00 per month extra can build your equity quickly. It can also knock years off of your loan.

Q: If I want to purchase a home and I know the seller already has an agent, can I act as my own agent and negotiate a lower fee?
A: Most likely, you don’t have the knowledge needed to represent yourself. The seller pays the real estate commission rather than the buyer. The real estate commission is already set in the listing contract. It actually doesn’t cost you anything to have your own agent represent you because the seller is paying for it already.

Q: What is a housing ratio?
A: This is the percentage of your housing payment to your monthly gross income. Lenders use this ratio to determine how much money they will loan you.

Q: What is a spec house?
A: This is a home that was built without it being requested or ordered by a buyer. A spec house is not customized or built to a particular buyer’s tastes.

Q: What is an appraised value?
A: An appraised value is an opinion regarding a property’s fair market value based on an appraiser’s analysis and inspection of the property.

Q: What is an assessed value?
A: This is the public tax assessor value of a property. It is determined for the purpose of taxation.

Q: What is depreciation?
A: This is a decline in the value of property due to general wear and tear.

Q: Why should I use a real estate agent?
A: A real estate agent acts on your behalf by providing you with guidance and advice while helping you buy or sell a home. An agent will be able to provide you with current information in a fast changing market that will be critical to your success in either purchasing or selling a home.

Read moreRead less
Frequently Asked Questions
Consumer Agencies

ACRE Association of Commercial Real Estate (http://www.acre.org/)
AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (http://www.airea.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CADRE California Department of Real Estate (http://www.dre.cahwnet.gov/)
CAR The California Association of Realtors (http://www.car.org/)
CRE Counselors of Real Estate (http://www.cre.org/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)…

ACRE Association of Commercial Real Estate (http://www.acre.org/)
AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (http://www.airea.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CADRE California Department of Real Estate (http://www.dre.cahwnet.gov/)
CAR The California Association of Realtors (http://www.car.org/)
CRE Counselors of Real Estate (http://www.cre.org/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
NAEBA National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (http://www.naeba.org/)
NAIREB National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers (http://www.nationalrealestatebrokers.org/)
NAR National Association of Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/)
NAREB National Association of Real Estate Brokers (http://www.nareb.com/)
NBAR North Bay Association of Realtors (http://www.norbarrealtor.com/)
NCCAR Northern California Commercial Association of Realtors (http://www.nccar.org/)
REEA The Real Estate Educators Association (http://www.reea.org/)

Read moreRead less