Sad as it may be, you can’t just trust anybody these days, especially with things like property and money. Background checks, in general, are done to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate professional and not some fraudster who is out to get your money. For real estate, background checks are crucial to ensure that you’re entrusting your time and money with a licensed real estate agent.
Moreover, background checking will reveal if your real estate agent has had any problems with the law.
Not sure how to do a background check on your realtor or real estate agent? Here’s how:
1. Check out local policies
Check with your local laws regarding real estate licensing. For example, when looking for an Eagle Mountain realtor, research local policies about what type of license or certification to look for. Then, make sure that your real estate agent possesses these licenses and certifications before hiring them.
2. Check for criminal activity
If the real estate agent commits a legal offense, this may prevent them from keeping or getting a real estate license. However, most U.S. states allow real estate agents to reinstate their license upon completion of a rehabilitation program or counseling.
To find out if the real estate agent you’re considering has a criminal background, go online and search their name through a criminal database (for a small price). People looking to buy a home may be uncomfortable dealing with people who have been involved in crimes like fraud, theft, or assault. So it’s up to you whether you want to give them a chance.
3. Look for their name in the sex offender registry
It is also strongly recommended that you search the sex offender registry for a potential real estate agent’s name. You can do so by going online and looking for your state’s sex offender list. Again, if you find their name there, it’s up to you if you want to continue doing business with them.
4. Check for disciplinary action
When a real estate agent commits a violation against the Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics, among many other rules that are in place for real estate agents, they may be sanctioned with disciplinary action. You can check if there are any disciplinary actions against your real estate agent by contacting the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in your state. If they used to work for a company or agency, you could also check with them if the agent has had violations.
5. Conduct reference checks
Be wary of real estate agents who don’t have references in their resume. As much as possible, deal only with those who have some. Be sure to check with their references about the agent’s experience, credentials, decorum, and everything you deem necessary.
With real estate and mortgage fraud on the rise, it can be challenging to find a real estate agent that you can trust. Nevertheless, these background checking tips should help you stay away from fraudsters or agents that are also doubling as scammers.
As a final piece of advice, trust your gut. If your gut is telling you that something’s wrong about your real estate agent or the transaction itself, don’t hesitate to think twice and say no.