By Kay Wilson-Bolton
March 1, 2001
Buying a home can be an exciting and wonderful experience for the whole family. It can
also be a very stressful one. There aren’t many people who can work through the process without the help of a professional.
Real estate activity requires the efforts of many people: lenders, termite companies,
escrow and title companies, home inspectors, home protection plans, repair people,
utility companies, appraisers, homeowners associations, park managers, and many more.
In the real estate industry there are two types of real estate people who can help you.
One type is a person who is licensed by the Department of the Real Estate.
The other type is a real estate agent who is not only licensed but is also a member of the
Association of REALTORS® where they received specialized training, have access to
legal advice and agree to abide by a Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics makes very important statements about how REALTORS® will treat
clients and respond to problems.
Another important part of working with a REALTOR® is that if a buyer or a seller has a
problem, they can complain to the Association where the REALTOR® can be disciplined
and held accountable for their actions by their peers.
If you have a complaint against an agent who is not a REALTOR®, you have to hire an
attorney or file the complaint with the State of California’s Department of Real Estate or
the District Attorney’s office.
Be sure to ask the agent you meet if he or she is a member of the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®. Dealing with a REALTOR® is your best insurance if something goes wrong. When choosing someone to help you buy or sell your home, use a REALTOR® first. There really is a difference.
Kay Wilson-Bolton has been in full-time real estate since 1976 and brings a local perspective to regional issues.