Buying a home, selling a home, or selling one home and buying another home are probably among the most, if not THE most, important financial decisions of your life. Whom do you want to entrust with the responsibility of guiding you safely and securely through such a transaction or transactions? Hopefully, you would insist upon a real estate professional with the knowledge, expertise, and experience required to guarantee that everything is handled properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind and factor into your decision making process when it comes to choosing the correct real estate professional to represent you:

Bay Bridge, Oakland, Alameda County, Baron & Chestney Real Estate
Bay Bridge, Oakland, Alameda County

1. Is the person a sales agent, or a broker? Sales agents must be employed by brokers in order to work in the real estate industry and conduct real estate activities in the state of California. A sales agent cannot become a broker without at least 2 years of experience, plus successful completion of 8 college level real estate courses, as well as passing a broker’s exam and criminal background check. You should hire a broker, not a sales agent. Most brokers have WAY more than the minimum 2 years of experience required. Ours have DECADES of experience. Most agents have only a few years of experience, or even less! If the person is a broker, it will clearly say so on his or her business card. Sales agents may try to put all sorts of things on their business cards to impress you (MBA, JD, CPA, GRI, CRS, top producer, top 1%, gold circle, diamond star, Team Hotshot, a legend in my own mind, etc, etc, etc), all of which are just peachy, but, honestly and truly, the one thing they cannot put on their card is the one most important thing of all that should be there: the title of BROKER. Look for it. Insist upon it. After all, don’t you deserve the best? Do you want a doctor, or a nurse? A dentist, or a dental assistant? An attorney, or a paralegal? You are paying good money. Get great help.

2. Is the person a Realtor? Not all salespeople nor even all brokers are Realtors. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors and California Association of Realtors. These are professional organizations whose members voluntarily subscribe to a code of ethics. Look for the term “Realtor” on their business card. Insist upon it.

3. So, just how many years of experience does the person have? Here is a little known fact that is a foolproof, guaranteed way to find out. All California real estate sales agents and brokers have a license number that was issued by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) (also known as the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE)). The DRE changed its name to the BRE on July 1, 2013 and then BACK to the DRE on July 1, 2018, just for kicks, and to keep everyone on their toes… it is the same department, whether called DRE or BRE. The abbreviation “CA DRE #” or “CA BRE #” will precede the license number of all real estate licensees in California. BY CALIFORNIA LAW, THE NUMBER MUST BE DISPLAYED ON THE BUSINESS CARD OF ANY REAL ESTATE LICENSEE. Ask for it. Look for it. Insist upon it. It must ALSO be displayed on their advertisements, meaning, ALL advertisements, of which the business card is considered one, as well as flyers, mailers, brochures, pamphlets, door hangers, websites, shopping cart ads, magazine ads, billboards, tv commercials, etc, etc, etc. It must even be stated in radio and other verbal (non visual) advertisements. Why? It is very similar to an attorney’s state bar number, or a contractor’s state license number. The beautiful thing about a DRE/BRE license number is that it gives away a lot very valuable information about the real estate licensee — just like the license plate on a car gives away information about the car and its registered owner. The DRE/BRE # will tell you: agent or broker, number of years of experience, AND, other things as well….but HERE IS THE LITTLE KNOWN FACT that all rookies hope you will never find out about: DRE/BRE License numbers are SEQUENTIAL. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE LOWER THE NUMBER, THE MORE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, AND THE HIGHER THE NUMBER, THE FEWER YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. The agent or broker cannot hide from his or her DRE/BRE license number, nor can he or she change it. There is no amount of money he or she can pay to have it altered, and no one can “purchase” a lower number. It might as well be tattooed an a rookie’s forehead, along with the words, “I have no idea what I am doing”. Look for it. Insist upon it. Research it at ;

Rookie? “Crookie?!”:

Is the person you are interviewing to sell your home a rookie? Even worse, is the person a convicted felon?! Although hard to believe, he or she just may be! That DRE/BRE license number will also tell you that. Just as you would check out a contractor’s license before hiring a contractor, the DRE/BRE license number is most definitely something you should check! Simply visit , and use the “verify a license” feature… may be SHOCKED at what you find! Besides the person’s personal information and date of licensure, you will also find a history of any disciplinary actions that the Department of Real Estate has taken against the person, including legal actions, fines, penalties, and even, yes, imprisonment! If you see ANY of these items whatsoever, that is a HUGE red flag!!! Stop and read further into it. You may indeed find that the person you almost entrusted your home to is not only a “rook”, but even worse, ALSO a CROOK!!! You do NOT want to be “sellin’ with a convicted felon”, do you?!

Hire a broker. Hire a broker with decades of experience. Hire a broker who is also a Realtor. Hire a broker with a CLEAN BRE/DRE record. You deserve only the best. Don’t hire a rookie. For heaven’s sake, don’t hire a “crookie”, either! If the person is a “rookie” AND a “crookie”, show them the door, and give them a kick in the “bootie” on their way out!!!

SO, REMEMBER, ” Don’t get TOOK by a ‘ROOK’ ! “, AND, “You do NOT want to be SELLIN’ with a licensed convicted FELON!”

Ask B&C

Baron & Chestney Real Estate offers FULL SERVICE discount real estate brokers who will sell your San Francisco Bay Area home for a discount realtor commission of only 2% to 4% in TOTAL. Home buyers who purchase a home using our home buyer rebate program will get a realtor rebate of up to 2% of the selling price of the home. Serving your discount real estate needs throughout 10 San Francisco Bay Area counties, our discount realtors will save you THOUSANDS of dollars in real estate commissions, whether you are selling a home or buying a home, or BOTH! Call a Baron & Chestney Real Estate discount real estate broker today, and let our home seller discount real estate commissions and home buyer discount realtor rebates save you thousands of dollars in realtor commissions on your next bay area realty transaction! Call US first!