What if you discover that your real estate agent went through a foreclosure, has tax liens against them, and/or sealed records?

You may come across a real estate agent who seems very knowledgeable about the value of your home and has a pulse on the market.  These agents (most) are trustworthy and subscribe to a strict code of ethics; still, it doesn’t hurt to do some research before you hire them.

If the real estate professional is trustworthy in all aspects, they will not mind if you check their background before you engage them to list your house or represent you in a selling transaction.  After all, if you were about to get surgery, and you found out your surgeon had a malpractice suit, would you want that doctor to perform surgery on you?    Chances are you would expect transparency from a physician and would not hesitate to check credentials and references. Everyone that works in the banking industry is required to not only have a background check, but they have to agree to a credit check to ensure that they are trustworthy.  Hiring a real estate agent should not be any different.

With that said, you can start by checking your agent’s public records through the county before hiring them by visiting  https://www.collierclerk.com/records-search/official-land-records-search.  This is the clerk and recorder page.  The first step is to click on OR Document Search (see image below).  blog records img

The second step is to enter the agent’s legal name (see image below).

You don’t have to fill out the rest of the form; simply scroll down the page until you find the search button and click.

blog records img2

If the real estate agent values real estate as an investment, they most likely have owned at least one household if not more.  If the agent doesn’t own a home or pay their taxes, you may decide to reconsider relying on their expertise and guidance when purchasing or selling one of the most important investments in your life.

Also, keep in mind, the agent may have properties in other states.  Find out where they are from and check the county records in those areas, too.  You can also ask for a resume, references from previous customers and places of employment.  Real estate professionals will typically provide you with this information during their presentations without you having to ask for it.  If not, it may be a red flag.

If something negative is revealed, it may be that something bad happened to a good person.  The agent may have had financial difficulty due to an unforeseen medical issue, have gone through a divorce, or a foreclosure during the recession;  if you discover that the real estate agent went through a foreclosure or has tax liens against them,  and you empathize, it may be wise to interview the agent and ask them questions so that you are comfortable with the decision to hire them despite their track record.  Always be very leery of any sealed records no matter what profession you are dealing with. If you are not comfortable for any reason, find another agent with a clear background.

Taking a few minutes to do the research is important  — remember, your real estate agent works for you.  Also, a reputable firm like John R. Wood, with a position of high respect within the Southwest Florida community and across the United States, can be trusted.

Visit John R Wood Properties’ guiding principles to learn more about how John R Wood agents are highly trained professionals with a dedication to ethics and philanthropy.

John R. Wood Properties Logo

1185 Immokalee Rd, Ste. #300

Naples, FL 34110

Please don’t hesitate to call me at 239.631.2561, email jbennett@johnrwood.com, or visit coastalhome4you.com.



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