Finding your dream home these days requires a team of professional who can help educate you about the market and prices. But how can you find out if your team is qualified and is in good standing with the regulatory agencies !?
First you need to find out which State agency regulates the Real Estate agents and brokers. In some States, the Department of Corporation is in charge of such activity, but in California Department of Real Estate (DRE) is in charges of agents and brokers.
If you are like most buyers and found your realtor by accident; then it is not a bad idea to check with the State agency that regulates the Real Estate professional. In fact, selling Real Estate in all 50 States of the Union is a licensed activity and your agent/broker should have an active license to be able to represent you.
In California, the Department of Real Estate (DRE)is the governing body that regulates Real Estate brokers and agents. You can go to this site and search for the Name of your agent to make certain that they have an ACTIVE license. If their license is EXPIRED or NBA (Not Associated with a Broker), then this agent/broker is NOT authorized to represent your.
What is the risk you might ask!? Well, if you purchase or sell a home with an unlicensed agent/broker, then the other party could challenge the transaction and they could be entitled to damages since this broker/agent for mis-representation.
This site also reports on any disciplinary action that might have been taken against this broker/agent in the past. These actions would be the results of a complaints that might have been filed against this broker and agent.
But when in doubt ask for a referral or look up an licensed agent on Trulia.