Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Five reasons you should hire a local Realtor®

Nancy Schrimpf

Coldwell Banker Village Properties

Special to the Village News

It happened again this week. It happens all the time. It sounds like this: I'm pretty sure our last agent couldn't sell our house because s/he usually works in [enter the name of any town more than 45 minutes away from the seller's home].

Don't get me wrong; I'd love to sell every house in San Diego if I could. But I can't, so I won't tell potential clients I can. And here's why the out-of-area agent you are about to hire can't either.

San Diego County is huge. Our county is larger than the combined states of Rhode Island and Delaware. We have 18 cities here and 70 (yes, 70) unincorporated communities. We locals dissect San Diego County into unofficial regions like North County, East County, San Diego proper and the South Bay to help make it more manageable because it truly is so darn big.

We have microclimates here, for goodness sake. If one weather report isn't enough to effectively describe our county, how can one Realtor® be enough to represent it?

Knowledge is finite. If I told you my specific areas of expertise were theoretical physics, belly dancing, modern architecture, the minor works of Shakespeare, ancient alternative medicine, Jeff Dunham, postmodernism, the major prophets and untranslated Greek literature, would you believe me?

There is only so much one person can know, and your agent needs to know a lot about your community to represent you effectively, whether you are buying or selling. School districts, zoning laws and socio-economics can be researched by thorough and committed agents in any terrain, but only a local agent knows if a neighborhood is ascending or descending, if the hospital is expanding or contracting, if pending developments are up for review, and what the scuttlebutt is on the newly hired superintendent.

Regions have specific contractual concerns. Did you know most homes in Bonsall, Fallbrook and Rainbow have septic tanks? Does your agent? If not, she may forget to write into your RPA contract that you want the septic system pumped and inspected before close of escrow. That means at the very least you'd be buying someone else's old waste along with your new home, and also quite possibly a huge expense if the septic tank has cracked or needs other significant repairs and you don't find that out before escrow closes.

What does your agent know about sandstone erosion rates? Think it doesn't matter? If you're considering buying beachfront property, think again.

Agents are more comfortable working with agents they know. I have had multiple offers on several of my recent listings. If all other things are equal, and they often are, I will advise my clients to go with the buyers who are represented by agents whom I know to be effective, professional and accommodating. If I'm representing a seller in a community outside my typical service area, I'm not going to know who those agents are.

Distance is time and time is money. This is the no-brainer. This is the one you'll notice immediately if you hire an out-of-area agent. If qualified buyers call me on a Saturday morning and say they are driving around the neighborhood and saw my sign and they'd really like to see your home, I can tell them to go grab a cup of coffee and meet me at the home in less than an hour.

If an agent who is scheduled to show your home forgets his keycard, no worries. I can go let him in. Many clients in my upper tier listings ask that I accompany at all showings. I can't do that if a listing is 90 minutes away because I am too busy to give up a whole day for one showing, and so is every good agent everywhere. Each minute I spend someplace is a minute I can't spend someplace else. A two hour round trip is a whole lot of minutes.

If you follow my Facebook page or visit, you know that I describe myself not as a San Diego Realtor® but as a North San Diego County Realtor®. Sure, I would make a very nice commission if I took your $6,000,000 listing in La Jolla, but I won't. I will instead refer you to a wonderful agent I know who specializes in that region, because that's what you deserve.

Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Wherever you are, hire an agent who knows your area and can effectively represent you.

Questions may be directed to Coldwell Banker Village Properties at (760) 728-8000 or Nancy Schrimpf directly at (760) 717-2307.


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