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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real estate round-up: It's not about "being #1" – in real estate or otherwise


Last updated 2/9/2018 at 3:28pm

Realtors should know the ins and outs of their community.

We've all been deluged with those oversized glossy postcard mailers with matching oversized claims like "Joe Smith: #1 Realtor in California!" or "Susie Jones Realty Sold $99 Million in Real Estate in 2018!" Or what about those ridiculous weight loss ads – "Best-selling Belly Buster in the World!" We know this is "fake news," and so into the round file it all goes, right?

Truly smart, successful people don't fall for these gimmicks, nor do they believe everything they see or read. They make life-changing decisions by pouring through research and facts, references and relationships. This is why we, at Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty, personally choose not to clog up your mailbox. Here are a few meaningful things to consider in choosing a realtor, whether you're moving in or out of the Fallbrook/Bonsall area.

1) Look for a realtor who lives in the town you live in or are looking to move to.

Why does that matter? Because if they do, they know the town inside and out, from the bigger urban areas right down to the smallest little side streets. They know the ins-and-outs of what streets command what prices and what types of homes (size, layout and architectural style) command what prices. They will also know what zoning laws will and won't affect what you can ask for your property. They know who the trusted local contractors are, what the best restaurants are, the real story behind local schools, etc.

If they've lived and worked in the area long enough, they may even know the owners of the home(s) you're interested in. How many times have you driven by a home and said," Wow, I want that house!" I know I myself have said that many times, but if there isn't a for sale sign out front, you just keep driving right? A good local agent might a) know who lives there and b) what the family's circumstances are and/or c) may even be able to persuade someone they know to sell their dream home to you, even if it's not technically on the market.

2) Even better: look for a realtor who owns a home in your town.

Additionally, if they themselves own a home in the area, they are taking into consideration the fact that selling and/or buying your property will directly affect the health of the community, and will have an effect on their own property values as well. That means they want you to get the most money possible for your property for the overall benefit of the local economy.

3) What do people who have done business with them say about them?

We recently had the unexpected pleasure of receiving a thank you card from a client for selling her home – complete with a gift card for dinner for us, on her for a job well done and appreciated. Words speak volumes...buying and selling a home is a very intimate thing and should be treated as such, like a relationship. We recently developed such a great personal relationship with a client that she ended up working for us. Real estate is not about buying and selling residences, it's about becoming part of an expanded family network. A great agent will buy and sell a family and their friend's homes for generations to come, so look for repeat customers.

4) How involved are they in real estate networking groups?

Are they involved in the California Association of Realtors? The North San Diego County Association of Realtors? Any other major industry affiliations? Being on the frontlines of these leading industry organizations lends insider knowledge that gives realtors the tools to guide you to make the best choices on the selling and the buying front. For example, if you read last week's first real estate round-up, you'd have seen that Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty is on the forefront of creating and channeling the "2018 Portability Initiative," a measure that, if approved, will allow senior homeowners to carry their low tax bases with them as they buy and sell wherever they want, no matter the home prices. This means seniors are no longer "trapped" and can free up homes for young families.

5) Have they received awards from professional peers?

For example: Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty has received the independently rated "5 Star Award for Customer Satisfaction" for 11 years straight. Chris Murphy was awarded "Realtor of the Year" for the Fallbrook/Bonsall area in 2009 by the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR) and Sam Murphy was named Weichert Realtors' "Rookie of the Year" just recently in 2015. These types of accolades mean a lot more than a bunch of sales numbers that make you scratch your head and think, "Is $99 million a lot?" or manufactured claims of being "number one." Quality not quantity, something to consider.

6) How do they support their community?

Do they give back to their local community through hosting, supporting or sponsoring events like golf tournaments, art exhibits and/or Chamber of Commerce events? Do they directly donate to local charities? In 2017, Murphy and Murphy was blessed to be able to donate over $35,000 to local nonprofits and ultimately benefit the greater good of Fallbrook.

Everything mentioned above comes down to one basic point: It's not about being's about making you and your community #1.

Kim Murphy can be reached at or (760) 415-9292 and would love to hear from you. Her broker license is #01229921 and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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