Vail Daily column: Is the agent or the company more important? |

Vail Daily column: Is the agent or the company more important?

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am in the process of picking someone to list and sell my home this spring. I have been doing research and still have not determined if the agent or the company they work for is more important when I am making my selection. After searching the internet, newspapers and magazines, I am still uncertain. I would like to hear your opinion on this matter.

Dear Soon to be Seller,

As you know, I always have an opinion. In this case I would definitely say that the emphasis is on the agent. I would say that the choice should be weighted somewhere around 80 percent on who the individual agent is, and only 20 percent on which company you end up with. (It is however, very important to the agent what company they are with, but that is another story.)

I support the premise that the selection of the agent is most important because no matter how good you think a company is, it will be your agent who will initiate the marketing and your agent will be the one to “sell” how great your home is to the rest of the real estate community. A strong agent can demonstrate the value and desirability of your property not only to clients but to other agents who will bring in clients.

Also, once your property receives an offer, it is critical to have your agent have the skills to do all the important negotiations on price, terms, inspection resolutions and urgency of dates. If you have an indolent, disinterested or unskilled agent, then the name of the best company in the world won’t help you get your property sold in the least amount of time, with the least amount of stress and for the highest net profit.

On the other hand, if you find a great agent, then chances are they are with a company that has a strong culture and deep resource system for that agent. Really good agents make certain they are with a company that allows them the freedom to grow and promote their listings and themselves in the most beneficial ways.

When you start your search for that great agent, it is always invaluable to have a referral from a friend or neighbor. Most of my business comes from referrals and it is a real compliment to have referrals from past clients. Once you have a name, then the Internet is a good place for the initial search. See if they have one or more websites and read about their history and successes. Google gives a wealth of information, and you can often learn a lot about an agent by looking at their Facebook page. Now, you are ready for an interview to see if your desires and personalities work well together.

You are fortunate you live here, as we have a lot of great agents in this valley with many different companies. Best of luck to you!

Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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