Vail Daily column: How do you find help when seeking a home? | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: How do you find help when seeking a home?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

We are looking for a second home in the valley and we are in the process of choo​sing a Realtor. Actually, I am the one looking for a Realtor as my husband won’t help because he said all salespeople are alike and he doesn’t trust any of them to do anything but try to get a commission. He wants to talk to the listing agent on each home. I ​am sure​ that there are some agents that fit his​ ​description, but I also believe that I can find one that will actually try to help us find what we want and need. How can I identify a person that will look out for us and help us get the best property at the best price?

Dear Searching,

Your husband is creating his own self-fulfilling prophecy. If he only talks to listing agents, and makes it plain that he will only work with th​e listing​ agent on their listing, then of course the​ listing agent will work very hard to sell him that ​one ​property because that is their only opportunity with​ your husband​. Then it would not matter to the agent if it fit your needs or not. If ​you and your husband ​would instead choose ​an​ honest, hardworking, knowledgeable Realtor and sign a buyer agency agreement with them, th​en that Realtor​ would feel safe to tell y​ou and your husband ​of every property on the market​ that might fit your criteria. Plus, they would be able to look for properties that are not even listed since they would be secure in knowing they would be paid on any sale with you.

If your husband is concerned with finding the right Realtor, then I am happy to give you criteria to help you with your selection. I think the best way to go about it is to sign the buyer agency agreement for a short period of time so that you can cancel if you are not happy with your agent’s service or knowledge. And, of course you can extend it if things start to go well for you. I would stay or cancel based on the attention and availability the agent gives to you, as well as quality of service and information provided.

The agent should have an in-depth conversation with you at first to discover all your wants and needs and what factors are most important and what would be nice to have. Establishing a comfortable price range for you is important as well. Now, it is a sign of a good agent if they present you with properties that are just a bit outside the price parameters and chosen features on the original list. However, if they only email and show you properties that are twice the price you want to pay, it might be time to look for someone else. You can sign a buyer agency agreement for as short of time as a day, but I would suggest at least a month to give them time to do the research they need to do. I hope this helps. Good luck to you.

Joan Harned is an owner and 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 Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.SkiAndTee Homes.com.