Vail Daily column: Stick with Denver Realtor or go local? |

Vail Daily column: Stick with Denver Realtor or go local?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

My husband and I have a real estate agent in Denver that we really like. He helped us find our home and now he is helping us sell it and doing a​n excellent​ job​,​ in our opinion. We thought we would like to use him to help us find a great home in Eagle County. He seems eager to help us but has said he will need to get cooperation from the listing brokers in the Valley, as he is not a member of the Vail Board of Realtors. We have started looking online, and he has encouraged us to do so because he said he will have no inside access to listings other than those posted on the public websites. Now, we are starting to rethink our decision and wonder if we should look for a Realtor that is local in Eagle County. Any advi​c​e on what to do and were to find an agent equally as good, but more familiar with our new area?​ And do we have any obligation to work with our Denver Realtor since we originally said we would?​

Dear Loyal to a Fault,

You bring up issues that are near and dear to every Realtor’s heart. We Realtors all love to work with our good clients and try to fill all their needs. However, the best way​ a Realtor can help their loyal clients, when they are moving to a new area​ that is out of the MLS range and local knowledge of the Realtor, is to refer them to another great agent in the area the clients are moving. This way, the original Realtor can receive a referral fee from the agent in the new area and the clients will be in good hands, if their original Realtor has a great network. I, personally, have two luxury agent groups I belong to, a Certified Residential Specialist designation and network and my huge company franchise network all around the world. Most all Realtors have various networks to go through to assure you that you will be in good hands. I would suggest that when your agent gives you ​one or more ​referral names​ that you​ immediately check them out on the ​Web​ and interview them on the phone before making your selection. ​T​he local Realtor has the local knowledge necessary to not only find you the best locations and prices for your wants and needs but to sometimes have in​si​ght​ into properties that are coming on the market soon or need to be sold quickly.​ Also, in the Vail Valley your Realtor needs to be a member of the local board in order to have an electronic lockbox key to get in to show the properties. The local Realtor can get you up-to-the-minute information on which properties are just listed and which ones have already gone under contract. The commonly used public aggregated sites often do not receive updated information for several days after it happens.

The last part of your question actually needs to be dealt with first. Did your Realtor have you sign a buyer broker agency form? If so, then you may have agreed to only work with that broker. If this is the case, then simply ask them to release you from the geographical areas where your broker normally does not work, and get it in writing. If you then ask them to refer you to another agent, then they still stand a chance of receiving some compensation.

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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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