Vail Daily column: Find a buyer’s agent |

Vail Daily column: Find a buyer’s agent

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan,

I have been doing a lot of research on my own, looking for an investment property I want and can afford. I end up calling a lot of brokers and getting a little information from each of them. Many don’t know the answers to my questions, but they usually call me back with information on that specific question, but if I ask something else, then they don’t know the answer.

I have found that if I get a hold of the listing broker, they know the most about the property, which of course they should. My dilemma is, I would like to find just one person that I like and would work hard for me and knows the answers to the questions without a several day delay. Is this possible? Do I need to keep trying to find who the listing broker is and call and talk to each one of them directly?

Dear “Scatter Gun Approach,”

I think you are finally making a little progress because you have figured out that it would be best to work with just one competent Realtor that can gather all the information you need, possibly find you properties you don’t know about and then help you process what is the best direction for you to go in today’s market.

You need a knowledgeable, honest, hard working, local Realtor that will work for you as your “buyer’s agent.” This contractual relationship will allow your Realtor to not only tell you the facts, but if it is not their listing, then they will be able to tell you anything they know about the history of the property, information about the location, the status (financial, marital, etc) of the seller, all which might give you insight into the level of motivation of the seller.

When you sign a buyer agency contract, your Realtor is obligated to present you with everything listed on the market that meets your criteria. Your Realtor is allowed to give you advice on what they know about the direction of the market, past sales, any upcoming listings they know of and, in general, be your advocate … and all of this usually does not cost you anything!

The Realtor will ask you to sign that if they are not compensated from the seller (or inadequately compensated) that you will agree, before making the offer, to cover their compensation. Since most of the properties your Realtor will be showing you will be in the MLS, your Realtor will be given compensation from the selling side.

Find the best Realtor you know today and ask them to explain how they can facilitate, elevate and expedite your search by representing you as a buyer’s agent. This is going to change your world! Best of 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 via email at, by phone at 970-337-7777 and at

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