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How to find the right REALTOR®

Tips to choose an experienced professional

By Lauren Glendenning Brought to you by the Vail Board of REALTORS®

In today’s world, there are so many options at your fingertips with modern technology. It can be daunting to ensure the person you’re hiring to sell or buy a home is a savvy, trustworthy professional. These tips will help guide you through finding the right person for the job.

“It is integral to choose a REALTOR® who not only makes your best interests their No. 1 priority, but also someone who has a strong moral compass, and a personality that is compatible with yours,” says Alex Griffin, chair of the Vail Multi-List Service (VMLS). “Buying and selling real estate is rated as one of the most stressful things in your life — a good REALTOR® will ease your stress and help successfully navigate the intricacies of a real estate transaction.”

Here are a few more tips from the Vail Board of REALTORS® on how to find the right REALTOR®.

Look for the “R” – REALTOR®

When it comes time for you to buy or sell your home, “Look for the R.” A REALTOR® expert provides the Reassurance, the Resources, and the Reliable guidance on the path to property ownership — “That is who we R.”

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to narrow your list of potential real estate agents is to choose a REALTOR® over just someone with a license. REALTORS® are professionals that belong to the National Association of REALTORS® and, locally, the Vail Board of REALTORS®. The reason this distinction matters is because REALTORS® are heavily invested in their profession and hold themselves to a higher code of ethics than agents who might be trying their hand at real estate as a side gig.

“There are so many subtle nuances in our industry that you really want to rely on someone who is competent, very well connected to the industry, who has a daily pulse on the ever-changing market, and who stays on
top of industry changes,” says Griffin. “If you are not well represented by a competent, well-connected REALTOR®, you could be leaving thousands on the table and exposing yourself to a lot of liability.”

A hot topic in the real estate industry is short-term rentals. In the Vail Valley, each area, community, homeowners associations, etc., have different regulations on short-term rentals. REALTORS® know these and a for-sale-by-owner might not have the knowledge of this information, which could lead to a lot of issues.

“It’s so important to hire someone who’s trained, does their homework and knows the area,” Griffin says.

One program that was created exclusively for VBR members is the Vail Pro Designation. This program was established to increase members’ local knowledge and requires members take courses on the history of
the valley, a community update course, a course on the Realfire wildfire education program, and a presentation on schools in the valley.

Do your research

If you know anyone who has bought or sold real estate in Eagle County, ask them for REALTOR® recommendations. “Hopefully, they can make it easy by referring a rockstar, but if they had a bad experience, you’ll know who to avoid,” Griffin says.

Many REALTORS® get business via referrals, but they’re increasingly relying on their online presence to bring in business. Griffin says good REALTORS® present well online, so it is easy for consumers to look at their bios, their listings, previous sales, accreditations, specialties, testimonials, and other available online data.

Ask detailed questions

When meeting with or talking to REALTORS®, here are some good questions to ask:

• How long have you been in the business?
• How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood in the past year?
• What’s the typical price range of homes you sell and where?
• What’s your fee and what comes with it?
• How will you market my home?
• Will I be working with just you or with a team?
• How long are your listings typically on the market? • What’s your average sold-to-list price ratio?
• What separates you from other REALTORS® in our market?

Interview before choosing a REALTOR®

Before choosing a seller’s or buyer’s agent, don’t be afraid to talk to a few REALTORS® to see which person is the right fit. You want to ask the questions mentioned above, but you’re also looking for someone who can meet your specific needs.

“I think it’s worth talking to at least two or three REALTORS®,” Griffin says. “The best agents always provide value— they always look out for your best interests while also adapting their style to the personality, needs, and goals of their clients.”

Value of Multiple-List Service (MLS)

Starting your home search using online real estate sites helps provides a home buyer or seller quick and easy data on some of the available listings in their area, but a REALTOR® is part of the MLS system which has the most up-to-date and real-time information available on the market — ahead of the other websites. Most, if not all, real estate sites syndicate and pull data from the core MLS, but sometimes the algorithms involved don’t always provide the most accurate, real-time data.

For example, some sites refer to a duplex property type as a multifamily property, which are actually two different classifications. One of the biggest values of using a REALTOR® is having an advocate who knows how to use the MLS, along with their boots-on-the ground market knowledge, to help you buy or sell your next home with ease.

Visit VBR.net for additional information about Vail Valley real estate and to find a local REALTOR®.


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