Vail Daily column: Should I follow agent to new company? |

Vail Daily column: Should I follow agent to new company?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I have used one real estate agent in the valley for several transactions I have done over the last few years. Now today I got a letter from him saying he is changing companies. I was surprised because I have always considered him as pretty successful. I have also considered the company he was with as one of the more successful companies in the valley, too. Why would he change companies if he is not leaving the area? And do you think it will make a big difference that he is not with the company I considered so successful? This change does not make any sense to me, but I probably will continue to use him since he does such a good job for me. What are your thoughts?

Dear Confused,

I would say that although you were surprised, you are making a great decision to stick with the agent that has done such a good job for you. Real estate service and knowledge comes from individual agents, not companies. The company they are with can support them and give them tools to use, but ultimately it is the individual agent, and/or their team, that has to deliver the information, service and negotiating skills that help you be successful in your real estate transactions. It actually is not as uncommon as you think that agents find an opportunity to advance their careers and move to a new company. The moves are often initiated by some less than perfect conditions at their current brokerage, which could range from working conditions, personnel issues, basic philosophical differences or lack of freedom to build their business as they see fit. If they are now with a reputable company that is a member of the Vail Board of Realtors, then they must follow the Code of Ethics when dealing with the public and other agents, so I would not be worried. I would say that most agents are very careful about making a change in companies and therefore usually have a lot of good reasons for making the change, since it can be costly and time consuming to switch. Therefore, I would guess your Realtor can give you several good reasons for the change when you ask, and hopefully one or more of those reasons is that they feel they can better serve you by their increased opportunity for education, coaching, networking opportunities, marketing skills, and innovative technology. I would suggest you call your agent and thank them for notifying you and tell them you are curious about why they made the decision to change. Your agent will be pleased you took the time to call and will feel good that you are genuinely concerned with their career decisions. Then you will feel better and won’t have to wonder any more! Happy Holidays!

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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