Need help finding a realtor in Olympia WA
July 21, 2009 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Seeking recommendations for realtors in Olympia, WA. Failing that, seeking suggestions for how to find a good realtor if you don't know many people locally to ask.

Nervous potential first-time homebuyer seeks knowledgeable, highly competent, non-icky buyer's agent. Anyone out there had good experiences with anyone in particular? And how *does* one go about finding a realtor if you don't know people locally who can provide suggestions?
posted by Kat Allison to Home & Garden (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you are sure you want to use a buyer's agent, you might start by contacting the National Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents. These are Realtors who only work as buyer's agents, and never handle listings of their own. Too many times, I've seen young agents, without many listings of their own, trying to supplement their incomes by offering themselves as buyer's agents, that the term "buyer's agent" to me immediately raises questions about why they are acting as buyer's agents, guaranteeing a split of commission, when they could be spending their time generating listings of their own, where they have a chance of full commission.

Since a person working exclusively as a buyer's agent is always in a split commission situation, their only means of making equivalent money to sales agents, is to be very good at the process of getting what are usually nervous first-time clients through the home buying process. They do that by knowing their areas extremely well, doing thorough interviews with clients, using Internet resources and remote viewing to cut down on the number of houses they show, thoroughly pre-qualifying buyers in the mortgage process, and then showing only houses in the correct area and price range to fully qualified buyers. But you can also expect that the best buyer's agents will not be spending inordinate amounts of time with you, if you are not willing and able to educate yourself at their direction, or are incapable of making timely decisions, and acting logically.

The purchase of a home is often an emotional process, as much as a financial and practical decision. But you can't expect a buyer's agent in a difficult market like this to be more than a person who facilitates your transaction - if you need more than rational support in making such a decision, you may want to rent in the area a while, until you know it, yourself, much better. That way, you have time to come to grips with emotive intangibles (the "vibe" of a neighborhood, etc.), before getting down to the nitty gritty of finance and structure in the home buying process.
posted by paulsc at 11:23 PM on July 21, 2009

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