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Here are 5 things to look for in a realtor

Written By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by King Homes and Land Realty

In Moffat County, where coal mining and high-end skiing in nearby Steamboat Springs affect real estate trends, hiring a knowledgeable realtor is important.

Buyers and sellers have to consider a number of factors when planning for one of the largest transactions of their lives. Finding a trusted local realtor with good word-of-mouth recommendations can help ease the stress of buying or selling a home.

Sandra King, of King Homes and Land Realty in Craig, said don't just pick the first realtor you see on a bus bench or billboard. Spend the extra time to look for the following five attributes in a realtor before you even think about settling on one.

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  1. Market knowledge

Newcomers to Craig and Moffat County often have sticker shock when they see that homes sell for more money here than they do in other rural areas. King, who has been a realtor in Craig since 2005, said the proximity to Steamboat Springs also keeps the rental market tight in Moffat County, affecting those who move to the area and learn they can't afford to buy. Selecting a realtor with knowledge of the market and local values is critical, she said.

  1. Trustworthiness

It's common in Moffat County for realtors to represent both buyers and sellers, which means it's important to select a realtor who will treat such deals with confidentiality and will work hard and fairly for both sides, King said.

It's important that a realtor behaves ethically and can be trusted by both sides, King said.

"This is the biggest purchase you're ever going to make," she said. "It's important to feel like you can trust the person."

She advises anyone looking for a realtor to seek word-of-mouth recommendations, take the time to interview several realtors before settling on one, and to look for someone who's a member of the National Association of Realtors, which has a strong code of ethics.

  1. Work ethic

A realtor who is willing to spend the time with buyers and sellers to accomplish the right deal is someone to consider hiring. A realtor should want their clients to have a good experience, King said.

"I worry about people's deals at night when I can't sleep like it's my own money," she said. "Realtors should provide that extra step they need — the caring."

  1. Knowledge of process and paperwork

Because real estate transactions can get complicated, realtors who know the process through and through make it easier on the clients. A realtor shouldn't sit back and let clients fend for themselves when they're trying to navigate through legalese.

"It should be a stress-free process," King said.

Realtors should be able to help determine what type of home someone can afford, what types of loan options are available for that buyer and property, as well as what kinds of inspections might be needed.

"If there are better financing options out there, the realtor should get the client with the right lender," she said. "You need an experienced, dedicated agent that can help organize the whole thing so at the closing table, they're not in tears."

  1. Compatibility

A lot of people hire realtors based on instinct, which King said is usually wise. Some clients just don't click with certain realtors, and that's OK.

In such an important transaction in people's lives, it's important to not only trust your realtor, but also work well together and communicate effectively.

"Some people just give off an uneasy feeling," King said. "I think you should interview different realtors, see how you feel and see if you have a connection. Go with your gut."