Regarding agents being touchy, possessive and territorial ... you have to look at the big picture. (this is probably gonna generate a lot of hate on me). As with almost any facet in life, there is an 80/20 rule. The same appears to exist in real estate. 20% of the agents do 80% of the business. If you happen to work with an agent who has, ...unfortunately....no other clients they are working with at the time ..and you are their one and only paycheck, ...it should be no surprise that they become very touchy, possessive and territorial. Not just real estate, but even in the lending industry. I had a client who had done some preliminary work with a lender and that lender just wasn't getting the job done, ..took days to get answers, rates were uncompetitive and I had no faith they could get the deal closed on time. The buyer went to another lender and when the original lender found out... the buyer and I got nasty, nasty emails and voicemails. Come to find, ...this buyer was their only client at the time. Vice versa, ..another lender I work with that is quite successful, ...I had to turn a buyer away (new construction preferred lender discount garbage) ... his reaction was ...I understand ..thanks for giving me the opportunity.
The agents that know their value and know what they can bring to the table should be able to let their work stand on their own. If the personalities don't mesh with the client, then .....thanks for the opportunity. The key is determining that connection early on in the game ....so you avoid the situation where the agent has shown you a dozen homes and then realize it's not working.
I think the more "salesy" an agent is these days, ..the more turned off the buyer will be. What buyers need is information they cannot get or generate themselves. If for a particular client that means looking up listings, ..then that's what the agent needs to do, but that's not what the entire value of the agent should be.
Hmm...well, I have an intitial meeting, at my office, with Buyer's either before the first showing or before the second showing. I explain what my legal duties and obligations to a Buyer are, and I also explain how I work with Buyers. I give an overview of the Purchase & Sale process.
At that time, I also explain that I have to give my time and energy only to a Buyer who has committed to working with me. That is how I get paid, and the only way I get paid, is by finding the home, crafting an offer, negotiating, representing, and executing a contract through the sale and possession of a home.
If the Buyer doesn't feel comfortable committing to me, fine. There are plenty of Buyers who can use my service! If the Buyer does commit to me, in a Buyer's agency agreement, I also let them know that at any time, if they decide we don't communicate well, or I'm just not the agent for them, that they can call me, or my broker, and cancel the agreement for any reason or no reason.
BUT if they just go out and write an offer, with another agent, on a house that I brought to their attention or showed them, without cancelling that agreement, they do owe me a commission. It's never happened to me yet--my clients seem to be delighted with my service!
If I work with a Buyer who is not committed to me, then I am not only doing disservice to myself, but also to my other clients who depend upon my time and energy.
About the agents and Realtors(r) who seemed to expect you to work with them because they live next door, or they sold you the house before...
there are so many agents and Realtors(r)! It is just statistics that every Seller and every Buyer knows several, and we're all trying to capture good clients!
I see it as part of my job to keep my past clients informed on the market, and on my great service, so that I am the agent of choice when they are ready to make a move. There is so much pressure on an agent to be perfect in all respects, even beyond the transaction, that it can be a letdown when a former client uses another agent. But it happens, and its not personal, and if they still say great things about me and refer business to me then I'm happy. And on to the next client!
I agree with James, in that a few of the agents are doing the majority the work. The rest are struggling to get a paycheck. Those people are obviously going to be a lot more posessive and pushy. In regards to exclusivity, I myself have never asked someone to sign a buyer agency agreement. I have never felt the need to do so, but don't fault anyone that does. I know that many agents won't work with a client unless they sign one. Personally, I feel that if someone likes me, they will work with me. If they don't feel comfortable with me, I would rather have them find someone else that they feel is a better fit for them. Everyone has their own way of doing business. I like to create lasting relationships with the people that I help, and that is more important to me than having them pledge their commitment to me via an agreement that they sign prior to me working with them. This does mean that I run the risk of a client that I have spent a lot of time with writing an offer with someone else, but so far that has not happened.
There are a lot of great answers below, but when it comes right down to it, you should decide who will meet your needs best. If you are comfortable with e-mail and text updates, get a Realtor that can do that for you, if you are old school, want face time and personal calls, get one that will do that for you. Get your needs met.
Secondly, I would advise getting a top notch mortgage lender before you even talk to a Realtor. Know what you can afford and the best way to go about it. It is too late to make the proper arrangements when you have already made an offer on a home. Get your ducks in a row for financing first.
You are looking for a local, knowledgeable and experienced agent who is very familiar with water systems and septic systems and just the Camano Island neccessities. I would be happy to help you.
Windermere Real Estate/CIR
Speak to several, and find one with whom you feel comfortable and confident communicating--someone who will tell the bad news as well as the happy news.
As long as communication is open, you can evaluate whether or not they are serving you well!
Warm wishes, and good luck!
See my website for the 'Consumer Notice' link and it will explain the items YOU need to know BEFORE you hire and Agent/Broker/Realtor...Hope that helps!