How do I locate a good buyers agent in Washington, DC?

Asked by Want To Buy, Washington, DC Wed Aug 24, 2011

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Susan Isaacs, Agent, Washington, DC
Tue Aug 30, 2011
I recommend finding an agent primarily dedicated to buyers. Despite the fact that commissions are paid by sellers, a buyer's agent should have no problem putting the buyer's interests first--in fact, it 's their duty. This is a matter of professionalism as well as integrity.
Just because commissions are factored into listing price, don't expect that a good buyer's agent won't be able to negotiate a great deal for you. There are many ins and outs to this, but an experienced and enthusiastic agent will know how to take advantage of every opportunity. Also, terms can be as important as dollars and cents in a real estate transaction, so having an agent who works with buyers constantly will provide the advantage of experience in setting and selling terms that benefit you.
I focus on buyers because that is the area of representation I enjoy most. Helping someone find the ideal home and managing the process so they get not just a great home but a great experience is rewarding and fun. I'm not influenced in the least by the seller or listing agent. As my clients will attest, I work hard to ensure that every aspect of the home purchase is as advantageous to them as possible.
How do you find a great buyer's agent? Interview! Most buyers are so eager to begin the touring phase of the process that they skip the most important part---finding the right agent. Sit down and talk with a number of agents before making a decision. Find the one you believe will do the best job in finding the type of home you're looking for, negotiating the best price and terms possible, managing the process in a way that makes you comfortable, being responsive and communicative, and who "gets" you. Then sign a buyer agency agreement and follow the steps necessary to ensure a successful outcome. For more tips, see…
If you'd like more information, give me a shout. Good luck!
1 vote
Wendy, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Mon Jul 21, 2014
Go to the website of National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA). There are a number of successful EBAs in the Washington, DC metro area and Baltimore, MD region. Research each firm, interview a number of agents and select the exclusive buyer's agent that works best for you. Then you will have a realtor and a brokerage company that works for the homebuyers 100% of the time. They have no conflicts of interest. They never list properties and they never have inventory that they are contracted to get the highest price and the best terms for their seller/client.
0 votes
Kelly Putz, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Hi there,

I won't try to blow smoke or get into a long reply. You've started in the right place by putting the question out there. Pick 2 or 3 of us you like and interview us. Go with the one you have best connection with, because it could take several months to find your home and you don't want to get stuck with someone you don't like working with. I have a client who used her old agent because that's the only agent she KNEW, but hated her and she hated her 2 experiences with her.

Check out my profile. I would love the opportunity to meet with you and see if we are a good fit. Oh, and by the way, I'm licensed in DC, MD and VA, and I have lived all over the metro DC area, so I can show you properties no matter where you want to look.

Good luck!
0 votes
Lauryn Eadie, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
To start off: I do NOT work the DC market and am solely putting in my 2 cents.

I would like to point out however that your agent's fee is in fact paid by you. It is often subsidized by the seller as part of the sales price, but ....YOU ARE PAYING THAT PRICE.
Secondly, if your agent does not have a conversation with you about their fee, I think it is the wrong agent. If an agent cannot be upfront with you about what they want to be paid, then I would not want them to be negotiating my money. There are lots of different agents out there, and some of them are willing to take less than others, or leave it up to the seller. That could be the difference of thousands of dollars. If you are looking to purchase a 500K home and one seller is offering 2.5 % and another 3%...that is a 2500 difference. So if the seller is deciding how much your agent is to be paid, then who are they really working for?
0 votes
John Loulan, , Washington, VA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Lots of good information in some of the prior answers. But in reality selecting a buyers agent is not easy, I personally am looking for an investment property in another state. I have looked at all of the sites like Trulia until I'm dizzy, I still haven't found the right agent. Here is what I am looking for.
Professional real estate designation.
Local market knowledge.
Great network of lenders and home inspectors.
Someone who truly puts my best interest above all.
Works for a solid real estate company.

Hopefully that will help you also. Now for my pitch, every agent who has responded would like to help you because thats how agents make a living. But what sets me apart is 30 years of experience, I am a Graduate of the Realtors Institute. I live and work in DC, 4th generation Washingtonian. And I work for Long and Foster which is the number one real estate company in the area. And I think the absolute best company in the country. I speak from experience as I once owned my own real estate firm.

In closing, select a few agents, meet with them and hire the one you feel most comfortable with. The good news is the seller is going to pay your agent so you will hopefully get great service at no cost to you.

John Loulan
Long and Foster
2300 Calvert St. NW, DC
0 votes
Jamie Kopper…, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hi Want To Buy,

Buyer agents can be an integral part of your search so it is a good thing you are thinking about what is required. I believe top buyer agents provide their expertise during the housing search, the contract negotiation phase and during the rest of the contractual period leading to settlement. Looking at these a little further, you'll want someone who can do the following :

- Complement your online search with key insights into properties and neighborhoods and supplemental property suggestions that you and the agent can check out. Help you understand the value of a property relative to the localized market, now and what the future might hold for the home.

- Help you craft your offer strategy based on the particular situation for your chosen property. You'd look at days on market, number of offers already registered, your financial strength and the speed with which you can settle, as well as a number of other factors. These things can lead towards providing an offer that has a strong chance of being accepted or negotiated. DC properties that are priced well do get competition so this a key part of what a buyer agent can do.

- Once you are under contract, there is a lot to do including the home inspection and subsequent negotiatiosn based on the results, possible appraisal discussions and even finessing certain condo issues (if buying one).

- Finally, it is important that you have good chemistry with an agent. You want them to help you through this process and be forthright regarding market value, strategies, and your situation. Having good chemistry facilitates those discussions.

Of course, you have many choices open to you so I hope my thoughts have helped you. Should you like to discuss things a bit more, feel free to contact me using the info below.

Best Regards,

- Jamie

James R. Koppersmith, MBA
Licensed in DC/MD/VA
Century 21 Redwood Realty
1701 Q St, NW, Washington, DC 20009
1711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209
Top 1% Nationwide in Sales & Service

Direct/Cell: 202.341.1768
0 votes
Lanre Folayan, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Do a search on search engines. Type in the search engine "Buy a home in Washington DC". Also read their blogs. Go and look up real estate agents listed in DC. Good luck to you.
0 votes
Carrie Mcduf…, , Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Typically, most buyers ask their friends if they know a 'great' agent, make sure it's someone they've worked with, not just word of mouth. Also, most buyers look for someone they feel comfortable talking to because the back-and-forth communications should be easy. Lastly (but not necessarily in terms of priority). the agent should be familiar with your areas of interest and the programs available in that area. For example, there are first-time home buyer programs in most counties/states and Washington DC is no exception however, each jurisdiction can differ dramatically in what they offer, the guidelines to participate, your responsibility, etc.

I hope this helps. Call or email me if you need additional information or help finding a great agent.

Carrie McDuffie
0 votes
Boris Miric, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
The best bet is by refferal of somene you know, that has had a great experinece. Of course if they can remember they're agent. 90% of agent do not stay in touch with the past clients.

My business is built on referrals, and I'd gladly provide you with cleints who you can check on me if needed be.

The primary path is to meet and discuss your needs and see if there is a match :-)

Boris Miric 202-459-4700
Web Reference:
0 votes
brent mendel…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bethesda, MD
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Few thoughts.
Ask friends and family for referrals unless new to the area. No matter how you get the names talk to a few and see which one has a plan. And of course which is the best fit for you. You'll find some excellent agents right here on Trulia as well. I can also provide you a few names. I am a lender and have seen many agents and have seen the best and also the worst at times. All names I give you will be very good and straight with you. I am also an unbiased party as you may or may not need my services for a loan. You asked for names of realtors and that's all I will give you. At least for now :)
Hope this helps email me if you would like a few names.
0 votes
Amy Fisher, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
I have 37 years experience in every imaginable market. I offer a free Real Estate #101 interview in which we discuss, mortgages, agency, tax benefits of home ownership, and I answer as many questions as you would like answered. Also we get to talk about the fun stuff like how many bedrooms and baths you hope to have. you are welcome to make an appointment. Good luck in your search.
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0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
One tip: Make sure the agent is familiar with the area of the city that you're interested in. There are enough different areas with different pricing structures, "feels," and more that you'd be best served by someone familiar with the area you're interested in buying in.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Silvana Dias, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Feel free to contact me. I can put you in touch with clients of mine who will attest to my performance as their buyers agent. Thanks!
Silvana Dias
WC & AN Miller Realtors,
A Long & Foster Co.
0 votes
Aaron Smith, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
In the area in which you are looking for a home, go to some open houses.
Meet the agents and ask them questions. They should be honest, without being too revealing of any negatives. Ask them if they work exclusively or mostly in the area. Ask them about their experience, how many sales they have done in the last year, if they represent buyers.

During this time, judge them. Don't sign anything until you are sure that they 'click' with you. If you think they might work, ask them to show you another property. (They may ask you to sign a brokerage agreement before doing so, which is legally correct. But you can sign one for a duration of one or two days, to start.)

Once you have seen them in action, asked them questions, you should be able to make a call, based upon your own observations.

But, remember, Agents are representatives, not miracle workers. They can't get you a home below market value (unless they sell you their personal home.) nor can they guarantee you that you will find a home that's perfect for you, because it may not exist.

What they can and should do is:
Give you a list of current properties that fit your criteria; update it often and accurately;
Use their experience to make sure that you make intelligent, well informed decisions during the finding, negotiating, and settling portions of the process;
Help you, if necessary, find an expert in other, related fields (lenders, inspectors, contractors) that can assist you outside of Real Estate Agency.

I hope that helps!

Aaron Smith, REALTOR
0 votes
Hillary Nash, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hi Want to Buy,

My name is Hillary Nash, and I am a Buyer Agent here in Washington, DC. I would love to meet with you to see if the services my company provides are a match to what you are looking for. You can give me a shout, or email me (whatever is easier), and if you are currently in the DC area, then we can set up an appointment to review your goals for home buying, and if you are not in the DC area , then we can talk over the phone about it.

I hope you are having a great day, and if you were here yesterday for the earthquake, I'm glad you are safe!

Hillary Nash
Nash Holdings Co.
Exit Elite Realty
202.907.7301 (c)
301.277.3948 (o)
#1 Exit Elite Realty Agent in 2011
Web Reference:
0 votes
Shawnn Fayson, , District of Columbia
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hi Future Home Buyer,

You're sure to get a fury of responses to this question! I would say the best way to locate a Buyers Agent that fits your needs is to interview a few.

I'd be more than happy to discuss your upcoming purchase goals and share a little about myself and my team and how we get results for Buyers like you!

I live and work in the DC community and am more than happy to help. Let's chat 202-359-5112

Talk soon,
Shawnn Fayson
0 votes
Zaza Pasori, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Aug 24, 2011
I will be happy to help! The best would be to meet you in person and talk.

Zaza Pasori | PenFed Realty
11864 Sunrise Valley Drive,Reston,VA 20191
T. 202-412-5221 F. 703-716-0017 O.703-716-2900

Equal Housing Opportunity
0 votes
Quirina Zonn…, Agent, Henderson, NV
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Call me and I'll make that connection for you. It's part of what I do as a realtor. 702-277-2392 "Q" Quirina
0 votes
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