Buyers are well advised to find a broker who has the skills, experience, and track record of success because there are a lot of amateurs in the business. We offer this piece of advice: First, look for a skilled agent who can think strategically. Looking for an agent when all you want to do is to find the right property may seem counterintuitive, yet it’s the person you hire and not the property search that makes the difference. That’s because a misguided strategy, perfectly executed, still produces a misguided result!

True buyer-brokers are rare and hard to find because every agent will tell you they are one. But when you understand the definitions and laws of agency, know what questions to ask, and can impartially assess who is good and who isn’t based on merit, that the ideal relationship can be created. It’s not the brand, it’s not market share or international reach, it’s not the number of agents or offices; it’s the person that makes the difference. So go out there and talk to as many professionals as you can, because it’s not just a home … it’s an investment.

Advice, counsel, negotiating, and process management skills are still only as good as the person giving it. A recent Ivy League collegiate study found that one of the most difficult decisions for consumers involves selecting qualified service providers.

Buyer-brokers are typically paid from a previously agreed-upon commission in a cooperation with a seller agent, adding no incremental expense to the overall outcome. In contrast, there are no cost savings by dealing directly with a listing broker — who is probably the last person a buyer should rely on, given the inherent conflicts of interest. By law, listing broker licensees work for sellers. They are inclined to sell their own listings, are not there to educate the public, and don’t really care about your personal goals and objectives. They are there to sell whatever the buyer is willing to buy.

We recommend you talk to several professionals before plunging into the Vail Valley real estate market — because you want to find both a home and an investment that makes financial sense for you.

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