“The market may be down right now, but a good agent won’t just be looking for the sale – they’ll always have the client’s interests at heart,” said Mary ann Turrie of RE/MAX Real Estate Mountain View.

If your home is the most important investment you’ll ever make, your REALTOR® is a close second. Like any sound investment, the best agents will give you more than you bargained for.

“I always prepare a formal letter to the seller’s listing agent requesting all relevant documents once we have a firm sale and put that into a booklet that includes all property details, so the buyer knows exactly what they’re paying for,” said Mary ann Turrie of RE/MAX Real Estate Mountain View.

Though the big picture is important in a home sale, those devilish details cannot be overlooked.

“I advise the buyer to ask for a number of items that will make for a smooth transition to their new home: policy numbers so they can transfer utilities, alarm and driveway gate codes, and location of shut-off valves,” said Turrie.

“Interview that person and get a sense of whether they’re the right fit for you.” – Mary ann Turrie, RE/Max Real Estate Mountain View

A good Realtor might also prepare a list of important phone numbers for services in the community, such as heating, plumbing and appliance services, septic tank repairs, and a central vacuum specialist.

On the selling side, home staging can be critical, so look for an agent who either has skills in that area or knows someone who does.

While a Realtor with a specific professional designation, such as Certified Condo Specialist, might pique your interest, make sure they can walk the walk.

“Interview that person and get a sense of whether they’re the right fit for you,” said Turrie. “Anyone can get a designation, but you want someone with experience and market knowledge to deliver results.”

Turrie provides clients with a list of trusted professionals, including lawyers and reliable home inspectors in every specialty. She even steps up and does special tasks when needed.

“There was one woman who used her Realtor friend for a purchase, she said. “The friend was told that the complex didn’t allow dogs and left it at that. I wrote a letter and got the woman’s 11-year-old poodle approved.

“The market may be down right now, but a good agent won’t just be looking for the sale – they’ll always have the client’s interests at heart.”