How to Choose the Right Team

Buying made simple

Why do I need a team?

Did you know that a typical “easy” real estate transaction can involve more than 10 different service providers? It is important to have competent people on your side every step of the way. These service providers can make the process smooth – or – very hard and because of this, no two transactions are ever alike.

The first 10 people you think of are your agent, then lender, an appraiser, an inspector, a title agent, an escrow agent, then remember you typically have septic pumpers, sewer inspectors, HOA managers, and insurance agents. This does not include the furnace servicer, the chimney sweep, the house cleaner or carpet cleaner. For listings, you may have a professional stager or painter. This does not include the electrician or plumber, the roof repairer or the pest controller. Did I mention the moving company or the home warranty company? What about if you have a well? Who will test the water? Is it possible that you may want to change your locks or your security system? The list is as long as you can think of, and it is important to be able to have these people on your team whenever you need them!

This might be overwhelming to the uninitiated, but that's why professionals, like myself, exist. We're there to help coordinate and facilitate the complexities of a transaction. For now let's start with the two team members you'll need at the beginning of your journey.


Unless you are able to pay cash for a home (meaning you can cover all of the costs upfront), you’ll need to take out a loan to finance the purchase of a home. To do this, you’ll need to find a lender who can lend you money that you will then pay back over time with interest. The initial principle (the cost of the home) plus the interest (the cost of borrowing money) is what's commonly called a mortgage.

There are several different types of lenders (including banks, credit unions, and secondary market lenders), and not all lenders are the same. Your real estate agent will be able to help you determine what type of lender to use, and they will likely have a preferred lender to recommend. Your lender is ultimately your own choice, however, and here are a few qualities you’ll want to look for in your lender:

  • Local: A local lender will care about their reputation in their community, and they’re more accountable in this way. Local lenders rely on local referrals, and as a result, they have a much higher incentive to offer high-quality service.

  • Excellent communication: A lender needs to be easy to reach—there are many moving parts to any real estate transaction, and the availability of your lender can make or break a deal. Working with a lender who is quick to answer calls and emails is a must! One of the benefits of working with an agents’ preferred lender is the relationship the agent has with the lender, and the agents’ confidence in working with the lender.

  • Respected & reputable: The local reputation of your lender can contribute to your offer on a home being accepted at all, especially in a multiple offer situation. A savvy seller’s agent may even advocate for your offer if you have a lender they know, trust, and respect, since a seller’s agent wants to mitigate any risk that the deal will fall through.

Stay away from large institutions (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BECU, Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage) because they are unfamiliar with Washington State forms, their employees don't care if you don't get your loan on time, paper work is pushed from department to department, no reliable point of contact.



Whether you find your REALTOR® online, at an open house, through an advertisement, or via a friend or family recommendation, it’s important to do your homework. When you’re choosing a REALTOR® to work with, you want to be sure that they have the right mix of experience, knowledge, and personality!

As with any major purchase, you want to start out by carefully reviewing your options. This might mean that you start with a couple of agents you’re interested in, meet them in person, and from here you can determine which agent is the best fit. The same way you’d interview someone for a job you’re hiring for, you’ll want to make sure you ask agents a few key questions that will help you know whether they’re right for the role you’re offering.

      • How many homes have you sold in the area we are looking to purchase?
      • Do you have strategies for winning in a multiple offer situation?
      • What is your process for helping buyers?
      • What is your communication plan?
      • How many homes do you sell per year?
      • What percentage of your clients are buyers vs sellers?
      • How many buyers do you work with at one time?
      • How can you demonstrate your knowledge of the market I am looking to buy in?

I also believe it’s important to do a gut check. While someone’s experience is a key factor, it’s also important to ask yourself if you like the agent! REALTORS® and their clients spend a great deal of time together during the buying process, so why not pick someone with whom you can enjoy your time with? Having a good connection will also be helpful—it’s highly likely that there will be difficult conversations to have, good news and bad news, and challenges along the way. You’ll want to choose an agent you can be straightforward with, and you’ll want to make sure you’re working with someone who can protect you and guide you each step of the way.

If you're too shy, or it's 2 am, and you want to "sample" my personality to see if we'd click, I have plenty of YouTube videos available for you to check out.

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