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Breaking up with a broker

A broker is like a boyfriend or girlfriend. “It truly is apartnership,” says Philadelphia-based broker Greg S. Herb, a regionalvice president for the National Association of Realtors. “Trust is soimportant.”<p />

A broker is like a boyfriend or girlfriend. “It truly is a partnership,” says Philadelphia-based broker Greg S. Herb, a regional vice president for the National Association of Realtors. “Trust is so important.”

After all, brokers are the people who you are counting on to find the home of your dreams — or at least a place you like enough to spend your life savings on.

Karen A. Berman, vice president and director of sales for Argo Residential, helps us figure out if it’s time to get a new broker and how to go about making that change.

What makes a good broker?

“A good broker knows what I want before I know what I want,” says Berman. “He or she knows the client and gets into their mind to know what’s important to them.” Meaning if you say you want a 3,000-square-foot loft with southern exposure, but also mention you love to cook, a good broker will pick up on the cooking tip. He or she will know your dream home could be a two bedroom facing east because it has that renovated kitchen.

And what are signs of a bad broker?

“When someone stops listening, that’s when the marriage ends, and it’s time to find someone else,” warns Berman. Other signs it’s headed to Doomsville: You can’t get in touch; he or she is not sending you regular e-mails and phone calls of things that are coming on the market; he or she is not knowledgeable about new listings and financials.

What’s the etiquette in breaking up with your broker?

“You can look with a million brokers, but you’re not going to get the proper attention unless you work exclusively with one broker,” says Berman. And although she says most people don’t officially end it with brokers and instead choose to just ignore them, she recommends sending a polite e-mail thanking them for their time, and stating that at this point you’ve decided to work with someone else. Hey, it’s good karma for your house hunt.