By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director

Whether you’re buying or selling your home, it can be a stressful process. Maybe military orders require you to be at your new duty station earlier than first thought, so you’re in a hurry to sell. Maybe the housing inventory is lean and you only have three days to search.

Finding the right real Realtor is critical when you are under the gun of a looming PCS. Here are five things you don’t want to see or hear from your Realtor®.

#1     I can sell your home for $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 more than other real estate agents.

You want your Realtor® to have a quiet confidence, not false bravado. A good Realtor will show you how proficient they are by selling your home in a timely fashion at a good price. Exaggerated promises of a huge windfall from the sale of your home will only leave you disappointed.

#2     I can take photos of your home.

There are some Realtors who can take a decent photo. You want your home shown to the world in the best light, so great photos are crucial. Many Realtors hire local professional photographers to take photos for their clients. If your Realtor insists they can take their own photos, ask for samples. Look at their current listings to see if the photos are clear, with flattering light.

#3     I’m too busy.

If an agent is too busy to show your home and asks you to pinch hit for them, it’s time to find another agent. Likewise, if you are a buyer and the agent is too busy to show you around, it is time to look elsewhere. If you have limited time to house hunt, an agent may ask a fellow agent to help out if they have an unavoidable conflict. But if you get the feeling your agent isn’t making you the priority, you need a new agent.

#4     You are being too picky.

If you’re a buyer, there is nothing worse than being told that you are too picky. In your initial meeting, you should outline exactly what you are looking for. In return, your Realtor should manage your expectations. Being told your price range doesn’t allow for a fourth bedroom or a finished basement may be a harsh reality. But being told you’re picky for not liking a pink rug in the master bedroom or paneling in the family room is just wrong.

#5     What is your credit score?

A Realtor needs to know what you can afford to spend when buying a house. Your mortgage lender is the one who takes care of getting you pre-approved. Your Realtor only needs to know how much you are pre-approved for and how much of that you want to spend. They do not need to worry about whether you qualify for the loan. That is between you and your lender.

Your Realtor should be a creative problem-solver, a resourceful person responsive to your needs. They should have your best interests at heart while setting realistic expectations for you, the client. You can read reviews, both good and well, not so good, written by your fellow military and veteran families at

Each Realtor is graded in areas such as attentiveness to YOUR needs, market and pricing knowledge, negotiating skills, their personal character, professional skills, and time management.

Carla Olivo has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel and their two children.

Carla Olivo

PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications