We used another real estate agent from Hunt in 2003 to purchase our first home, and the contrast between that individual/large firm and Jessica from Superlative Real Estate is substantial. Here's a quick compare and contrast based on my experience with typical RE agents over the years and Jess:
The typical RE agent will be your best friend! She will *love* whatever you say, laugh at your jokes, stroke your ego. She's probably a retired history teacher or bored housewife, has as much knowledge about real estate law as you might expect someone would after a few hours of a RE course. Her negotiation skills aren't great, but good news, they don't have to be! Because the typical RE agent doesn't really give a crap about getting you a good deal, she gives a crap about _closing_ the deal so she gets her gigantic commission check. The moment she gets that, *poof* she's gone. Careful with typical RE agent's recommendation of a home inspector; he knows as well as she does that if he finds anything that would jeopardize getting her commission or even making her do more work than usual, she'll find someone else to "inspect" houses for her clients, maybe someone that gloss over a potentially major issue.
Then there's Jess. She may not laugh at every one of your jokes; just the funny ones. Show her a picture of your kids and she probably won't get all Disney on you like other agents. She's your RE agent - her job is to find you a house in your price range that you will love, tell you as much as she can about it and then do everything in her power to get it for you for as little as the seller is willing to grudgingly give it up for. Want to feel like you have some power on your side? She's a frickin' lawyer. All the agents at Superlative are frickin' lawyers. When it's time to negotiate, I'll take the person professionally trained for years to argue in a court of law, thankyouverymuch. Her inspector found every minor thing that could be construed as an issue with the house which let me make the most informed decision I could. Every step of the way, I felt like her goal was to get us the right deal on the right house, regardless of how long it takes.
Oh, and she'll pay you. Unlike the unqualified twit whose face you'll see plastered all over signs advertising the typical large RE company, Superlative RE rebates a chunk of the commission back to you. Have some fun and ask any other typical RE agent if they would rebate some of that commission back to you.
I highly recommend Jessica and Superlative Real Estate.