We were first-time homebuyers using a VA loan. We were looking at homes outside Mike's normal service area (El Cajon, Lakeside, Ramona). Homes in our price range were primarily short sales.
Despite all of these flaws, Mike took us as clients anyway. :) Logically, I know we weren't his only clients but the attention he gave us made us feel as though we were.
On three different occasions, I emailed Mike a list of 10 homes and said "let's do a marathon. I wanna see them all". Mike's response...."Let's start Saturday morning, 9am. I'll set up the route. We'll be done by lunch." SWEET! True to his word, Mike contacted everyone and set up the appointments. He printed out all information he was able to find on all homes and handed it to us when we met at the first house.
Mike is straight-forward and honest. If he thinks a house might have problems, he won't waffle about it. He'll point it out at first sight and say "ask the inspector about that, and you might need a special inspection on top of the general inspection". He leaves it to the inspectors to say what will pass and what won't but he points out anything that would cause him concern if he were purchasing the home for himself.
Since this was our first purchase, there were MANY things we may overlook. There were also many things that might scare us away and he'd say no, that looks like surface stuff that's easy to fix. We needed those opinions to help us make better informed decisions. He never pushed his opinions on us. We never felt like we were pressured into anything. He just offered information readily and we soaked up everything we could.
We LOVE our home and our neighborhood and we hope to never move again, however, if we change our mind, Mike is the only agent we want representing us. Hubby and I keep his contact info in our cell phones so we can share with anyone who may be looking to buy or sell a home.