I have learned, taking care of my parents and the estate since my mother passed that "professionals" were often chosen for a variety of reasons....competence not always being among them. My mother would complain about .....the yard not looking as good as it should....but....this was a part time job for a single parent....and he needed the money. The list goes on to include healthcare "professionals" that had "such nice smiles" and were so friendly....etc., etc.
We talked about that the other night....I wonder what "friendly Realtor" would be listing the house if we were not licensed. The first person who replies, the AAA Plumbing Company that used to come up first in the phone book....the lawyer who has an office just blocks away....etc. are not always the best choice for every job. One of the things you learn in short sales is that everything has to be "third party verified"....yes you have debt....let's see the bills, you had a medical emergency, let's see the documentation....etc. So it should be when you choose the doctor, lawyer, plumber etc. for services you need. A recommendation from friends is a good source...but know what exactly the service was that was performed....the person may be great in one area and out of his expertise but still "practicing" in another.
Do your home work before you hire....or continue to stay with a service provider....that includes Realtors ! Any honest Realtor proud of their sales record will print out MLS sales records...histories of properties that will show you how long a property was on the market and the list to sale price...OR how many price reductions there have been over the time it has been on the market.
Do the Same thing when you give out or choose a referral...."first responders" to a call for a Realtor are not always the most qualified....top of mind awareness for who does the most advertising does not guarantee the best service or product.
Your reputation is on the line when you make a recommendation...the quality of the service performed for you or someone else is a reflection on you...sloppy paint job or crooked tree trimming...inattentive physician or incompetent lawyer .....be careful.....the reputation you protect is your own.