05/15/2012 07:20 pm ET Updated Jul 15, 2012

The Four "C"s of Getting Consummate Real Estate Service

Whether you're buying or selling a home, you look to your realtor for their expertise and guidance in what can be the biggest financial transaction of your life. Especially at the introductory phase of the relationship, many people address real estate agents with a degree of wariness and apprehension as to their true motivation in the transaction.

And rightly so.

Thus, it is incumbent upon you to properly vet your realtor and ensure that you're receiving the highest quality of service. But how can you be sure? The way a real estate agent chooses to communicate with their clients is a very telling sign and extremely reflective of the sort of service you can expect them to provide throughout the transaction. Whatever information they're presenting, the undercurrent or vibratory tone of each message must convey the first of the two "C"s required to provide quality service: caring and compassion.

Realtors must present themselves from a place of genuine caring and compassion for the questions and uncertainties that confront each client through the process of buying or selling a home. In doing so, they stand a far greater chance of earning your loyalty and trust. And let's face it: you deserve this. You're not entrusting just anyone to help you with the sale of your beloved home or the purchase of your new abode. Here are some ways to see if these qualities are being demonstrated: your agent attends to the little details and honors commitments on your behalf; they deliver information in a timely fashion that exceeds your expectation; they steer the ship yet let you keep your foot on the gas pedal, determining how fast or slow you're comfortable moving through the process. Everyone is different, but without these basic qualities, you don't have the fundamentals of demonstrating caring and compassion.

However, those first two "C"s will only get the job half done. Ultimately, you'll likely sign with a real estate professional because you feel a level of comfort and confidence in their abilities. A realtor must do what they say they'll do, when they say they'll do it. And there's no quicker way to erode that comfort and confidence than by promising something but failing to deliver on that guarantee. Realtors must also offer choices as part of a shared strategy going forward -- since this is your decision, after all -- and demonstrate an ability to problem solve and adapt to the ever-changing conditions that are part of the process. Finally, they must maintain a level of composure and grace as they do this, all in an effort to gain -- and retain -- your comfort and confidence.

With competition for business becoming more and more sophisticated, we must never lose sight of the human element that ultimately dictates the choices we make to work with other people. Because, when it comes right down to it, if you don't have that connection with the person you've hired to help you in your home transaction, your entire experience will likely feel underwhelming and unpleasant, at best.

Yet, when you team up with a quality realtor, your successful relationship will likely produce what we all want: you being happy with your deal. And when you put an emphasis on requiring your agent to focus on these four Cs -- Caring, Compassion, Comfort and Confidence -- a most wonderful byproduct will add icing on the cake: having actually enjoyed the whole adventurous ride.

Does your realtor demonstrate these qualities?