There are real estate "agents" and then there is Cindy Ambuehl. I have a data point of only one but what a data point it was. Cindy worked with us for 3 years, very patiently. If the home was not in our ideal location by one block, no problem. If the home was perfect in every way but, for some unexplainable reason didn't feel right, no problem. She never rushed us. After showing us only a small number of homes, she "got us" and fine tuned the process to make sure that we didn't waste our time. Literally every house she showed us was a credible potential home for us based upon our very (very) specific criteria--even when we moved our target area from Santa Monica to Brentwood and then, again, to Pacific Palisades. She was not only an expert who shared thoughtful insights on market dynamics, local trends, quality of builders, etc. but also was a perfectionist who didn't want to just find us a home but wanted us to find our dream home. And, during a period of time when there was literally nothing that she thought would be amazing for us, whereas most brokers would have still tried to get us to buy something, SHE RECOMMENDED TO US THAT WE RENT (that's not a broker, that's a friend) and helped us to find an amazing rental. Once we found our dream home, she was a master strategist who helped us to navigate a very competitive bidding situation in a complex transaction with expertise that would make even the finest corporate attorneys blush. She was not only super helpful but her contacts and relationships in the industry also saved us a lot of money through informal conversations that educated us on some thorny issues. While I don't expect to move for a long time, if I do, there's only one person I'll call.