3rd step to buying a home: finding the right realtor

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Who better to continue our journey of Steps to Buying a Home than our associates, Natalie Crumpton and Josh Cummings, UMB Unit Finance Managers, whose expert realtor guided them while on HGTV’s House Hunters‡? 

Natalie shares their story along with advice for finding the right real estate agent.


Last summer we spent a lot of time looking at potential new homes online. At the time, we were living in a one bedroom condo in downtown Kansas City and were both ready to transition into something a little bigger we could call home. We began by searching different real estate databases, slowly narrowing homes down by the must-haves on our list: an open kitchen, a band room for Josh’s drums, a deck for entertaining and a spacious backyard for our new puppy.

Once we established our budget and wish list, we reached out to our realtor, Monte, who had been Josh’s real estate agent a few years ago and helped him to pick out the one bedroom condo we were living in at the time. What we loved about Monte (and still do) was how committed he was to making sure we found the right home (in the right location, for the right price) that suited both of our needs. He was patient, flexible with our schedules and always willing to go the extra mile as our realtor. So it came as no surprise when he was more than willing to accommodate another one of our requests: to let a camera crew follow us around and document our journey for national TV.

House Hunters

Here’s how it happened: It became somewhat of a tradition to turn on HGTV on Saturday mornings and watch House Hunters while we were searching for homes online. We would take turns discussing what we liked and didn’t like about each house and try to guess which one the couple would actually choose. So once we decided we were ready to buy, Josh applied for the TV show online on a whim, assuming it was a long shot. It came as a shock to both of us when one of the producers contacted us a few weeks later to tell us they were interested in filming an episode in Kansas City. After a few more phone calls and interviews, a camera crew was sent our way to document us on our home-buying adventure.

Along for the ride (and steering the wheel), was our wonderful realtor Monte; who not only went above and beyond what we expected from a realtor, but he also made the home buying experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. With Monte, we felt like we were with a family member that genuinely cared about us as people, rather than just a real estate agent that was seeking a quick commission. He always had our best interest in mind and was passionate about making sure we found the perfect home.  We’re very grateful for the experience; both for the opportunity to be on House Hunters with footage to look back on of the first home we bought together and for having a realtor like Monte to share it with and make our transition as smooth as possible.

What to look for in a realtor

When choosing the right realtor, make sure to consider the following qualities:

  • Integrity and candor
  • Understanding of what you are looking for in a home
  • Knowledge of the local housing market
  • Quality references and connections
  • Detailed knowledge of the purchasing process
  • Strong work ethic and passion for job
  • Flexible to your schedule and time frame
  • Committed to exceeding your expectations

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Ms. Crumpton is an AVP/Unit Finance Manager for UMB. She is responsible for financial support in the Operations & Technology Group. She joined UMB in 2007 and has 7 years of experience in the financial services industry.