How to Best Work With a Real Estate Agent: A Buyer’s Guide
7 Tips for Getting the Most From Your Realtor
A big part of the home buying experience is the relationship you build with your real estate agent. Your agent is an integral part of the process, because just about everything you do through the process involves them in one way or another. Therefore, building a good relationship with your Realtor is one of the most important things you can do.
The fact is simple: the more your agent likes you, the harder they will work for you. Knowing how to best work with your real estate agent matters, because a level of respect needs to exist between both you and your agent. Here are seven tips that will help ensure your agent is doing her best to help you reach your goal of homeownership.
#1: Choose Your Agent Carefully
You must be able to trust your Realtor; this is first and foremost. You don’t want to just pick an agent out of the book. Get referrals, ask your family and friends, and read online reviews. Gather all the information you need, so you can make the most informed decision.
#2: Be Ready to Buy
If you’re not ready to buy a home right now, then there’s no real need for you to have a real estate agent. After all, no agent is going to want to put in hours of work just to not have you buy a home.
Most real estate agents get paid a commission on the homes they sell, which is how they make an income. All the work your agent performs for you from the time you call their office to the time you close on the property is done based on the promise that you will buy a home.
Prepare yourself and your finances, search for homes online, and then, when you’re ready to buy, contact the agent you want to work with.
#3: Clearly Outline Your Expectations
Communication is crucial between you and your Realtor. Nobody can read minds, so if you have something specific you are expecting, let your Realtor know, so they can be aware of it.
For instance, if you want to communicate via email only, tell your Realtor. If you prefer for your Realtor to pick you up and drop you off at home after showing a home, tell her. If the agent does something you don’t agree with, say something. At the end of the day, your Realtor wants to satisfy you. Don’t stay silent if something is going ruin your experience.
#4: Be on Time for Your Appointments
Yes, your Realtor is working for you, but chances are very strong that you’re not their only client. Therefore, you need to be considerate of the agent’s time. Arrive to all your appointments on time and avoid letting your meetings exceed your allotted timeframes, unless the agent allows it.
#5: Never Use a Home’s Listing Agent As Your Buying Agent
A listing agent works solely on behalf of the seller. It’s their job to get the seller the best price for their home. Therefore, you don’t want to ask the listing agent to be your buying agent. This will create a conflict of interest where all three parties involved will wind up losing.
#6: Stick With One Agent
Your agent doesn’t want to have to worry about you shopping around for other agents while they are putting in hours for you. This is a terribly disrespectful thing to do to an agent and it’s why doing your research to find your agent is so important. That said, if you don’t connect with your agent from the start, or she isn’t holding up her side of the bargain, then you do have the right to change agents. Just don’t do it for the wrong reasons.
#7: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you’re like most buyers, you aren’t versed in the ins and outs of the real estate market, but your agent surely is. So, any time you need clarification, or something explained, ask your Realtor. Make sure you understand everything you’re doing and signing. An agent expects to answer a lot of questions, so take advantage of her expertise and ask away.
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