Although most real estate brokers love working with individuals, there are always a few clients that cross the line, either purposefully or accidentally. Here are a few easy guidelines you may follow while house hunting to keep you on good terms with your agent.
Understand Agents Work on Commission
- The majority of real estate agents are paid a commission. If an agent does not complete a transaction, they are not compensated. As a result, agents are generally very driven to do an excellent job for you.
- Few real estate brokers work solely on commission, and if they do, you probably don't want to hire them because they'll make the same amount of money whether they help you.
Keep Appointments and Be on Time
- Understand that your agent works with other clients and prospective clients. They should be able to assist you for a reasonable length of time, but you should understand that you are not always at the top of their priority list.
- Because agents value their time, please note any appointments you schedule with them. If you are delayed due to traffic or another cause, phone your agent to let them know when you anticipate arriving.
How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
- You should feel free to interview numerous agents to ensure that you wind up working with an agent with whom you are comfortable, and you should make it plain to each agent that you are in the interview stage.
- It is never a good idea to interview more than one agent from the same organization. While many brokers in the same office get along nicely, there could be intraoffice politics that make your property acquisition more complicated than necessary.
Do Not Contact the Listing Agent If You Are Working With a Buying Agent
- Listing agents represent the seller rather than the buyer. If you hire the listing agent of a property you want to buy to represent you, that agent will be working under a dual agency, which creates a conflict of interest for the agent.
- Listing agents do not want to be the buyer's agent. Allow your agent to do their job and avoid contacting the listing agent directly.
Practice Open House Protocol
- Please enquire with your agent whether it is acceptable for you to attend open houses alone. Going to open homes alone is frowned upon in some places.
- If your agent gives you the go-ahead, provide their business card to the agent hosting the open house to let them know you're represented.
- Do not query the open house host about the seller or their motivation. Allow your agent to ask such inquiries on your behalf. Your agent will most likely use a different technique that will be more effective for you.
- Similarly, do not give the seller's agent any personal information. It is unlikely to assist you and may even cost you during negotiations if you decide to make an offer on the house.
Sign a Buyer's Broker Agreement With a Buying Agent
- You should expect to sign a buyer's broker agreement. It establishes a relationship between you and the broker/agent and defines the responsibility of the broker/agent to you. Do not ask a broker/agent to show you homes if you are not ready to sign with them.
- Otherwise, if you discover a property you wish to buy, there may be confusion regarding who is entitled to the commission—the person known as the procuring cause.
Always Ask for and Sign an Agency Disclosure
- Agents are required by law to provide buyers with an agency disclosure. This document differs across states.
- The single agency is the most effective and often used type of agency. This implies you are represented by your agent, who has a fiduciary responsibility to you and must prioritize your interests.
Make Your Expectations Known
- Tell your realtor that you expect them to pick you up at your front door and drive you home after viewing your houses. Many people will provide that service. If not, they may request that you meet at the office.
- Let your agent know how often you want them to communicate with you. Do you prefer phone calls, emails, or text messages?
- Set reasonable goals and a timeline for finding your dream home. Enquire with your agent about how you might assist by providing comments.
- If you are dissatisfied, express your feelings. Agents want to please you. Don't be frightened to express yourself.
Do Not Sign Forms You Do Not Understand
- Do not be embarrassed if you ask your agent to explain a form to you. It is their responsibility. Many forms are second nature to agents but not to you, so ask for clarification until satisfied.
- However, keep in mind that agents are not lawyers and cannot interpret the law. Do not ask agents to provide what amounts to a legal opinion without first stating that you are not seeking a legal opinion.
Be Ready to Buy
- You don't need a real estate agent if you aren't ready to buy. You can go to open houses on your own, but be honest with the realtor in charge and state what you're just looking for. It would help if you looked at homes online until you're actually in the market for a home. You won't be wasting an agent's time this way.
- Hire a babysitter to care for youngsters too small to spend the day seeing homes once you start looking.
- Please bring your checkbook. You'll need it to draught an offer because your purchase offer may involve an earnest money deposit. You should also be pre-approved for a mortgage at this point.