In the process of finding a new home, your real estate agent should become your new best friend. For a few weeks or longer, you will probably talk to them more than anyone else you know!
So how do you make sure you’re doing your part of building a good relationship with your agent?
Here are eight things that you should consider if you want to keep your agent happy throughout the home buying process. Remember that your agent has your best interest in mind, so applying these behaviors is ultimately about making your home buying journey a success!
- Know What You Want and What You Need
So you finally have a budget and want to buy a house. Great! Now what? You call a real estate agent. Now the real work begins! Your agent know all about houses, but not about your expectations, wants and needs. Do a bit of soul searching; what areas are you interested in living? Are you particular about having a beautiful view? These are things you should know for yourself–and don’t forget to inform your agent (who, buy they way, should be asking you these questions at your initial buyer consultation)!
- Never Call a Listing Agent On Your Own
You hired a professional REALTOR to represent you and provide you with accurate information, so why would you do more work than you have to? That is their job: to do the calling for you. Most importantly, your agent knows how to position your inquiry and negotiate on your behalf. Keeping some distance between you and the listing agent is essential to a successful transaction.
- Don’t Depend On Listing Syndication Websites More Than Your Agent
The Internet is a beautiful place, with lots of information available at your fingertips. True as this is, a computer will not be as reliable as a trusted agent. There is no harm in poking around various home search sites, but when you want more information on a property, it’s best to call your agent. Your licensed REALTOR has information available to them that the public can’t access. Who wouldn’t want the inside scoop?
- Don’t Wait Too Long
When you find the perfect house, make your offer. There is nothing worse than dragging your feet and missing out on the home of your dreams. Yes, this is a big decision. However, if you’ve done your research ahead of time and know what you want in a home when you find that house, it’s time to pull the trigger. Being decisive will help you get what you want.
- Don’t Lowball
“This offer may be ridiculous, but could you check if they’d take it?” Buying real estate should involve a negotiation, within reason. You want to make an offer that will start a conversation, not one that will result in a definitive “no,” or worse, no response at all. So if you like the home, why would you risk making an offer that will go ignored? If you have built a strong relationship with your agent, you should be comfortable asking them for their feedback on your offer, and listen to their advice.
- Don’t Ask your Agent to Show Properties Without Being Pre-Approved
Your agent knows that this is the most critical first step in the home buying process. Yes, it’s tempting to put this off until you’ve found your dream home, but waiting that long can lead to missed opportunities. If you’re scrambling to get pre-approval when you’re ready to make an offer, you may miss out on the house. Worse, you could fall in love with a home only to find out later that you don’t qualify to buy it. Save yourself the heartache of losing out on the home of your dreams and make sure you get pre-approved before you start looking!
- Don’t Negotiate on Visible Problems After the Inspection
Problems that you notice about the home when you first view it–peeling paint, cracked tiles–should be factored into your initial offer on the house. The point of the inspection is to call your attention to problems that aren’t visible to the average person. When you come back to the seller to negotiate after the inspection, limiting your requests to those items only discovered through the inspection will help keep your deal on track. Asking for a credit on peeling paint at that point may cause unnecessary tension between you and the seller or worse, cause the deal to fall apart.
- Don’t Look at Homes Outside of Your Price Point
Insisting on looking at homes outside your price point is just a gateway to disappointment. Most of the time, when people look at something they cannot afford, they then think they have found the perfect house. However, if it’s outside your budget, it’s outside your budget, and there is not much you can do about that.
It is best to simply not look at homes that you cannot afford, or risk more heartache and a more difficult home buying experience overall.
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