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 to build a good relationship with your agent?
We’ve listed eight things that you should avoid doing if you want to keep your agent happy throughout the home buying process. Remember that your agent has your best interest in mind, so modifying these behaviors is ultimately about making your home buying journey a success!
What to avoid:
1. Not Doing Your Own Research
So you finally have a budget and want to buy a house. Great! Now what? You call a real estate agent. Should that be the end of your work? Definitely not!
Yes, agents know all about houses, but don’t depend on your agent to guess on the specifics of what you’re looking for. Do you want a bungalow, or maybe a duplex? What areas are you interested in? Are you particular about having a nice view? These are things you should know for yourself--and don’t forget to inform your agent!
Make sure you know what you want before calling an agent. That said, if you need help determining what you’re looking for, ask your realtor what factors you should be considering and they will be happy to guide you. That’s where their expertise can really help!
2. Calling the Listing Agent On Your Own
This is what you have a realtor for, 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.
3. Depending On Listing Syndication Websites More Than Your Agent
The Internet is a wonderful 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. Licensed agents have information available to them that the public can’t access. Who wouldn’t want the inside scoop?
4. Waiting 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. But 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.
“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 really 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.
6. Asking your Agent to Show Properties Without Being Pre-Approved
Your agent knows that this is the most important 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!
7. Negotiating 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 home. 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.
8. Looking at Homes Outside of Your Price Point
Insisting on looking at homes outside your price point is really 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. But 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.