Monday, November 9, 2009
Tips for Buyers Working with an Agent
It's easy to write about how to interview a real estate agent and what the agent should do for the client. But how many articles has anyone written about what the buyer should do when working an agent? Few, if any, is my guess.
After working through some challenging situations this year, I decided that I should address how buyer clients should behave with agents. All too often, clients have exceptionally high expectations of agents, but then continue to be uncooperative, and come to the offer process and the closing table with an attitude of entitlement.
In all of my real estate transactions, most of the listing agents have been very good to work with. The goal, after all, is to produce a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Unfortunately, not all buyers are great to work with. Some drag their feet and others don't listen, and then blame their agents, their loan officer and/or the closing attorney for the situation not working out exactly as planned. Here are some tips for buyers:
1 - SELECT an agent who has a Home Buyer's Assistance Plan, who is organized, and who has a proven track record. Once you make the selection, FOLLOW the agent's lead.
2 - LISTEN to the agent at every step of the process you are going through when placing an offer on a home. If you have questions or something is unclear, then ask those up front. Don't wait until something happens and get upset.
3 - FOLLOW the timeline that your agent lays out for you regarding inspections, getting paperwork to the lender, etc. GET APPROVED FIRST if your agent asks you to do that. Dragging your feet only makes everyone frustrated.
4 - STAY POSITIVE during the process. Complaining/griping about everything when your agent is trying to help you makes it uncomfortable and frustrating for everyone.
5 - QUESTION the agent if you feel you're not getting the service outlined for you.
6 - Be GRATEFUL. Several times I've heard about buyers getting to the closing table only to be angry, out of control, and upset, only to blame everyone else for the mistakes they made during the process when they did not listen or follow the agent's and/or loan officer's advice.
7 - Be OPEN MINDED and learn something from your agent and the professions he/she has referred you to. No one has all the answers, but real estate, mortgage, and legal professionals are the ones trained to service you well.
8 - Be FLEXIBLE. Sometimes things happen beyond anyone's control. Those things cannot be helped. This includes any additional transfer fees that an HOA may impose, a last-minute final walk-through, etc.
9 - STAY CALM during the closing process and DO NOT ATTACK or ACCUSE. The professionals at the closing table are there to help you, not lie to you or harm you.
10 - UNDERSTAND that all real estate transactions should be win-win for everyone. In real estate it is NEVER a time to steam-roll over anyone. That won't work in the end.
All of us have heard the phrase, "What goes around comes around" and most of us probably know people who have been "paid back" for their unscrupulous or ill-mannered, entitled behavior. No one really wants to be that type of person.
Remember, the agent, loan officer and title attorney are there to HELP you. Give them the opportunity to do that.
To work with an agent who insists on using a Home Buyer's Assistance Plan, give me a shout. Using that plan makes home buying simpler, stress-free, and pleasant and exciting.