Homework for Home Buyers’ and Sellers’
Before starting the home buying or selling process, it is important that people take some time to develop a game plan on making it happen. All too often, home buyers jump into the process and then let their emotions take over. But this is a serious financial decision and it is important to take thoughtful steps to buy a home. That being said, it is equally important to not suffer from “paralysis by analysis.” That’s were a good REALTOR® can work with you.
If you ask any real estate agent their approach to a client will be “pick me, pick me”. I am as guilty as the next agent, but it is important to understand how critically important it is to have the right agent.
First of all, understand that not all agents are the same. If you talk to 100 agents, you will undoubtedly get agents who are all over the board in their experience, expertise, professionalism, communication, etc. Here is where a couple of red flags come to light. For example: Agents who pay a fee to Zillow will automatically be listed as a “premier agent” whether they have ever sold anything or not. For $249 a licensed agent can be listed as one of the top ten real estate agents in any given state; again, whether they have sold anything or not.
Here is what I suggest when you are looking for an agent, whether it is selling your home, or buying a home; whether it is your first experience or your tenth in buying or selling. The agent should be willing to spend some time with you on the front-end to discuss the particulars of what you are looking to accomplish. A home seller who is looking to sell their home very quickly would be ill-advised to list at the high end. It is also important to have a clear picture of what each client wants. For a married couple, they are quite often on opposite ends of what they are looking for. Communication between the clients and the agent is critical. I have had clients who the wife wanted a phone call and the husband wanted a text message. I can only find that out by asking.
The second area for buyers and sellers is to understand it really matters who represents your interests. If you have a representative contract with an agent, that agent works for you and should, in all instances, look out for your best interest. If you as a buyer are using the listing agent as an agent, you need to understand that the listing agent is working for the seller – not you.
Some agents stop working as soon as they get an offer and sit back and wait for the closing to collect their commission. But the work does not stop there. Agents who do that are working for their best interest and not yours. This is a serious financial transaction and should be undertaken as such by your agent.
The third area is that as your agent, they should have an in-depth understanding of not only the homes in the area, but the entire process from beginning to end. When filling out the forms it may ask who you want to use as your closing company. You may not know who to use – and you can use anyone – but if your agent cannot provide you with some recommendations, it would indicate to me that they have limited knowledge of the process. My personal belief and practice is that the closer we get to the closing table, the more communications I have. It will not only be with the clients, but also with any lenders involved, the closing company, home inspectors etc. I do not want any surprises at the closing table, and neither do my clients.
If you are thinking of buying or selling talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.