Agents are selective as to whom they work with and Buyer should be just as selective when choosing an agent.
The agent a buyer chooses must be competent and experienced. The Buyer needs an agent that can effectively present and strategically negotiate a well thought out offer. Hiring the cheapest agent could be a grave mistake.
A Buyer should always know why they are buying a home and set a deadline. They also need to be fully approved for their financing and know what they want in the property they seek.
Know reason for your move and the deadline.
- Have a definite deadline for your move and put in the effort to meet that date. Know why you are moving and where you want to go. Buyer’s without that motivation and direction often miss out on the best homes for them.
Get “underwritten” approval for your loan?
- Meet with an experienced lender and have all your financials in hand. Have the lender explain and amortize 3 different loan programs that might work for you. Know your budget but don’t unfairly limit your buying power. Pre-approval is not good enough in today’s market. You want to be fully approved and “underwritten” for your loan. Not all lenders will do this because of the extra work. But, with underwritten approval, your loan will be subject only on the property you purchase. No questions about you or your loan.
Does the property you seek even exist?
- Does the property you are looking for in the area you’re looking and for your approved price even exist? The “perfect” property hasn’t been built. Your search will only become harder and harder as you walk away from good properties. Property values are uncertain as are the interest rates. Keep an open mind, from the beginning, widen your search area and parameters. An additional 15-minute drive for a great home is worth it.
The responsibility of your agent.
The second part of preparations is in the hands of your real estate agent. A good agent will take the time to ensure that you are qualified. They will discuss the current real estate market, the home buying process, the purchase agreements used to make an offer on your next home and negotiation strategies.
Your agent must . . .
Understand and explain the current real estate market.
- Every market is different and can change overnight. Your agent needs to understand and be able to explain the trends in the market, difference in pricing, and availability of homes in the areas you select. It is complicating for Buyers that get all their information from the news. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between National, State, regional and local real estate news. Buyers really depend on a good agent for this information and how it affects their offer.
Demonstrate their effective home buying system.
- There’s more to buying a home than an internet search. An effective agent will have a closely monitored home search system that includes real time searches and a way for you to be in constant contact with the agent. The Buyers selected properties are immediately seen by the agent. Appointments are made and the buyer can visit them as soon as they hit the market. Your personal search of the internet without the guidance of a good agent and randomly calling to see one or two properties is just ineffective in this market. You hire a Buyers agent for their expertise. Let them guide you!
Be confident with the purchase agreement and addenda.
- The right agent will take the mystery and fear out of the purchase agreements. There are several addenda designed to protect you, and required State and Federally forms. In our current market there are some huge decisions to be made as well. Your agent must be educated on them to be able to explain them and ensure that you are protected. Keep in mind that your real estate agent is not an attorney. An agent can not legally tell you how a purchase agreement, addendum or waiving an important contingency in the agreement will affect you. Only an attorney can do that. They can however, explain the use of the addenda and options, and potential outcomes from how you construct your offer.
Encourage smart negotiations.
- Teaching a Buyer smart negotiation strategies should begin during the first meeting with your agent. the Agent will explain winning strategies and ideas that can put your offer ahead of others. They must learn your expectations, find the needs of the Seller, understand the tendencies of the other agent and the nuances of the market. These all play in to successful strategies when negotiating.
The final obligation of a good agent.
- Tell the Buyer that they are not ready, if that is the case! A good agent that is secure with their business and their knowledge will be honest with the buyer. They will get them ready before showing homes. The best buys in any market market will go fast. If there is a battle, only the best qualified buyer will win that battle. So, with that in mind, it is only worth the Buyer’s time and the agent’s efforts if the Buyer is fully qualified and ready to make the move.
A good agent will be selective as to whom they work with and a smart buyer will just as selective. If the agent seems to be ineffective, find an agent that you feel can get the job done. Buying a home is a huge decision and the process complicated. A buyer really needs an agent they can trust.
Any questions about this post can go directly to Tom Perry. Check out his website for more valuable posts about buying or selling real estate. Tom doesn’t hold back. You can count on his candor and direct approach.