When you are working with a real estate agent for the first time it can be a little intimidating. They have seen thousands of homes and you are completely new to the whole process. Add this on top of the fact that this is likely the biggest transaction of your life and it can be downright scary. We want to help you prepare for it by sharing a few tips on working with your real estate agent.
So You’ve Got a Realt Estate Agent
You’ve decided to use a professional to buy your first home. This can help make the process go as smooth as possible. For that to happen you need a good working relationship with your real estate agent. Most of their business is built on word of mouth, so it’s as important to them, as it is for you, that everything goes well.
You are the Boss and They Work For You
Most first-time home buyers lack confidence. Looking at homes feels foreign and you will be relying on the expertise of the real estate agent. It’s important to realize that you are hiring them and YOU are the boss. That means that these professionals are responsible for making sure they do their job properly and with your best interest in mind.
It’s important that you have an open line of communication and that they respect your decisions and choices. You need to be able to trust these people and know they will represent you well. If your real estate agent is not living up to your expectations, or you don’t feel like you can trust them, it may be time to let them go and find someone else.
Hopefully with some proper vetting at the beginning, it won’t come to this, but sometimes these things just need to happen. Remember YOU are the boss. They only get paid when they do their job, which is finding you a house. It may be tough to be the boss, but that’s what you are. This is a big transaction for you and you should be able to make the tough decisions when they come up (read this if you are wondering how to find a good real estate agent.).
You Still Need to do Some Work
Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean you can sit around making sure everyone else is doing their job while you watch TV. It’s important when you’re in charge to lead by example. Demonstrating that you’re also a professional and willing to do what is necessary, is a very important part.
At the first meeting with your real estate agent ask them what action is required of you and make sure you execute that precisely and efficiently. Make sure you’re on time for your appointments and get them the requested information on the timelines discussed.
It’s a good idea to have some questions to ask when you meet the real estate agent to show your preparedness. Questions like “What is the best month to sell a house?” and “When should I be looking for a first house?” are a great start.
Real estate professionals tend to be punctual, efficient, and precise. When they can see that you expect that of yourself as well as them it’s a great start for your relationship.
Showing people how you treat yourself is great way to show others how to treat you. After all, building a good relationship with your real estate agent will not only serve you well now, but you may even need their services again down the road. Few people stay in one home forever so it’s important that you foster strong, trusted relationships with your real estate agent.
It all starts with creating good relationships. When working with a real estate agent this is your chance to add a trusted professional to your network list.
Be Clear on Your Needs and Wants
The more your real estate agentknows what you want and what you need, the better they can serve you. Don’t assume they will automatically know. There are so many properties out there and finding the right one can be a bit like a matchmaking game. If your real estate agent clearly understands your wish list, the easier it will be to find a house.
A great way to start this process, is by setting up a search criteria to weed out any properties that you know aren’t going to be a good fit. Having good search criteria will save you a lot of time and effort in searching around for your first home.
Don’t Waste Their Time and Don’t Let Them Waste Yours
It is a real estate agent’s job to show you as many homes as needed to find the right one. But looking at hundreds of houses that you know aren’t the right fit for you is a waste of both of your time.
Try to stick to houses that match your criteria. You don’t want your real estate agent to drag you to houses that aren’t a good fit. Likewise you don’t want to be dragging your real estate agent to houses where you already know you don’t want to live.
This also goes for houses that are outside of your budget and houses that aren’t in your target neighbourhoods. If you can both show each other the courtesy of respecting each other’s time, it will go a long way to a build a great relationship.
One Last Thing to Consider
I believe most people should look at several houses before putting in an offer. It’s the only way to get a real feel for what is available, gain some confidence and understand what you’re really looking for.
There truly is only so much you can learn about a listing by looking at pictures on the Internet. Go and visit several open houses in person and start understanding what you love and what your non-negotiables are.
Happy house hunting!