You decided to buy a house and now you’re ready to interview buyers agents. Yes, I said interview agents. This may be your biggest financial decision. You want to have someone you can trust and feel comfortable. So, you’ve looked at their website, you’ve googled them and now you’ve got an appointment to meet them.
How do you know if they are the best agent for you? Here’s a few ideas that might help you.
1) If the Buyer Agent agrees to meet you for the first time at a certain house, they may not conduct a thorough Buyer Consultation. Yes, I know it is convenient for you to have them show up at the house. But, a Buyer Consultation will allow a good agent to find out details about your goals which will help you save time and money in the long run.
How would you feel if you made an appointment to see a doctor for the first time and they were ready at the door with pills or a scalpel. Don’t you expect them to take your medical history and hear what’s causing you to call them? A good Buyer Agent will work hard to get inside your head and find out exactly what you need.
When you find an agent who wants to meet you before showing you homes, you’ve found someone who is willing to invest time in your home buying experience. And that’s what you want, right?
2) A Buyers Consultation will also help you get to know the agent to see if they are a good fit. They should be willing and able to answer questions like these:
– How long have you been in real estate?
– How many houses did you sell last year?
– How many buyers are you currently working with?
– What’s your average sales price?
– Did you have a career before real estate?
3) You will also want to know what kind of support and systems the agent has on their team.
– Their team should include: Lenders, Inspectors, Contractors, Insurance Agents and Attorneys. They should be able to give you contact information for their team at this first consultation.
– They should have administrative systems to keep track of contracts and scheduling. Do they have papers falling out of files and seem scattered? Or do they have technology to help? Some agents (myself included) have systems that allow you to sign contracts online, making the purchasing process much easier for you. Don’t be afraid to ask how they will handle your contracts.
4) How well do they know (or follow) the rules? Here’s how you can tell:
– Do they show you a document that explains how real estate agents work? Do they ask you to sign this document? If not, they are not following license requirements. Beware!
– Do they ask you to sign a document that allows them to work as your Buyer Agent? They should be able to explain to you that this document PROTECTS you. If they agree to show you houses without getting your permission to work as your Buyer Agent, Beware! Feel free to contact me so I can explain why this is so important to you.
– Do they ask you for a letter from your lender, or get you in touch with a lender, before they show you houses? If not, they are not doing all they can to prepare you for the home buying process and can cost you a lot of time and emotional trauma.
Tune in next time for a common mistake buyers make when buying a new home.