Buying a home can be a stressful, challenging process. There is usually a steep learning curve for first-time buyers, who may find themselves surrounded by jargon and more steps than your typical Irish folk dance. Even seasoned buyers usually don’t look forward to this long process.
However, nearly all experienced buyers say that one thing definitely makes the process less complicated: communicating clearly with your real estate agent. This article will give you the tools you need to open the channels of communication between you and your agent in order to establish a great relationship for the duration of the home-buying process.
Following are four key steps that will help you communicate effectively with your real estate agent.
STEP ONE: Find an Agent You Can Trust
If you find an agent you can trust, you will be able to sit back, relax, and follow along with your agent as he or she guides you through each part of your home-buying experience. You’ll be able to easily follow their instructions because you’ll trust that they are putting your interests first.
On the other hand, if you don’t put in the time and research required to locate an agent that you truly feel comfortable with, you will likely find yourself constantly double-checking everything your agent tells you. You might even find yourself wishing you could completely take over communication with the sellers and their agent. Not only would this be a major time investment for you – revealing that your agent is untrustworthy is a quick way to weaken your position as a buyer.
STEP TWO: Commit To Your Agent
Once you have found an agent that you trust and feel comfortable working with, you need to fully commit to him or her. Once you have signed a contract with or verbally committed to an agent, it’s a major breach of trust (not to mention etiquette) to work with or contact other agents. It’s a bad idea to call around or reach out to other agents after you have made a commitment to yours.
Perhaps most importantly, if you see a home you are interested in, you must call your agent, not the agent who has listed the home. Please be aware that the agent who is listing the house only has the seller’s interests in mind, and will be loyal to the seller without taking your needs into account. You need an agent who will go to bat for you – whose only interest is in taking care of your needs and wants. Be loyal to your agent, and your agent will stay loyal to you in return.
STEP THREE: Tell Your Agent How You Prefer to Stay in Touch
Establish your preferred method of communication with your agent early on in your relationship. Let them know if you prefer phone calls, texts, emails, or quick sit-downs in the office or over coffee. If you are the type of person who gets anxious when you’re waiting for news, let your agent know that you would like them to touch base with you regularly even if nothing is going on. If it is your agent’s normal practice to only call when something interesting or pivotal has happened (and you know that you will find long silences unnerving) simply express how you feel. Your agent can only respond to your needs if you make your needs known.
In return, you should respect that your agent has several other clients to whom they wish to offer this same level of service. If you can make your conversations with your agent short and to-the-point, they will be much more likely to contact you when they have a few minutes to spare. If you require a significant chunk of their time during each correspondence, it’s likely that they will reach out less frequently. When you make a focused effort to respect your agent’s time, your agent will be able to take better care of you.
STEP FOUR: Outline Your Needs and Wants
Naturally, every buyer has features that they simply must have in their future home, features they would like to have, and features they would prefer to avoid. If you know you must have a large kitchen, would like to have ample storage, and would absolutely hate having to take care of a pool, send this list to your agent as promptly as possible.
Not only will this save your agent time when they are searching for homes that fit the bill, but it will also save you time in that you won’t waste hours touring homes that would never have worked for you in the first place.
By applying these four steps, you will be able to open up the lines of communication with your real estate agent. As an added bonus, you will also help ensure that your agent feels respected and empowered, giving them added drive to find you the home of your dreams.