Every first-time homebuyer starts off feeling a little skittish about what to expect not only with the process of qualifying for and buying a home but about finding the perfect REALTOR®. It’s true that agents are more than anxious to find new clients eager to buy or sell their existing home. The first-time buyer looking for the house of their dreams can have serious relationship problems with their real estate agent if they have unreasonable expectations.
The seasoned real estate professional should know what they can and cannot accomplish and what is available for the buyer, in their price range. Buyers on the other hand, especially first time buyers who have never worked with a real estate agent can sometimes do things that can strain the relationship and frustrate both parties.
Let’s take a look at what every real estate agent wishes their buyers would never do.
Work with an Agent for months and then buy from someone else at an open house – All real estate agents work on a commission, meaning if they don’t close a transaction they don’t get paid. Is it fair for a real estate agent to drive you around for weeks, or even months… take your phone calls at all hours of the day/evening and always promptly respond to your emails and texts then decide to tour an open house and buy it from that listing agent? This has got to be the No. 1 pet peeve of nearly every real estate agent – Don’t do it!
Working with more than one real estate agent – As we mentioned above, your agent will not earn a dime until they help you find your home and close escrow on it. You should never work with more than one agent at a time. Sure, you may consider it to be convenient to have multiple agents as close as your cellphone, but it is not fair to either of them. It’s OK, even encouraged to interview multiple agents and find the right one, but not work with multiple agents at once. If this is your plan, at least be upfront and let them decide if they want to work with you.
Contacting listing agents on your own – If you like and trust your REALTOR®, then use him/her. While listing agent’s contact information is readily available please never make direct contact. First off, remember that agent represents the financial interests of the seller – always looking to get the best price and looking for any negotiating edge they can receive, in case of an offer. The more you talk, the more information you give up. When you find a house that you want to know more about, let your agent do the job they’re hired to do.
Don’t ask an Agent to show you homes for sale before you are pre-approved – Good real estate agents are busy people and having one show you homes that you cannot possible purchase is totally inconsiderate of their time – time that could be spent with clients that can actually buy a home… or even worse, time away from their home and family.
Don’t look at homes outside of your price range – Be reasonable. Agents may show you homes that are slightly above your qualified price range because there are chances that either they can negotiate the price down, you may be able to come up slightly or even a combination of both. But when you are qualified for $300,000 don’t waste anyone’s time asking to see $500,000 homes – unless you have been holding out on your agent and you have the cash to spend. Look at homes that make sense.
Understand where you want to live – Before asking a real estate agent to drive you all around town looking at homes, make sure it’s a community you want to live in. Today, with the internet, it’s easy to do your homework. Investigate the schools, commuter routes, public transportation and any other characteristic of a community that is important to you before taking the time to look at homes.
Don’t make unrealistic low ball offers – A good real estate agent knows the market and will research any home that they write an offer for. The process includes looking at recent comparable sales with similar characteristics. Your agent can prepare a presentation for you showing all the comp sales and make the necessary adjustments to show you where your offer should be. Don’t be the buyer who thinks if they throw enough junk against the wall some of it is bound to stick (unless you are an all cash investor buyer looking at distressed properties – a whole different conversation). There is a fine line between a time wasting lowball offer and testing the waters with an offer below list price – if you love the home and want to have it, then offer accordingly.
Don’t make an offer contingent of selling your home – Most sellers will not really consider your offer, unless you are in escrow and all your buyer’s contingencies have been removed. A seller wants to sell to a ready, willing and able buyer. At least make sure your home is on the market and properly priced if you even think about having a chance at enticing a seller to accept your offer.
These pitfalls can all be avoided if you know about them ahead of time and you gather some understanding of how the entire buying process works. Please understand that real estate agents are human just like you and we all have lives, families and homes just like you do. Together, working as a team, we can find you your dream home.
Call us today, (951) 296-8887 and get the information you need enabling you to make an informed, educated decision. Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, [email protected] Mike Mason, Realtor® & Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate. LIC: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30+ years, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).