Buying a house is no joke – it involves a lot of preparation and risks, and a house is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make in your lifetime. It comes without surprise, then, that most buyers need some sort of help on their home-buying journey. Usually, the one person who is able to help would be a real estate broker. While many people nowadays obtain real estate information and property listings online, having a real estate broker can be very beneficial. Not only do brokers look at property listings every single day, they also know the ins and outs of real estate, from the comparable analysis, sales transaction history, to contracts. Let us not forget that the most difficult part of buying a house is negotiating with the seller, and a broker, whose full-time job is to negotiate, can definitely assist you in getting a better deal.
Of course, your realtor would not be able to produce good results without your help. Nor would your realtor go the extra mile to find you a good deal if he/she does not enjoy working with you. What are the rules for working with real estate brokers? How do you help your realtor, so he/she could find you your dream house in no time? No worries, RealtyHop has listed five key things you can do to help your realtor help you. Let us take a look!
1. Be responsive!
Buyers always expect their realtors to be on top of their emails, texts, and calls. But put it this way – what is the point of them being responsive if you do not pick up your phone? You would be surprised how much you can help simply by being responsive. Too often brokers wait for their clients to get back to them and end up missing the prime timing to strike a deal. Save your realtor some time on communication so he/she can be a rock star and find you the ideal house.
2. Come up with your own checklist.
Yes, you pay for the service, and so the realtor is supposed to do all the work. But how would s/he know which type of houses or apartments to focus on if you do not even know what you want? Putting together a checklist certainly accelerates the home search process as you can guide the realtor to what you want, instead of distracting him/her by talking about dozens of houses that have nothing in common. Your checklist should include the number of bedrooms/bathrooms/storage rooms/closets, architectural details, ideal locations, kitchen features, the closeness of neighbors, etc.
3. Get pre-approved by a lender.
So you know how much you can afford, and your realtor does not waste time finding properties beyond your means. Getting pre-approved also allows you to make an offer immediately the moment you find what you want. Remember, we are in a seller’s market, and there is very limited supply available – being pre-approved gives you the ability to bid right away, and the seller would know that your offer is serious. This prevents you from losing the home to another potential bidder who already has financing sorted out.
4. The moment you know which broker you would like to work with, sign a buyer’s broker agreement with the broker.
Having a buyer’s broker agreement in place makes the broker more comfortable putting in time and effort. It also creates a trustworthy relationship between you and the broker. It is fairly common to see a buyer deciding to work with a buyer’s broker and then, later on, signs with another broker. Therefore, many realtors are very wary of having such agreement signed and executed. Of course, you should only sign the agreement if you are ready to move forward with a broker. Do not sign it just because you want to see one specific apartment or house, or because the broker you are in conversation with urges you to.
5. Do not contact the listing agent or attend open houses by yourself if you are working with a buyer’s broker already.
You might think it is no biggie to contact the listing agent by yourself, but remember, listing agent represents the seller, not you, and there are boundaries. To help your broker help you, let him/her know which properties you are interested in viewing, and he/she can make the contact with listing agents. Similarly, during open houses, you might be approached by other buyer’s agents looking for clients. Announcing that you are already represented or having your broker by your side would save you a lot of trouble.