Do you sometimes feel that expectations are too high? Do you feel like you are being asked to climb this very steep mountain? Today I want to look at what a buyer expects from their Realtor and see if expectations are too high or if they are reasonable.
First, I want to start by saying that a buyer should always use a Realtor when buying a home. A buyer can represent themself in a real estate transaction but they don’t have to and shouldn’t. In fact, if you are a First Time Home Buyer or you haven’t purchased a home recently you definitely should enlist a Realtor to assist you!
Before I get into what a buyer expects from a Realtor when buying a home, I need to address a myth first. “Will using a Realtor to buy a home will cost me money?” It is something a talk to my buyers about all the time. The answer is no, it should not but it can. You see it is not a clear-cut answer because every brokerage is different. Some brokers charge their home buyers a fee to represent them. This is bogus! My Brokerage does not charge our buyers anything at all.
You should ask any Realtor you talk to if they have any fees, they will be charging you.
Now let’s get into our main topic.
This really is one of the most important areas for a buyer when working with a Realtor. The buyer should be able to call, email or text an agent anytime of the day or evening and get a response in a reasonable amount of time.
How long is a reasonable amount of time? Well it really depends on the situation. When negotiating the response time should be short, say 10 minutes or so. If it is a less pressing issue such as “What color was the carpet in the guest bedroom?” then the time to respond wouldn’t need to be as short.
For buyers almost every issue is going to feel to them as if it is a huge deal and most of the time when buying a home everything is a big deal. A Realtor should always pay attention to their client and make sure they are meeting their needs and making the buyer feel comfortable and confident each step of the way.
2. Constant Communication
Now this goes along with the first topic very well but it differs slightly. Availability deals more with the buyer trying to reach the Realtor but Communication deals with the Realtor’s responsibility to reach the buyer.
Again, not every item will necessitate an immediate call to the buyer but some will. Most parts of a home purchase are time sensitive so reaching a buyer a 1pm instead of 4pm will make a huge difference since title and mortgage companies are done working at 5pm. In most cases the earlier a Realtor contacts their buyer the smoother the transaction will go.
I have been in many transactions that I will be in contact with the buyer just about every day during the period from contract to closing. The buyer deserves a Realtor that is dependable and dedicated to being by the side of the buyer every step of the way all the way to the end.
The buyer should never have to contact the Realtor to get information, the Realtor should be proactive in getting the information to the buyer as soon as possible.
3. Knowledge of the Local Market
Knowledge of the local market is a must! Being an expert in the local market is a fundamental for a Realtor and buyer should expect this from their Realtor. No one can know everything but a good Realtor will know how to get the information needed.
Before a Realtor even shows a home to a buyer the Realtor should have already gathered more information about the property then the buyer even knows he/she should ask for. The best knowledge comes from experience and a good Realtor will be able to use his/her experience to guide a buyer though the whole process of buying a home, from preapproval to receiving the keys.
4. Amazing Negotiator
Every Realtor will have to negotiate on a regular basis, its just part of the business, but not all Realtors are amazing at it. A good Realtor should be an amazing negotiator. This doesn’t mean that a good Realtor should get you a $300,000 home for $200,000, that’s just not possible but an amazing negotiator should not only get you a good price (again be realistic) but also good terms.
The price is only about half of the negotiating process. There are many other items that need negotiated, such as inspections, repairs, appliances, closing date, time of possession, title company being used, home warranty, and more.
An amazing negotiator will also be good at discerning what the seller will need or want to do. This is something that not all Realtors can do but it is very helpful to be able to tell the buyer in the beginning the approximate dollar amount and terms that the seller will require. There is no way of getting this 100% correct but some Realtor can be really good at this.
5. There Until the End
A buyer not only needs this type of service but deserves it! Buyers need someone to help coordinate each step of the way. If the Realtor doesn’t do this it falls into many hands and things get dropped. You will have a loan officer and escrow agent trying to figure out what step of the process they are on and without the Realtor overseeing everything things tend to slow down.
I have had the pleasure of working with a really great title company in my career but I have also dealt with terrible title companies, the same with loan officers. Most often when the Realtor tries to put a deal together and then put their feet up and wait to get paid the whole deal slows down, extensions are needed and it can even fall apart.
A good Realtor should be the buyers go to for everything. The buyer expects to be able to call their Realtor and ask what title insurance is or when is the appraisal or when is closing or when are we getting keys. A good Realtor will be there waiting and able to handle all these questions for their buyer.
These five topics are just a starting point for what a buyer expects from their Realtor. If a Realtor can excel at these five points they will be on their way to being a great Realtor. Buyers sometimes need encouragement during the stressful process of buying a home, this is where a good Realtor can step up for their client.
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