Buying a Home? What You Should Expect From Your Real Estate Agent
Buying a home has numerous challenges. Not only is there the task of applying for a home loan and securing a mortgage, there's also the overwhelming task of finding the right home and negotiating an offer. If you don’t have real estate experience, it pays to have a professional in your corner.
But while a real estate agent offers an invaluable service, you shouldn't choose any random agent. Just about every real estate transaction has a few bumps in the road. So in addition to understanding your needs, your agent should be a problem-solver with the expertise to get you across the finish line.
Here is what you should expect from your real estate agent when buying a house.
1. Knowledge of the Local Real Estate Market
Home prices can vary between cities, even those geographically close to each other. And sometimes, there are significant price variations for similar properties within a city’s limit. So it’s crucial to work with an agent who’s no stranger to the local market.
Finding a home is only half the battle. Getting the property is contingent on a strong offer. A proficient, experienced real estate agent can recommend an offer that will get the seller’s attention. As you interview agents, inquire about their experience selling homes in cities or neighborhood where you want to live.
2. Understands Your Timetable
Some homebuyers aren't in a rush to purchase, whereas others need to buy a home quickly. If you identify with the latter group, communicate a sense of urgency to your agent.
Whether you’re relocating and need to settle in quickly, or your mortgage pre-approval is set to expire soon, you need an agent who will act quickly on your behalf. This involves being available to show properties and responding to communications in a timely manner. Have an open discussion about workload when interviewing potential agents. You need an agent who can provide the time and attention you deserve.
3. Strong Negotiating Skills
Real estate is about negotiating. In a competitive market it’s not uncommon for a property to receive multiple offers. To win a bid, you need to work with a strong negotiator who will advocate and fight for you. Ask several real estate agents about their closing ratios before agreeing to work with one. A top producing agent will have the skills and know-how to get an offer accepted.
A successful working relationship with your real estate agent starts with a clear understanding of expectations for each other. You shouldn’t expect an agent to be at your beck and call. Even so, you’re making a major purchase, so it’s only reasonable to expect professionalism and certain amount of attentiveness.