We are so excited you have chosen to purchase a home. Or maybe you are still on the fence. Perhaps you want to go see houses but do not think you are ready to purchase. Here are some tips for Home buyers, who are working with or considering working with, a Real Estate Agent.
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Agents Work on Commissions
The first rule for buyers to remember when working real estate agents is that your buyer’s agent works on commissions. If there is no transaction or no home purchase, there is no paycheck for your agent. This tends to make us highly motivated to do a good job and find you a home. Additionally, you probably do not want to work with a real estate agent who works on salary. Their drive to find you a home may be lower since they will get paid no matter what happens. Keep in mind, Buyer’s agents do not and cannot work for free. If you do not intend to use a buyer’s agent or purchase a home, do not call one to show you a home.
Be on time
If you see a house that you love, especially in a seller’s market, be sure to text or call your Buyer’s Agent right away. Your agent will schedule a showing as soon as possible, especially if you express a huge interest in the home. Do not expect your agent to drop everything to show you a house right away. Every house that you want to look at must have an appointment. Even if the house is vacant. If you have 10 homes on your list for a day, your Buyer’s Agent must contact each listing agent for an appointment. They will also need to coordinate each house in a timely manner that logistically makes sense.
Typically, there is a schedule for days with two or more homes to see. Your agent will give you the start time, where you are meeting, and what route you will be taking. Be on time for tour whether it is one house or 10. Respect the sellers time and effort, your agent’s time and the schedule. It takes a lot of time to put everything together. It is very easy to send a courtesy text or call if you are going to be a few minutes late or your plans change.
Choose One Agent
I highly recommend you interview agents so that you choose the one that is right for you. Once you hire your Buyer’s Agent, you will want to be as loyal to them as they are to you. If you find a home that you want to see, do not call the listing agent. When you hire a buyer’s agent, know that they can show any house that is on the market, including new construction. Send them the homes that you want to see and trust that they will get you an appointment to see the home. When you call the Listing Agent, especially if you have a Buyer’s agent, there could be a dispute over procuring cause. The definition of procuring cause is when a real estate agent produces a buyer for a home. This could be something as easy as the listing agent showing you the home.
Open House Protocol
It is best to ask your agent if it is okay to attend an open house without them. In Utah there is nothing in writing that says you cannot attend an open house without your agent. Make sure your agent gives you a handful of business cards and take those to the open house. Give one to the agent(s) that are holding the open house. Sometimes this is the listing agent. However, often times, other agents hold open houses for the listing agent. In most cases, those agents are trying to obtain buyers. Be sure to tell the agents in the open house that you are represented. If you have any questions for the seller or the listing agent, tell your agent and they can follow up with any questions. Try not to engage the listing agent with questions.
Sign a Buyer’s Broker Agreement
You should expect to sign a buyer broker agreement with your agent. By law, in order to write an offer for a buyer, Agents must have a buyer broker agreement. If you do not want to sign a buyer broker agreement, do not ask agents to show you houses. Again, procuring cause could occur especially with an executed Buyer Broker Agreement. For example, If you have an agent show you a home and then have your chosen agent write an offer, that first agent could come back to you for commissions claiming procuring cause. You do not want to get into a dispute for commissions, especially in Utah when the sellers pay both agents’ commissions.
Communicate Your Expectations
Tell your agent if you want then to pick you up at your hotel and drop you off. Do you prefer text messages or phone calls for messages? Communicating your expectations will help not only the home shopping, but the entire process. Also, set realistic goals with your agent. Speak up if you feel your needs are not being met. Your Buyer’s wants to do a good job in helping you find your dream home, so if you fell like something is missing, communicate with your agent. At that time, you can work together to resolve those issues.
Be Ready to Buy
If you hire a buyer’s agent, make sure you are ready to buy a home. Pre-approval with your lender, including a letter, shows commitment and preparedness for the home buying process. If you are not ready to buy a home, that is okay. We do not want to force something you are not ready for. However, if this is the case, plan to go to open houses by yourself or call the listing agent for showings. Again, you want to tell each agent you encounter that you are just looking. Serious buyers are ready to write a check for earnest money. This is necessary when writing an offer. Finally, pre-approval and earnest money will also show the seller you are serious, and your buyer’s agent will work very hard to help you find your home.
These tips will help you as a buyer to keep the process smooth. Your Agent is working hard to find you a home, including scheduling appointments and talking with other agents. Helping them understand your expectations, wants and needs and communicating with your agent will make buying a home a great experience. Call C4 Elite Real Estate Team today to meet one of our hard working, full time Buyer’s agents.