Even if it’s not your first time, buying a home can be frustrating and stressful, as it can take weeks or months to locate the right house. Plus, with each bid, there’s a chance that the property owner will reject your offer and go with another buyer. Good real estate agents understand this frustration, and often go above and beyond to keep you happy. However, as a stressed-out home buyer, you may need to be careful not to blame your agent for problems out of his or her control.
You can’t predict how long it’ll take to purchase a home, and if the process takes longer than anticipated, your agent is likely to be the one to whom you vent frustrations. But remember, agents are there to help – if you don’t watch your step, you could get on your agent’s bad side. If this occurs, he or she may not work as hard for you, and might think of other clients first if an amazing house comes on the market.
Getting on Your Agent’s Bad Side
Avoid these activities that can kill the agent-client relationship:
1. Being Overly Demanding or Needy
Yes, you’re anxious to purchase your home. Believe it or not, your agent is just as eager. This is his or her livelihood, and there’s no paycheck until a deal closes. But don’t let eagerness cloud your good judgment.
Understanding that you’re not your agent’s only client can provide a little perspective. If you call or email your agent about a property, don’t get mad if he or she doesn’t immediately respond to your inquiry. Additionally, your agent is a human being with a personal life, so a little flexibility on your part goes a long way. You want to enjoy your evenings and weekends with family, and so too does your agent. Therefore, don’t announce that you’re only available for showings on the weekends or during the evening hours – make yourself available at other times too.
2. Making Low-Ball Offers
Real estate agents have access to comparative sales, and therefore they know the recent sale price of similar homes in the area. When you’re ready to bid on a property, take your agent’s recommendation. Several factors play into how much to offer for a property, including the seller’s motivation, the condition of the property, and whether you’re seeking assistance with closing costs. The worst thing you can do as a buyer is ignore your agent and submit a low-ball offer. There is a right and a wrong way to play this game, and if you start off on the wrong foot, you might turn off the seller – and your agent.
Trust that your agent knows what he or she is talking about. Low-ball offers get you nowhere and waste everyone’s time.
3. Skipping the Pre-Approval
A real estate agent can’t force you to get pre-approved for a home loan, but will probably recommend this action, as a pre-approval carries a lot of weight when shopping for a new home. With this documentation in hand, agents and sellers know that you’re a serious buyer: A bank has reviewed your application, ordered your credit report, and verified your income and down payment source.
A pre-approval also states how much you can afford to spend, which is crucial information for your real estate agent. Sure, you can give your agent a price range, but if you haven’t been approved for a home loan, he or she won’t know whether you can actually afford houses in that range.