If you’re a buyer working with a Realtor, it SHOULD be a great experience. Your agent is compensated to act on your behalf, so you allow him or her to earn it. It’s fine to do your own research, in fact, we encourage it. At the end of the day, you should always run your own numbers on deals and not just rely on the info that your agent provides. However, there are several faux pas that buyer’s make that can rub listing agents and sellers the wrong way.
Do’s When Working With a Buyer’s Agent:
- Sit down with your broker and explain what you are ideally looking for. Discuss price, features, size, # of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, living space, outdoor space, parking, schools, neighborhood, future growth potential, location, and anything else you really want or really don’t want. There are thousands of homes for sale at any given time and the better you can narrow your search, the better service your buyers agent can provide you.
- Speak to a lender and see what type of financing you qualify for at the beginning of your search. Don’t wait until after you’ve seen 20 properties to discover that you’re looking in the wrong price range.
- Research properties and provide your broker with a list of the ones you are interested in at the beginning to help them get a feel for what you are looking for. Then let them run with it.
- Let agents and sellers know you are working with a broker. Ask your buyers agent for a stack of their business cards to give the sitting agent at an open house.
- Be honest with your broker about what you can afford and when you are looking to buy. Many brokers will be happy to work with you even if you aren’t looking to buy for quite some time–so long as you are upfront about your time frame.
Don’ts When Working With a Buyer’s Agent:
- Don’t call listings/agents to get information on listings you’re attracted to. Instead provide a list of questions to your buyers agent and let him or her do the research. Chances are your buyers agent can provide the answers for you by viewing private remarks on the MLS without having to contact the listing broker at all.
- Don’t go property hunting without your agent. Allow your agent to play a proactive role in your home search. Viewing properties together will allow your agent to learn about your likes and dislikes which will improve the services they can provide you and help you find the best home.
- Don’t ask your broker to do anything unethical. Realtors have taken an oath to abide by a strict code of ethics. Asking anything else of your broker but honest representation and dealings is disrespectful to their trade and could potentially lose you a broker. After all, you don’t want to work with someone who is unethical because where is the line drawn?
- Don’t call your broker while standing in front of a house for sale and ask them to meet you and let you in–schedule an appointment. Chances are (if you’re working with a good broker), you are not their only client and should be respectful of their time as they are of yours.
It’s important when working with a broker to actually work with the broker. The purpose and benefit of working with a buyers agent is to take advantage of the expertise that comes with representation. A good broker will happily do all the leg work for you.