As real estate agents, we work with people from many different walks of life and many different knowledge bases. We work with people who have done a lot of research about the home-buying or selling process, and we work with people who don’t have the first clue about it and require a lot of handholding. And guess what? We love them all! It doesn’t matter what you do, where you’re from, or how much you can spend on a house. We love helping our clients find the home that’s perfect for them, and we live for the air of excitement and the look of joy on their faces on closing day. But there are a few things we wish our clients understood a little more clearly.
We want to be your partner.
First and foremost, we want our clients to know that we’re on their side. We want to be your partner in the buying or selling process. We’re in your corner, looking out for your best interests before anyone else’s. We want to help you to the finish line that is the real estate closing table, and we definitely want to hear from you from time to time afterward. (So keep those Christmas cards and birth announcements coming! We love hearing from past clients.)
Time is of the essence.
We’ve dealt with more than a few instances where a client took their time to make a decision and missed out on the house they really wanted. There have also been situations where deals have fallen through because one party or the other didn’t complete a task or get paperwork turned in on time. Between the initial offer and closing day, there are quite a few deadlines that have to be met. Buying or selling a home is a huge decision and a major transaction; it’s fine to take the time you need to decide. But once it’s time to pull the trigger, sometimes you have to act fast.
DIY television shows make it look way easier than it is.
Real estate reality shows on HGTV or the DIY Network are a lot of fun to watch, and it’s great to get design ideas and watch the house-hunting process. But one of the biggest things your agent wants you to know is that those shows make the buying, selling, and remodeling process look a lot easier and faster than it actually is. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t see, including the negotiation process and all the otherwise “boring” details that don’t make for great TV.
We want you to be specific about your needs.
It’s good to be flexible and easy to work with, but don’t give us too long of a leash. We want to hear specific needs and desires so we can show you the most relevant homes without wasting your time or ours. At the same time, we don’t want you to paint us into a corner with too many restrictions or too long of a list of “must-haves.”
Pre-approval is so important!
Many agents won’t show a buyer client any homes until they have their pre-approval in hand, and for good reason. Sellers want to know that a prospective buyer is serious about purchasing their home, which means they want to see your pre-approval letter. Having a pre-approval also tells us what your budget is so we don’t waste time showing you homes you can’t afford. Additionally, being pre-approved can help move things along more quickly once it’s time to apply for actual approval for your home loan.
Lowball offers are embarrassing.
Your real estate agent is trained in the art of finding a home’s actual value. If a house is listed for $200,000 and you want to offer $150,000 “just to see what they’ll say,” be prepared for your agent to advise you against it. If that house is actually worth $200,000, bringing a lowball offer to the table like that makes us look like we don’t know what we’re doing. In fact, we’ll probably tell you not to be surprised if the seller doesn’t even come back with a counteroffer.
No home is perfect.
Whenever we show homes to buyers, we hear a lot of, “This one would be perfect, but…” Keep in mind that it’s rare that any one property will tick every box on your list and also be within your budget. The trick is to find the home that’s perfect for you for now. If you can’t seem to find one that meets every need or want, choose the one that checks the most boxes, is in the perfect location, and is within your budget. Most other issues can be resolved later.
We want you to think about resale value.
When you’re buying a home, we want you to be thinking about resale value. You might not have plans to move again anytime soon, but statistics say you will eventually. So even if you don’t need a second bathroom and an area that has a good school district, you’ll want to consider them for resale value later on down the road.