| Jul 17, 2017
A good real estate agent holds your hand through the home-buying process, fights battles on your behalf, and all in all helps you achieve your dreams of homeownership with a smile.
But have you ever wondered what they’re really thinking, behind that calm, professional demeanor?
Plenty. And while they will often share their opinion, sometimes they find it more prudent to bite their tongue when their clients are being difficult or downright bizarre, jeopardizing their chances of actually buying a home, lest too much honesty leads to hurt feelings.
“We have to censor ourselves a lot,” admits Sarah Findel, a real estate agent at Engel & Völkers in Holmdel, NJ. “We don’t want to say anything that would offend a client.”
Yet if you’re curious about what you might be doing that gets under an agent’s skin—and could be putting your dreams of homeownership at risk—check out a few secret thoughts that agents were willing to admit to. Heed these insights and you not only avoid irking your agent, but you could help yourself sail through the home-buying process, too.
1. ‘I really hope you’re serious’
All agents dread dealing with real estate window shoppers—clients who hope to buy a home someday. The reason: Agents don’t get paid by the hour to show you around; they make money only when—or if—you close the deal. As such, while they’re not expecting you to fall in love with the first home you see, if you breeze through dozens of homes without interest, for months on end, their patience will wear thin.
“Some home buyers want to see every single house that’s on the market,” regardless of whether the home meets their criteria, says Rae Wayne, a Realtor® with the Bizzy Blondes team, in Los Angeles. However, “someone who has to see 50 or 100 homes, to me, isn’t a serious buyer.”
So cut these hardworking pros a break—if you’re the type of person who simply loves to peek inside new listings, just go to open houses solo so that you don’t waste an agent’s time.
2. ‘I’m on your side, so please be upfront’
You definitely need to watch what you say to the home seller or the listing agent, lest they use it as leverage. But there’s absolutely no reason to hide anything from your own agent. As Findel puts it, “My client and I are a team. I’m looking out for your best interests.”
For instance: While you don’t want to blurt out to sellers the absolute max you can pay for a home, buyers sometimes mistakenly assume that they should hide this info from their own agent as well. But that can backfire badly.
“If you tell us what your price range is, but you’re actually willing to go significantly above that amount, we may not be showing you houses that would fit your criteria,” says St. Petersburg, FL, real estate agent Lisa Cahill.
So open up!
3. ‘Oh no—a lowballer’
True, your agent’s job is to help get you a great deal on a home that’s right for you, but be reasonable when making an offer on a property that’s already priced to move.
“We understand that people want to save money,” says Cahill, “but if you make a ridiculously lowball offer, you could lose out on a home that you love.”
Granted, “many buyers will lowball the first time they make an offer and lose the house, which isn’t a problem if they learn from their mistakes,” says Wayne. “The problem is the buyer who always wants to make crazy lowball offers.”
Bottom line: Listen to your agent’s recommendation on what to offer.
“We do this every day,” Cahill explains. “We know what a house is worth.”
4. ‘You need a reality check’
Indeed, “someone always wants higher ceilings, or a bigger master bedroom, or a half-bathroom on the first floor,” says Nancy Newquist-Nolan, a real estate agent specializing in Santa Barbara, CA. “There’s always something missing, and a lot of home buyers have trouble accepting that.”
All of which can drive an agent nuts. Sorry, home buyers, but there’s no such thing as a perfect house.
“There are compromises with everything,” says Wayne. “Even when people custom-build their own homes, once they move in they realize it’s not perfect.”
So try to temper those sky-high expectations when you start shopping around, or else you could be house hunting for a very long time.
5. ‘Keep an eye on your kids before they break something’
“What drives me bananas is poor buyer etiquette,” says Wayne. “If you bring your young kids to showings, don’t let them run wild around the house or touch fragile belongings. Things break all the time because parents aren’t keeping an eye on their children.”
The easiest solution: Try to find a baby sitter or, at the very least, keep your kids in line—just like you would if you were guests in anyone’s house.
6. ‘Stop texting and just call’
If you want to text your agent to set up a showing or ask a question about a house, go right ahead. It’s a convenient way to get in touch, because agents are perpetually on the go. But for important issues—say, backing out of a purchase—call. Please.
Newquist-Nolan recalls one nightmare episode: “We searched and searched, and I found the perfect property. [The buyers] placed and offer and it was accepted. Three days later, they cancelled via text. A few days later they decided it was the right property and placed another offer. Two days into escrow they texted again and backed out.” Wow. Don’t be that guy!
For the full article from Realtor.com click here.