Top 5 Qualities of a Good Buyer
May 30, 2010
1. Be Loyal to your Realtor
If you are working with a Realtor stick with that Realtor. If they aren’t meeting your expectations communicate your feelings so they have an opportunity to remedy the situation. If they don’t improve THEN switch to a new Realtor, but have the courtesy to tell your Realtor your decision.
2. Get pre-approved BEFORE you ask a Realtor to start showing you houses
Only a mortgage broker can calculate what price range you can afford. And it only takes a few minutes to get pre-approved and determine if you have the credit and financial means to buy a home. So show your Realtor some respect and go get pre-approved NOW.
Think about it from the Realtor’s perspective. Is it fair that they take you out to see a dozen houses only to later learn that you’ve just looked at the wrong price range? Or even worse what if you learn that you’re not qualified to buy ANY house? Go get pre-approved and then see listings. And if you’re paying cash, and don’t need a mortgage, have the courtesy to show proof of funds to your Realtor. This can be as simple as printing your bank statement showing you have the necessary funds. If you aren’t qualified for a mortgage and don’t have the cash to buy don’t stoop to wasting a Realtor’s precious time by having them show you homes you know you can’t buy. Realtors aren’t paid by the hour. They only get paid when they close on a transaction.
3. Don’t look at houses you know you will never buy
If you know you need 4 bedrooms why are you asking your Realtor to show you that 3 bedroom home? Or if you insist on a home with a pool don’t ask your Realtor to show you homes without pools. Of course, seeing your options will often impact your desires, but if you KNOW you need 4 bedrooms and a pool have respect for your Realtor and don’t waste their Sunday afternoon looking at property you have no real interest in buying.
4. Reply to emails and calls
If a Realtor has started to work for you respect their time by being open and honest. If they send you listings via email and you aren’t looking at them, for whatever reason, have the courtesy to call or email and explain this to them. Real time and energy are being expended by your Realtor, and once again, this time and energy is being spent without compensation. If they email you and you don’t reply you’ve just been disrespectful. Reply and let them know, “Hey, thanks for the listings and help but we’ve decided to hold off on buying for now.” Let them know to stop spending their limited time and energy working for you.
Or if you are looking at the listings and still interested in buying periodically say so. Reply to emails and phone calls so your Realtor knows they aren’t talking to a wall. All of this might sound silly to even have to say but you might be surprised to know how many emails and calls go unanswered. If you don’t want to work with a particular Realtor or you are stopping or pausing your quest for real estate say so.
5. Invest YOUR time in this process
You’re buying a house not a bike or pack of gum. This is a huge decision and even larger investment. It isn’t effective, courteous or respectful to ask your Realtor to repeatedly show you one listing at a time. All too often buyers ask Realtors to show them a single property, at dinner time, half way across the city, with no respect for the fact that the Realtor is leaving his or her spouse and children for the showing. While it is true that we make our living off of selling real estate, and showing houses is an integral part of the process, it is not effective to look at one house at a time.
If you want to be a good buyer (respectful of your Realtor) schedule a day in advance where you can look at many listings, during business hours, even if it requires you to take a half day off from work. Again, you’re buying a house. This is typically the largest purchase in a person’s life and if it isn’t worth taking a few hours off from work how serious should your Realtor take you? When viewing homes you need to see them during the day and not at 7:30 pm or later when you cannot see the backyard, neighborhood or even interior of the home due to no sunlight or electricity.
Your Realtor will work hard for you over an extended period of time. And they only get paid if and when you close. This means everything they do for you prior to closing is an investment of time and energy. Think about your relationship with your Realtor as symbiotic, or mutually beneficial. Realtors are real people with real lives. They aren’t servants. If you respect their time they should respect you in return.