Five Tips About Working With A Buyer Agent

David Bates / July 30, 2014-5:30 pm

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Do you want to work with an agent without committing a faux pas?

Would you prefer to handle your real estate relationships as if you have graduated the real estate school of proper etiquette with honors?

Here’s a few do’s and don’ts I have culled over 18 years and a number of awkward situations.

  1. When You Want Information About a Home:
    1. DO: Contact your agent about any MLS listing, advertisement, for sale sign, or rumor about a property you think is for sale. It’s their job to get you the information about that home and they will appreciate the opportunity to provide that service for you.
    2. DON’T: Contact a listing firm or a listing agent to ask them about a property. These agents work for the seller and although they will often provide the service of getting you the requested info, they see this task as the job of your agent.

  1. When You Want to See A Home:
    1. DO: Have your agent set an appointment for any property you want to see.
    2. DON’T: Under no circumstances should you call the listing agent directly and set an appointment. When your agent shows up on the appointment, it will annoy the listing agent, and annoying the listing agent won’t help your chances to secure the home.  And if you go on the appointment without your agent, it may forfeit your agent’s ability to represent you. Any ethical agent will communicate faster with your agent than with you.
  1. When You Go on a Showing:
    1. DO: Ask the list agent any question about a home. Listing agents should be experts on the home, it’s amenities and the area the home is located.
    2. DON’T: Indicate there will be any follow up contact with the list agent. All communication should go through your agent.
  1. When You Go to an Open House
    1. DO: Sign your agent’s name in on the Open House Sign-In Sheet. If you get into a conversation with the list agent, let them know you are represented by an agent. It really helps in both these situations if you know your agent’s full name and company. You might be surprised at how many buyers can’t remember their agent’s name and have no clue about their company.
    2. DON’T: Provide your contact information, but rather, provide your agent’s contact information. If the listing agent wants any information about your thoughts on the home, they should contact your agent, not you.
  1. When You Want to See Non-MLS Properties
    1. DO: Consider signing an agreement with your agent to search for properties. If its clear that they will get compensated, the agent is more likely to communicate or create opportunities for you.
    2. DON’T: See Non-MLS properties unless you are represented.  The great majority of these homes are over-priced and the seller isn’t ready to sell.  There is a lot of risk of over paying and the great majority of these owners eventually list with an agent.