Are you a Good Realtor or a Bad Realtor?
If you're like me, on the internet scouring the real estate industry through a keyboard or perhaps an individual just beginning to think about buying a home or listing a property you've seen many posts on choosing a real estate agent. Some posts are exceptional, but let's talk about 5 key indicators of good professional buyer agents.
Realtor Tips & 5 Points for Buyers
Some agents list, some love working for buyers and quite a few do both. One can fill another one's shoes as a real estate agent, and ultimately is defined by the role and capacity in which they represent you.
You do want to save money, right? I find I'm always educating buyers that listing agents promised to net as much possible, while buyer's agents promise their clients to help them find a great home at a good price; let common sense dictate whom to work with.
So, getting down to it, what do you really want in a buyer's agent?
Good Realtors are Responsive
One of the most entertaining and appreciated response my business partner Marty Snyder and I get is when a lead comes in (lead = simply a real person that wants to buy or sell a home), and the surprise emanating through the phone; "You're the first person that's ever called me back!", or the happy emoticons and thankful expressions from responding to email.
How do you feel when you go into a restaurant, no one greets or seats you for 1o minutes, wait another five just to get water, then doesn't come back and take your order for another 15?
I leave. Being ignored is one of the worst feelings.
Good Realtors send Right-Price-Range Listings
One complaint I hear often from new clients is their former real estate agent sends them listings above their price range. Just what exactly that is supposed to accomplish, I'm not sure, but leads me to next point.
Good Realtors Save Buyers Money
A good professional buyers agent isn't going to stand in front of a crack in the wall and will look for problematic things that will cost a buyer money. They give lending referrals and invite you to shop around for rate and fee comparisons. They negotiate skillfully using comps of similar area homes, utilizing defects, time on market, situational circumstances, easements, restrictions, covenants, age and results of inspections to ensure their buyer is getting a fair or good deal. After all, professional buyers agents love referrals and repeat business.
Good Realtors Help with Homework
Crystal balls are nice, but not everyone has one. One thing precious about good professional buyer's agents; they will help you with the homework. They should be knowledgeable about credit and what it takes to have good qualifying score and how to help a buyer get there if needed. Also, they should know lenders who are skilled at helping clients improve scores. Good Realtors also understand loan products, which are suitable for the location, area and type of home and how to change paths quickly if a different type of financing is required.
Speaking of homework, credit scores and finance, here's a good read from a colleague of mine up in the Columbus area, "Secrets from the Underwriting World" by Rachael Coffman, a former underwriter gone Realtor and some keen insights about financing for first time buyers.
Moreover, Good Realtors understand loan to value ratios and counsel clients to work on their finances if their ratio exceeds loan limits. Additionally, Marty and I both take the time to check with lenders, asking if the client has got in touch or if all the needed documents have been submitted like W2's, student loan information etc. We send tickler/reminders to clients to get those documents in or possibly face losing out on the perfect home. We check in.
Good Realtors - Knowledgeable about Market
If a real estate agent hops a broom, vanishes in a gaseous red cloud or ball of fire or even makes a face like you threw a bucket of water on them when asked, that's probably not who you want to work with.
A good buyer's agent (and good listing agent for that matter) should be knowledgeable about the local markets they practice real estate in. Also, a professionals track record comes in. Look for good reviews and annual sales, both strong indicators of excellence. Someone that can't answer questions about the market, doesn't have an opinion at all or evades answering questions honestly with perspective is likely to be unhelpful in your cause.