When you’re buying a house or an investment property, your real estate agent becomes your ally and teammate. Being a good team player means knowing what your realtor does and doesn’t need from you. It’s important because teams that aren’t working well together are going to come up short.
Experienced realtors have worked for many buyers and they’ve seen certain problematic behaviors again and again. If you are concerned that you might drive your realtor nuts, there are some pitfalls to watch out for. Once you’re familiar with them, you’ll be a better partner and your realtor will be better able to focus on finding you the best property.
If you’re ready to choose a realtor, or if you already have one, keep in mind the things agents hate.
1. Lying to Your Realtor About Your Circumstances
When you have a trusting relationship with your realtor, you can let them in on your vulnerabilities. Think of your realtor like you would a lawyer — they’ll attempt to present you and your offers to sellers and other realtors in the best way possible. Yes, you are the buyer, but your realtor still has to “sell” you to the other side.
Maybe you haven’t yet been pre-approved for your mortgage, you aren’t sure when you’ll be ready to move, or you only have two months to find a place. Perhaps you’re a first-time home buyer and need guidance. You’re going to want your realtor to know your strengths and weaknesses so they can let you know what is and isn’t realistic, and help formulate your buying strategy.
2. Calling and Emailing Too Much
It can be nerve-racking to search for properties, choose one, make an offer, and bargain on price. For most people, their home is their biggest single investment and picking a loser isn’t an option. If you’re buying a residence, you are choosing the location and house where you will live for many years. If you’re investing in a property, you will be tied to it until you sell it.
That can be scary. Your realtor can help reassure you, but you need to set boundaries for yourself and expectations for your realtor.
Seek to establish a routine. Decide how often you want to be updated, and whether you prefer phone calls, texts, emails, or even meeting in person. Realtors are going to have their own preferences, but if there’s something you prefer or need, speak up about it sooner rather than later.
3. Forgetting That You’re the Decision Maker
There are so many things you will decide. What neighborhoods do you want to consider? How high can the price be? What is the bare minimum square footage you can accept? Can you live without that pool, garage, garden, or deck you always dreamed of?
However hard these decisions are for you, your realtor can’t make them for you. Decide these things by yourself or with your family and then let your realtor know your needs. It’s a great idea to go to open houses to get to know the market, but don’t waste everyone’s time scheduling private viewings of properties that you know you’ll never buy.
4. Expecting to Always Win
Even if you make an offer at or above the asking price, you may be one of many. If you make a lower offer, the buyer may wait to see what else comes in. You could spend weeks on edge, waiting to see if a property will be yours. Like in a game of poker, you have to play your hand without knowing what everyone else is holding.
Your realtor can help you decide your play, promote you as the best possible buyer, and even use pressure tactics like making a limited-time offer. However, unless you’re ready to beat all other offers, you’ll win some and lose some.
Deals fall apart and buyers get outbid. Sometimes your realtor is to blame, but more often, it simply comes down to the strength of your offer.
5. Wasting Your Realtor’s Time and Energy
You would be outraged if you found out that your realtors were just using you as a pawn to help another client. Similarly, if you’re using multiple brokers in the same area or trying to eliminate the middleman by going directly to the seller’s broker, you’re not just being unfair. You’re also proving untrustworthy to everyone involved.
Sometimes relationships with realtors fall apart, and it’s necessary to consider other options. If you’ve raised the same concerns with your realtor more than once, don’t keep banging your head against a wall. It may be necessary to contact your realtor’s managing director or seek outside help.
You might already be doing everything right, but still find yourself in a strained relationship with your current real estate agent. Connecting with an experienced Clever Partner Agent can help you navigate the home buying process more smoothly.