Communication is KeyEven as some of us are groaning at the sight of stubborn snowflakes, we are starting to see the spring market hit its stride. The relationship between an Agent and their client is immensely important. While the Agent, as an expert, should take the lead, the savvy client will take steps to maximize this relationship to realize their goals. This week, we are exploring what it takes to effectively work with your real estate Agent in the first of a two part series: The Active Client.  In this article, we will focus on what it takes to be an effective Buyer:

  • Communication: Yes, communication is essential in real estate, not unlike business, family, and most other matters.  However, in today’s environment of always on, instant gratification expectations, it’s more important than ever to respond to your Agent’s questions quickly.  The listing for your dream home, at the “I-can’t-believe-it” price, may only be available for a couple of days if not hours—quick response to your Agent’s suggestion may make all of the difference. Your offer may be one of multiple offers pending and the quicker you solidify your best offer, the better your chance of it being accepted by the seller.  If you delay in responding to your Agent in either of these situations, it may really be a day late… and a dollar short.
  • Honesty with Yourself and Your Agent: Every elementary school student knows that honesty is the best policy: but sometimes after some intervening years, we forget this simple maxim. Be clear with your Agent about your price range, pre-approval status, and geography. If your Agent is prospecting houses for you in the wrong town or the wrong price range, it usually just means that you won’t find the house of your dreams.  Don’t be nasty, but this isn’t the time to be too polite either; be purposeful. Nothing sours a relationship like wasted time and effort. Tell your Agent what you like and what you don’t like—your next showing will likely be better than the last. While it might be smart to see houses that are outside of what you’re expecting to purchase, a moving target is much harder for your Agent to hit. This isn’t to say that you have to know precisely what you want– if information changes mid-stream, just update your Agent.
  • Rely on your Agent’s Expertise: You hired a Buyer’s Agent because their primary asset is their expertise in the field of buying a house. You may lack this expertise, so rely on theirs. Regular readers will recall this point in our article: Ten Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent when Buying a Home. Perhaps your Agent feels that your low ball offer may offend the Seller causing them not to want to deal with you. Your Agent has presented many offers in the past, so (s)he has a good feel for how that offer will be received by the Seller. Maybe your Agent is trying to provide a dose of reality when there is a negative aspect to a listing. Perhaps your Agent wants you to look at a type of home that you haven’t considered because it fits your lifestyle or goals. More often than not, their expertise can help you find the perfect home.
  • Teamwork is Key: Keep in mind that when you are buying a house, you are relying on your Agent’s team of professionals. Teamwork is essential to a successful transaction.  Delegating tasks to team members means that your capabilities are greater than if you were acting on your own.  Members of your team, in addition to your Agent include home inspectors, lenders, real estate attorneys, or even neighbors!  Professionals that know how to work with each other will accomplish goals quickly and more often. Think about it this way: when your Agent refers you to a professional, your Agent is implicitly confident that their referral will maximize the chances of the deal closing with as little risk and inconvenience to you as possible. Your Agent won’t (or at least shouldn’t) be referring you to professionals with whom they don’t have a strong track record of success. If you feel that a member of your Agent’s team is not working out the way you’d hoped, you can recruit your new team members. Just remember, you usually shouldn’t be tackling the difficult task of buying a house by yourself.

Each of the points above should help you to set yourself up for a smooth – and successful – foray into the real estate market.  Being an active client, working with your Agent effectively will increase your agility, speed, and success rate. So go out there and work with your Agent.  Trust your Agent.  If nothing else, return your Agent’s phone calls quickly!

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.

Copyright © 2015 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts. No child labor laws were breached during the creation of this Blog, further Bob Bonkley was compensated for his likenesses and appearances in the same.