When Mr. and Mrs. Murray (not real names) wanted to buy a house for the first time, they hired a real estate agent. They rightly believed doing this would help them get their dream house fast.
However, the Murrays did not know that there are certain rules that homebuyers working with an agent must follow. These rules or etiquettes help ensure that both parties enjoy the business relationship.
The couples did not follow one of these rules. They did not perfectly communicate their needs to their buyer’s agent. This mistake led to a disappointing home buying process and a fallout with their agent.
The Murrays’ story brings us to the question: What rules must a first-time homebuyer follow to get the best out of their relationship with their agent?
What are the rules for a first-time homebuyer working with a real estate agent?
1. Make sure you’re ready
As the scout motto says ‘be prepared’. This is one key rule for a first-time homebuyer working with a real estate agent.
Make sure you’re financially ready to buy a house before you hire a real estate agent to avoid wasting their time.
Start by checking your credit score and improving it. Next, save up for the down payment – 20% for conventional loans and 3% for FHA loans. While at it, build an emergency fund to protect yourself and your family from any unexpected expenses.
Once you have everything in place, apply for a mortgage pre-approval. These steps will let the agent you hire know that you’re serious about buying a house.
2. Hire only one agent
It is normal to get impatient when buying a house. But in your quest to find your dream house fast, don’t hire multiple agents at once.
Hiring more than one agent to find a house for you can lead to confusion. For example, they may have different (and contradictory) ideas on how to get you your dream house.
In other cases, you could risk needing to pay both agents a commission; for example, if you already signed an Exclusive Buyer-Broker agreement with one agent, you will need to terminate your agreement before you can engage another agent or you will be contractually obligated to pay both agents a commission if either of them finds your dream property.
What will help you get your dream house fast is hiring the best real estate agent in the market.
Luckily, finding the best buyer’s agent in Utah is not difficult as we are right in front of you. The Bost Redevelopment team is renowned for its expertise, customer service, and results. Give us a call, and let’s talk.
3. Communicate your expectations to the agent
Here’s where the Murrays made a mistake.
A buyer’s agent’s main goal is to get you your dream house. Therefore, you should be open to them. Tell the buyer’s agent what you want and don’t want in a house. Set realistic goals and give them adequate time to achieve these goals.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions no matter how silly it may sound. A good agent will want to answer all your questions. Lastly, help the agent by giving constructive feedback when necessary.
4. Sign a broker buyer agreement
Undocumented agreements are not legally binding. Therefore, before working with a real estate agent, sign a buyer broker agreement.
This agreement will spell out the terms and conditions of the deal between you and the buyer’s agent. It will also serve as the go-to reference if any dispute occurs between you and the agent in the future.
Remember only to sign this agreement with an agent you are comfortable with.
5. Don’t contact a listing agent if you already hired a buyer’s agent
If you’ve already hired a buyer’s agent, you don’t need to contact your seller’s listing agent. The listing agent can’t commit to you because the seller is their priority. In fact, they can be seen more as an adversary than as your loyal advocate.
So, directly contacting them may put you at a disadvantage, especially during negotiation.
Let your agent do their job by representing you during the home buying transaction. Remember that they are the only person you need in your corner to help make the process easier and faster. And they will treat you as a priority, just as the listing agent treats the seller.
6. Make yourself available
You’d agree with us that time is money and you should not waste money.
So, don’t waste your agent’s time. Avoid unnecessarily canceling or showing up late for appointments. Doing any of these may affect their business as they may have other clients to attend to.
To make working with your agent easier, show up on time during appointments. The rule of thumb is to aim to get to the house showing or open house 30 minutes before the agreed time if you need to drive more than 30 minutes to reach the location, or 15 minutes if it’s not that far. That will ensure you are not late if you encounter unexpected traffic accidents, construction, or other delays.
If you have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, inform your agent on time. They will understand the situation and will gladly reschedule the meeting.
Let Bost Redevelopment help you buy your dream house!
Buying a house alone or with the wrong agent is risky and stressful. Fortunately, Bost Redevelopment is here for you. We are your best chance of getting a comfortable, stress-free experience.
We guide our clients through the whole home buying process. We find their dream house for them in no time and negotiate a good deal on their behalf. In other words, we are what you’ve been looking for.
Want to talk more about your options? Please leave us a message below with your contact information and let us know how we can help you.