When you're on the hunt for a new home, a buyer's agent is indispensable. They represent your interests in the transaction, not those of the seller. They have an expert's understanding of market trends and can communicate with the seller's agent to gain valuable insider information on any property you're interested in. As far as real estate goes, they're an angel on your shoulder.
So, the last thing you want to do is put a strain on your relationship with them. Unfortunately, many prospective buyers unknowingly make their agent's work harder and potentially even get in the way of securing a successful home purchase. Here are five things your real estate agent wishes you wouldn't do.
1. Asking to View Properties Without Mortgage Preapproval
When you're perusing the latest listings online and see something you like, it's tempting to call your agent and view it before talking to a lender. Your agent might acquiesce once or twice, but soon they're going to ask you to secure mortgage preapproval. Mortgage preapproval shows that your credit and financial standing have been evaluated by a lender and you've gotten the green light to get a mortgage. Not only does this tell the agent, who works strictly on commission, that they aren't wasting their time, it makes your offer much more attractive to the seller.
2. Getting Hung Up on Minor Details
First impressions make big impressions. That's why realtors encourage homeowners to stage their homes for tours rather than leave them as-is. However, not every homeowner can or wants to take this advice, which means you're going to see homes with cluttered kitchens, purple walls and children's toys covering the floor. Your agent really needs you to look past these to the big picture. Rejecting a home because it needs to be repainted or has unattractive light fixtures is very frustrating for them, since these are easy and inexpensive fixes. Remember, they know what you're looking for and they showed you this house because they believe it will work for you.
3. Working with Multiple Agents
Sometimes your agent isn't available at exactly the moment you want to see a house. Calling another agent instead is unfair to both agents. As mentioned, real estate agents only earn money when you buy. If your agent has put in time and effort to work with you and yet you use another agent out of impatience or disregard, you're essentially stabbing your agent in the back. If you do this and your agent finds out, expect to be politely dropped. You should only move on to a new agent if your current agent is genuinely a bad fit and you need to end the relationship.
4. Dragging Your Feet
You've found a home you like at a price you can afford. It checks all the boxes and you've expressed interest. But you're afraid to commit so you don't make an offer. This is likely going to frustrate your agent, who knows that great houses can get snapped up quickly by qualified buyers who aren't afraid to pull the trigger. In a seller's market houses can literally sell within hours, sometimes sight unseen! While it's understandable that you don't want to make the wrong decision, consistently waffling when presented with good opportunities wastes both of your time.
5. Making Unjustifiably Low-Ball Offers
You want to score a deal. Everyone understands that. But putting in an offer far below asking price without good reason slows everything down at best and costs you the house at worst. The homeowner may be good-natured and make a counteroffer but unless the house has major problems that were only uncovered during the home inspection, it won't be anywhere close to your low-ball bid. If you then counter with another lowball number, you'll risk alienating the seller and driving your agent nuts. Listen to their advice and put in an appropriate bid.
You probably know what it feels like to work with someone who doesn't value your time or respect your knowledge. It makes you not want to work with them at all. Don't do this to your agent, who is there to make sure you find the house of your dreams at a fair price. Trust their guidance.;