It happens every day. Folks who are interested in buying a home are enthusiastic and want to see a home immediately. They give me the address of the home and tell me when they want to see it.
Wait. There are two questions I ask first:
- Are you working with another realtor?
- Have you talked to a lender?
Eager buyers are a bit annoyed with these questions. They want to see the home. Then if they like it, they will be open to discussing those details.
There is a lot of confusion around what goes into buying a home. Especially, home buyers do not understand the role of the agent. Real estate agents are not like salespersons behind a jewelry counter. We won’t pull out all of the items to show you and let you try on with the assumption that you have money. Here are the differences:
- We are professionally licensed and held to a high Code of Ethics.
When buying a home, there are contracts and agreements to consider. If you have an existing Buyer’s Agency Agreement with another agent, you should only be working with that agent. That agent may not have explained the loyalty duties you have to them when you signed the Agreement. But that does not let you (and me) off the hook. Agents need to be careful and very respectful of existing relationships.
- We are accessing someone’s home.
- the seller will need to vacate the premises during our showing.
- the seller will need to prepare the home (put away anything that appeared since the last showing, i.e., dishes, clothes, mail, toys, etc.).
- not everyone has your same situation. Some sellers have illnesses, disabilities, babies/young children, pets, or other circumstances that we cannot imagine that may require more planning for a showing. Let’s be considerate.
- there are safety concerns to consider. Burglars use Open Houses and showings to scout out their next target. It’s helpful to be aware the possessions in a home and its layout beforehand to make a quick exit. Speaking of safety….
- There are safety concerns to consider for the agent.
Being a realtor is dangerous. We meet strangers from online resources to show them homes with no one else around where we may not have cell service. Providing a preapproval letter from a lender assures the agent that you are serious and ready to buy as well as gives us an indication of your purchasing power. And don’t worry, you can still get preapproved without having your credit pulled. We understand your concern. Besides, most likely you’ll need to work with a lender eventually. But if you are not preapproved, be considerate for your agent’s safety by providing a copy of your driver’s license.
- House hunting is an emotionally exhausting process.
Do you want to look at a home, fall in love with it, THEN realize that you cannot afford it? It’s heartbreaking!
- It is best to meet with an agent in person first to go over the process and review the showing instructions.
Please call an agent when you want to see a home. However, be prepared for some questions and guidance on the process.
Agents are looking out for your best interest while also being considerate of the market, sellers (sometimes with strict showing instructions—particularly during COVID), our duties, and the Code of Ethics. You can help by coming prepared.
- Let the agent know you are not working with another agent.
- Ask the agent for their suggestions on quality lenders. Work with the lender on getting preapproved before moving forward with showings.
These are all good things to keep in mind when buying a home.
Be patient and go through the process in the right order. Your work now will pay off in time saved, preserved emotions, and a smoother transaction! Plus, your agent will adore you!