We wrote earlier this week on what a real estate agent can do for you other than just show homes. Today we’d like to give you some tips to help you help us serve you better.
1. Be prepared
While we want to help you in the best possible way, it’s easier for us to do that if you are prepared and have done your homework.
Buyers, it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re doing this for the first time. We expect to point out things you haven’t thought of, but you can help us if you’ve done some work up front to figure out what you want and what is important for you. Here are some things to think about before you call us:
- Neighborhoods you particularly like
- “Must-have” features
- Deal breakers
- Some level of future thinking–how long do you think you’ll live in this home; do you plan to have children in the next five years–that sort of thing
Sellers, there are some things you need to think about and decide in advance also
- What kind of margin are we working with? Is there a number you absolutely must meet?
- What’s your timeframe? Do you need to sell now, or could you wait six months to a year?
- How much work are you willing to do on the home to get it ready to sell?
This kind of preparation will make the process go much more smoothly for everyone.
2. Be realistic
No one wants to hear it, but you really can’t have everything. Buyers, you might not be able to get every item on your wish list. Be prepared for your search to take time. You might not find the perfect home the first time you go looking. While we will do everything possible to place a competitive bid, you may not get the first home you try for.
Sellers, you may not be able to get the price you believe your home is worth. It may take longer than you expect to sell the home. You may have to do more work that you had anticipated.
We completely understand the frustration involved when things don’t go exactly as you’d planned or hoped, but a bit of patience and realism will lead to the best outcome in the end.
3. Get pre-approved
This one obviously only applies to buyers, but it’s an important step. Knowing exactly how much you can afford will make the “be prepared” step go more smoothly and will save time as you’ll only be looking at homes in your price range. Pre-approval will allow you to act quickly when you do find the home you want.
4. Keep the lines of communication open
We want to help you as best we can, but we can’t do it if you don’t communicate with us. If something isn’t going the way you expected, let us know. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it. Don’t share one of your deal breakers at the end of the process. Sellers, if you’re uncomfortable about one of the things we’re asking you to do to get your home ready to show, ask and let us explain.
Most importantly, you are our client. Not your extended family. The more people who feel they should be involved in the process, the more complicated it will be. If you need to get buy-in from your mother-in-law, that’s fine. Just let us know about it in advance so it doesn’t derail the process near the end.
Those are our requests. Now, what can we do to help make your real estate transaction the best ever?