I am a buyer, what good is a real estate agent to me? This is a question I get asked all the time. The estate agent works for the seller this is true – but they also have to treat the buyer fairly. An agent can get you to the front of the queue when viewing houses, help you search for the perfect home and keep you posted on what is happening in the area.
Some tips to for using an agent as an buyer;
1. Start with a face-to-face meeting
This is important because you will then be a person looking for a home rather than a faceless name with requirements. You should see all the local estate agents in the area you are interested in.
2. Demonstrate that you are serious from the start
• Lots of people mess estate agents around. Show them you are serious by knowing what you are looking for. Go with a shopping list.
• Ensure you get a mortgage in principle before you start house hunting. This means they know that you will be able to act quickly, and will put you right at the front of the estate agent’s mind when new properties come in.
3. Swap contact details
• Get the individual agent’s name, mobile phone number and email. This will not only ensure you always have a point of contact, but will also allow you to develop a relationship with them. It is easier to deal with an individual if possible, rather than a whole office. People buy off people not companies
• Give them your all your contact details
• Give them an estimate of what you are looking to spend and the main attributes of your home. Price, size and location.
4. Ask them for advice
• Rather than telling them exactly what you want, ask for their advice.
• Estate agents have extensive local knowledge and usually enjoy sharing it.
5. Give them your requirements
• In the first meeting tell them what type of properties you are looking for, and which exact area(s) you would most like to live in.
• Make clear which requirements you will not change, and which you are happy to be flexible about.
6. Give specific feedback
• After each viewing tell the agent what you did and did not like about the house. This will allow the agent to build up a better picture of what it is you’re looking for.
7. Don’t waste their time
• Looking at properties outside of your budget will just annoy the estate agent, and will also make you dissatisfied with your final choice.
8. Keep in regular touch
• If they do not call you, call them every few days to tell them that you are still on the hunt, and ask if they have any news of new properties coming on the market. If they don’t hear from you, they will assume you are no longer looking.
• Equally, always respond to their emails and telephone calls even if it is just to explain why you are not interested in a property.
• Even after you have put in an offer make sure you keep in touch to gain access to the property for surveying, mortgage valuations and so on.
9. Free up time to view properties
• Good houses are sold quickly, so make sure you are available to look at them. If you are never available, the agent won’t think you are serious
• Do not miss a viewing. It is rude and is likely to turn the agent against you
10. Be nice
• The vast majority of estate agents are decent people who work hard in a very competitive market.
• So be nice to them. If you charm them, they might well respond favourably.
11. Enjoy the process
Property owners like to sell their home to someone else they like and think will look after it and take it to the next generation with pride. When you make an offer, make it as though you were the seller, that way you will find the seller will bend over backwards to help you achieve your goals.
Sellers were once buyers and they appreciate people who show respect for their position and property. Every house is a bargain tomorrow. Buy on today’s market and work toward tomorrows value.
Be respectful, adopt an attitude that will ensure the experience is enjoyable, easy and above all look forward to property ownership. Handled well the ownership model will look after you.
Written by Pauliene van Strien
Pauliene is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Mike Pero based on the beautiful Kapiti Coast. Having seen a fair bit of the world after visiting NZ she lost her heart to it and in 2014 took the plunge emigrated her with her husband. You can follow Pauliene on her Facebook page or contact her on email@example.com or 04 902 7800
The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Zealand Home Loans.