There are real estate agents and there are great real estate agents. Don’t assume that your buyer’s agent is exclusively a buyer’s agent and don’t assume he is great. With so many balls to juggle in a real estate purchase, there are some key things that great buyer’s agents will do for you in Los Angeles. Ask for referrals and conduct interviews to make sure your expectations are met and you hire the great agent you deserve.
Understand Desires and Set Expectations
A great buyer’s agent has a formal intake meeting to establish what you need, what you want and what is realistic. This is important since the three rarely are the same. For example, a couple that dreams about a large home with a pool may not be able to afford that home. But what they need is a home with three bedrooms and two baths to accommodate their family needs. Additionally, the intake meeting reviews what the market conditions are like and what types of strategies the client is comfortable with. A hot market may require bidding aggressively and making timeline concessions to be the most attractive offer. A great agent understands all these components before ever taking a client out on viewing appointments.
Shows Appropriate Homes
A great agent isn’t trying to oversell you and get you to extend yourself beyond your comfort zone. Sometimes this involves the home price. Sometimes it involves the home. When it involves the home price, even if a client can afford a little more home, the agent isn’t showing them only higher-priced homes. He is working to show them homes within the budget and may show a home or two above and below just to give the client an idea of the scope and scale of home valuations.
When it comes to the home itself, a great agent isn’t trying to sell a client on a home that is much bigger or smaller than the client stated was his need or desire. This wastes everyone’s time and doesn’t accomplish the goal. For example, a senior citizen might not want a large home with a large yard even though she can afford it. The agent shouldn’t show homes outside the desired size range.
Hold Your Hand When Necessary
A great buyer’s agent understands that buying a home is an emotional roller coaster. The buyer goes from the excitement of finding a home they want to the stress of negotiating an offer. When that is accepted, the inspection phase can put a damper on the buyer’s excitement because of potential problems. Great buyer’s agents do everything they can to prepare clients with every phase of the transaction and take the time to answer questions, even the ones based out of fear or frustration to help clients understand exactly what is happening and what options exist.
Essentially a great agent is a solution finder when it comes to problems in the transaction. This helps put buyer’s at ease knowing the agent will help them through everything.
Explain the Process
The process of buying a home has a lot of requirements. There is the initial contract offer. That sets in motion a series of inspections, disclosures, and future negotiations as well as appraisals and funding components. The great agent explains the process at the onboarding meeting and repeats it as the transaction matures. This eliminates confusion and helps keep clients on track to closing escrow. It also helps keep sellers on track to provide required documents on their end of the transaction. A great agent knows that buyers don’t do this every day and it is overwhelming and things get overlooked if someone isn’t leading the ship.
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