The tediousness of the home buying process which requires utmost understanding of the process, patience and dedication makes the service of a professional and trusted real estate agent very crucial to you, the home buyer.
Real estate agents, otherwise known as realtors, absorb the stress and chaos so that you do not feel the pressure. They help you find a home and secure it with an executed sales contract. They walk you through each step of the transaction – from the beginning on to closing, performing various responsibilities. Trying to buy a home without a realtor can make the process more tedious.
However, as it is in other fields of human endeavour, there are genuine, qualified, experienced and trusted real estate agents as much as there are fake, low-performing ones. You must, therefore, be careful when choosing a real estate agent, and ensure you learn how to interview prospective realtors in order to differentiate between the real and the unreal.
Having a real estate agent who knows their onions and is top of their game represent your interest can make all the difference, especially if you are buying a home for the first time.
What then are the things you should expect and/or demand from your real estate agent when buying a home? The answer to this is clearly highlighted and explained in the section below.
Knowledge of the Local Real Estate Market
Real estate markets differ from one location to another and change from time to time. This explains why real estate agents often have a domain where they operate. It extremely essential that your real estate agent have knowledge and experience of the local real estate market of the place where you want to buy a home.
A real estate agent, who has been in the business in the area for several years, and has sold many homes within the local market, will be able to negotiate and recommend a price that is accurate. And this will be an advantage for you.
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Verified Track Record and Success
Expect a good sales history and excellent track record from your real estate agent when buying a home. Ask about their sales success history in the industry. There are different level of knowledge. A buyers’ agent who has not sold any home before definitely does not possess the same experience and knowledge as an agent who has sold many.
Ensure that their sales history is verifiable. This is why you have to learn how to interview a buyers’ agent. Ask them questions regarding the number of homes they successfully sold to buyers in the past and how long they have been in the business.
Business is not a joke as it involves money and time, so you should expect professionalism from any business partner you are dealing with. The same goes for a buyer’s agent. Lack of professionalism leads to waste of money, energy and time.
One of the ways to act professionalism is by keeping to time. If you have a meeting with your real estate agent at a property you probably want to inspect at a particular time, and they do not show up on time, it is a show of lack of professionalism. Being late for appointment is bad for business and the parties involved.
A lot of time is expended into buying a home for the process to be successful. So, you expect your buyer’s agent to devote their time to you as much as you do even when it is not convenient.
Real estate agents often have a flexible schedule knowing full well that their clients may not be free at certain period or time. For instance, if the only time you have to inspect a prospective home is weekends, you expect your real estate agent to make out time for you. If your real estate agent is always giving excuses for their unavailability, you may want to reconsider if they are fit for the task.
Reputation and Strong Reputation
Your real estate agent must be a strong negotiator since they are there to represent your interests, and ensure you get the best possible price. You also expect them to have an unquestionable reputation in the real estate markets with other agents.
An aggressive, lazy or difficult buyer’s agent will most likely not be able to close any deal. Home sellers also look out for reputation when transacting business with real estate agents. Remember you are probably not the only buyer who wants the house and the seller will certainly weigh the offers they receive and make decisions. So the reputation of your agent can determine the outcome of your offer.
Knowledge of Local Rules, Regulations and Required Documents
As it is with the price and value of real estate, the rules and regulations governing real estate in each locality differ. Same can be said of the documents required for transaction. In Nigeria, for instance, the property laws in each state are different. So you expect your buyer’s agent to have deep knowledge of the local rules and regulations and all the documents required in each state so that there will not be problems in future.
If you are purchasing a home in an estate, it is important your agent know the residents associations. In Nigeria, your real estate agent must also know how to relate with registering/permit authorities in the state you are planning to buy a home.
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Quality Business Connections
A real estate transaction involves the inputs of several industry professionals who will interact at one point or the other. These professionals include but not limited to real estate agents, home inspectors, structural engineers, mortgage consultants and attorneys/lawyers.
This is why your real estate agent must have a good business connection so as to recommend the best hands. This will enable you to get the best quality service you crave.
For instance, you need the service of a professional and experienced home inspector to help inspect the home in order to guide against loss of money in future due to unnoticed defects in the home. So, it is essential your real estate agent have such person to recommend to you.
Use of Current Technologies
Your real estate agent should be able to utilize the best current technologies relevant to the industry. Technology changes every time and new tools are being introduced every day in every field, the real estate industry not an exception.
Two of the most useful real estate technologies that your real estate agent needs are digital signature software that allows people obtained required signatures without meeting physically with a buyer, and gadgets that will ensure seamless communication between you and your real estate agent.
Frequent communication is required between you and your buyers’ agent when buying a home if you want the process to be seamless. Lack of communication is bad for business, and the sellers’ market is very competitive. Professional and experienced realtors are not the ones to be pursued to observe basic etiquettes like acknowledging emails, text messages and phone calls promptly and efficiently.
Your buyers’ agent should constantly get in touch with you to let you know when a new listing that fits your specifications is available and whether a home you had shown interest in potentially has been having other purchase offers.
It is important you work with a licensed real estate agent that can adheres to all required stringent code of ethics and standards of practice when buying a home. Your agent should be honest and practise full disclosure.
Though it is not easy to judge whether a buyers’ agent is totally honest, you can check if you have partial or total confidence in them. Confidence and trust are built on the way we project ourselves and act.
If you do not have full confidence in any buyers’ agent because of the way and manner they behave, it is better to drop the fellow. Also, if your prospective buyers’ agent is not willing to divulge basic information like contacts of the past buyers they have represented for you to research their history, something might be wrong.
Look for red flags and be on the alert as an honest buyers’ agent is in the best position to point your attention to potential red flags in a home during inspection.
Buying a home is a tedious exercise, so it should not be handled with kids’ gloves. This is why you should have a trusted, qualified and experienced buyers’ agent represent your interest. Such person should at least have the qualities and factors discussed above, as this will give you a hedge over other home buyers and make the process easy to navigate.
If you are interested in further consultation on this subject, contact us. We are a foremost real estate development company turning Africa to smart cities, enhancing the productivity and living standards of Africa. You can invest in any of our premium affordable luxuries that surpass everything you want in a home.