Welcome to the Home Stream Hustle website. John Houston and Elliott Thomas are here to empower homeowners with the tools, trends, and truth in the real estate market. Today’s post focuses on the importance of a buyer’s agent.
You can also listen to this podcast episode HERE
How do I find a buyer’s agent?
Elliott: A great place to start is within your network. Find people in whose opinions you trust. Maybe you have a friend that works very similar to you, same personality. If they have a great experience then you are in the perfect position to start.
Why do you need a buyer’s agent?
John: So, what do you do when you find someone that you trust? What is the next step?
Elliott: It’s equivalent to dating in real life. If you meet someone that you like, you go on dates with them. If you see that person as the one, you make it official. So, I think that’s the next step.
John: As a buyer, you have to make sure that you are fully committed to the one agent that you pick. You will come across a lot of names and agencies in the process of house hunting. It is the job of the buyers’ agent to look out for your best interest and they will do what is best for you in every step of the home buying process. For instance, if you have any questions about homes, you need to tell you agent, and he will contact the sellers’ agent or the seller. It works well so the buyer does not have to contact the sellers’ agent directly.
The agent is your legal advocate
Elliot: An agent is your “legal advocate” which means you have one individual who is always looking out for your best interest. An uneducated first time home buyer might directly contact the sellers’ agent thinking this is how things work until they realize that they don’t know better than a buyer’s agent. A seller’s agent is the seller’s advocate who is looking after the best interest of the seller. It is the job of the buyer’s agent to get in touch with the sellers’ agent for any information or deal you may need in the home buying process. As a buyer you need to have your legal advocate to make sure things go fair for both the parties and that you are getting to the finish line fast.
How to handle approaching potential buyers?
Elliott: As a buyer’s agent, what should you do when a potential client approaches you? What’s the process you should follow?
John: Well, the most important thing is to meet the person face to face. The in-person meeting should not be taken for granted and it shows that you have the time to find them a house. If you are an anxious buyer who wants his agent always to be there, you might not want to always depend on email communication. You may also sometimes want a face to face conversation. I think it is just important to respect the time, values and wishes of the clients as not everyone is the same. So as a buyer’s agent one should be able to communicate well and always be there for their client.
Elliott: When it comes to face to face you should have that in-person conversation as soon as possible. As a professional, it is not about finding any buyer; it is about finding the right match. It’s not like every buyer is going to be a good fit for every agent or every agent is going to be a good fit for every buyer. It is also about the agent owning the business and being conscious about everybody’s time and deciding on what’s going to be best mutually. It is all about the mutual fit. As a buyer’s agent, you need to outline your needs upfront because you don’t want to waste your time in a neighborhood which you don’t know very well.
John: Most often people ask this question ‘how long does the agreement last?’. How is the buyer able to get out of the agreement without a penalty?
Elliott: It is about determining the duration of the agreement. If there is a trust issue, you need to address it right away. But even if that is not convincing you can reduce the duration of the agreement. You can choose to sign the papers for a month or two (a shorter time-period) rather than having a six months agreement with the agent which sounds like a bigger commitment.
John: Once you establish trust with a new buyer I try to stay away from the six month commitment in finding a home. If you are actively looking to find a home, hopefully it will not take six months to find a home but you can always extend the representation to accommodate the needs of the buyer.
Signing the buyer’s agreement:
Elliot: How soon do you pop the question regarding signing a buyer’s agreement?
John: I don’t believe in having an agreement signed at the first meeting with my buyer. Instead I like to first focus on creating a relationship. You can bring up the topic of buyers agreement at the first meeting so that you don’t catch your clients off guard and lighten the process. You will want to take your time to get to know the buyer and explain how your business operates. Then if it seems like a good fit have the buyer’s agreement signed the first or the second time you go house hunting with the buyer.
Elliott: In my experience, to ensure a good fit, I like to take the buyer out a couple of times, look at few homes and explain to them the process. Give my insights and listen to the needs and wants of the buyer.
Additionally, I always like to get feedback from the client to help me give better service and improve my business to future clients. And I have seen that buyers prefer to work with agents that listen to their needs and guide them in the right direction. I always make sure that the process is fun and enjoyable.
So, the bottom line to the question ‘do you need a buyer agent?’ is: Yes, you do.
To sum up, here are four steps to finding your buyer’s agent:
First, find an agent you trust. Best places to start are your friends and family. People you trust who can give you recommendations. Also, interview a few agents and not just one.
Second, commit to that agent. Your agent will become your advocate in the deal, so it is imperative that you commit to your agent and they commit to you.
Third, it is best to explain all your wants and need upfront with your agent to create a trusting relationship.
Last but not the least; listening is the key to creating that relationship. Without trust, you cannot work healthily with your agent, and that will only create more hurdles for you.
Whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned investor, the Home Stream Hustle is for you. Elliott and I hope that you continue to listen and get value from it. We would love to get your feedback! What do you want to hear about in future episodes? If you have experienced it yourself and have something to share then be sure to tell us more about how this has been for you. Let’s make this thing conversational.
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