Playing by the rules keeps the peace between buyers and real estate agents
One of my buyers is a brilliant neurosurgeon, top of her class in med school, but she doesn't have a clue about etiquette rules with real estate agents. Nor does she understand why some listing agents have yelled at her when she calls them. In her mind, she hasn't done anything wrong. She is only trying to find out information about a house for sale.
Real estate agents love working with people, but there are always clients who may unintentionally cross the line. Here are a few simple protocols you can use while shopping for a home that will keep you out of hot water and on good terms with real estate agents.
1 Understand Agents Work on Commission
Very few real estate agents work on salary.
Mostreal estate agentsare paidcommission. If an agent does not close a transaction, she does not get paid.
Agents are not public servants and do not work for free. Do not ask an agent to work for you if you intend to cut the agent out of your deal.
2 Keep Appointments and Be on Time
Be respectful, use common courtesy and don't expect an agent to drop what she is doing to run out and show you a home. You are probably not that agent's only prospect or client. And if you are, lord help you.
Do not make an appointment with an agent and then forget to show up.
If you are running late, call and let your agent know when you expect to arrive.
3 Choose a Real Estate Agent
Decide whether you want to work without representation, dealing directly with listing agents, or if you want to hire your own agent.
If you decide to hire your own agent,interview agentsto find an agent with whom you are comfortable.
If you areinterviewing agents, let each agent know you are in the interview stage.
Never, never, never interview twodifferent agents from the same company. Trust me: Don't do it.
4 Do Not Call the Listing Agent If You Are Working With a Buying Agent
Listing agentswork for the seller, not the buyer. If you hire the listing agent to represent you, that agent will now be working underdual agency.
If a listing agent shows you the property, the listing agent will expect to represent you.
Listing agents do not want to do thebuying agent's job. Let your buyer's agent do her job.
5 Practice Open House Protocol
Ask your agent if it's considered proper for you to attendopen housesalone. In some areas, it's frowned upon to go to open houses un-escorted.
Hand your agent's business card to the agent hosting the open house. Sometimes this agent will be the listing agent, but often it is an agent also looking for unrepresented buyers. Announcing you are represented protects you.
Do not ask theopen house host questionsabout the seller or the seller's motivation. Let your agent ask those questions for you.
6 Sign a Buyer's Broker Agreement With a Buying Agent
Expect to sign abuyer's broker agreement. It creates a relationship between you and the agent and explains the agent's duties to you, and vice versa.
Ask about the difference between anExclusive and Non-Exclusive Buyer'sBroker Agreement.
If you're not ready to sign with a buyer's broker, do not ask that agent to show you homes. Otherwise, a procuring clausemay pop up.
Ask your agent if she will release you from the contract if you become dissatisfied. If she refuses, hire somebody else.
7 Always Ask for and Sign an Agency Agreement
By law, agents are required to give buyers an agency disclosure.
Signing an agency disclosure is your proof of receipt. It is solely a disclosure. It is not an agreement to agency. Read it.
The best and most practiced type of agency is thesingle agency.This means you are represented by your own agent, who owes you afiduciaryresponsibility.
8 Make Your Expectations Known
If you expect your agent to pick you up at your front door and drive you home aftershowing homes, tell her. Many will provide that service. If not, they will ask you to meet at the office.
Let your agent know how you want her to communicate with you and how often. Do you want phone calls, emails,text messages, IMs or all of the above?
Set realistic goals and a time frame to find your home. Ask your agent how you can help by supplying feedback.
If you are displeased, say so.
9 Do Not Sign Forms You Do Not Understand
Do not feel silly for asking your agent to explain a form to you. It's her job. Many forms are second nature to agents but not to you, so ask for explanations until you are satisfied you understand.
Do not sign forms titled "Consent to Represent More Than One Buyer." This is never in your best interest. Find another agent if this happens.
Realize agents are not lawyers and cannot interpret law.
10 Be Ready to Buy
If you aren't ready to buy, you don't need a real estate agent. You can go toopen housesby yourself and call listing agents for showings — but be honest. Say you are "only shopping." Look at homes online, but don't waste an agent's time if you aren't ready to act.
If possible, hire a babysitter to care for children who are too young to stay out all morning or afternoon touring homes.
Bring your checkbook. You'll need it to write an offer because anearnest money depositmay be required to accompany yourpurchase offer.
For more info: https://www.thebalance.com/rules-for-working-with-agents-1798904
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