“Be prepared to sign a buyer’s agreement so that your buyer’s agent knows you are serious and ready to go,” Stokes says. “From a consumer protection standpoint, it’s a very good thing for all involved.”
A buyer-broker agreement is a legal contract that defines the relationship between the buyer (that’s you) and your real estate agent. The agreement is good for both parties, since it outlines exactly what services the broker is going to provide. A buyer-broker agreement is also a way to let your real estate agent know that you’re committed to working with this pro to find your home.
And, if the relationship doesn’t end up working out, you can always end the agreement and find another agent to work with. It’s poor etiquette to work with more than one real estate agent at a time, and the buyer-broker agreement shows your agent that you’re not doing that.
“Remember that buyer’s agents are only paid if they close a deal—they aren’t paid for their time,” Van Winkle says. As such, “it’s wrong to call another agent just because yours is unavailable or on vacation.”
Rule 3: Don’t make an offer without mortgage pre-approval
A mortgage pre-approval is a letter from a lender saying it will provide you with financing to buy a home up to a certain loan amount. It makes everyone’s lives easier since it provides proof of how much home you can afford to buyers and agents—and that you can put your money where your mouth is with an offer. Without it, your offer is an empty promise.
“If you want to compete against other buyers for a home, you won’t be able to do that without that pre-approval letter,” says Bill Golden, a longtime real estate agent with Re/Max Metro Atlanta Cityside.
Rule 4: Don’t be late to home showings—or bail entirely
If you have an appointment with your agent to view a home, treat it like a priority. If you’re going to be late or can’t make it, call your agent and let him know.
“If you don’t respect my time, then we don’t have a good working relationship,” Golden says. “Usually, I will have set up appointments to see several homes, and if you’re late or don’t show, I have to try to rearrange all of the showings, which may not be possible on short notice.”
Rule 5: Don’t pretend you’re ready to buy if you know you’re really not
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s such a big part of real estate etiquette it’s worth driving home: Don’t pretend that you’re ready to buy if you aren’t. Don’t enlist the services of a buyer’s agent if you know you’re still in the fact-finding and “just looking” phase of your home search.
So go to open houses. Window-shop. Just be upfront with everyone about where you are in the process. Don’t pretend you’re ready to buy just because you want to be taken seriously. Real estate agents work on commission, so don’t wantonly take their attention away from actual, paying clients and potentially costing them sales, which is a serious thing. Got it?
Buying or selling a home? Looking for an investment or commercial property? I am here to help! My name is Sara Griffin with the Associates Realty Group and it’s my goal to not only help you buy or sell real estate, but to be your REALTOR® for life. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me at 951-220-4491 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: Client Direct)