Buying or selling a home is an overwhelming experience, but thankfully, a realtor can serve as your guide every step of the way. Homes are a long-term asset, which means you don’t go through a transition too often. Luckily, realtors work in the industry every day, and they are familiar with the market.
Everyone knows the key to a pleasant experience with something new or different is a set of clear expectations. So, when you do decide to hire a realtor, there are a few things you should expect from the business relationship.
Expectation #1: They Will Set Realistic Timelines
Since the realtor works in the housing market, they can help you determine a timeline to reach your goals. With the growing popularity of HGTV, it is easy to think purchasing a home happens after looking at three different properties and making a decision, but in reality, the process is much more involved.
You might spend months looking at dozens of properties before you find a place to call home. Even then, an inspection may go poorly, or a bank could deny financing leaving you back at square one.
Similarly, if you are selling a home, then one day it might seem like you finally found the perfect buyer, but then the deal falls through for any number of reasons. You can expect a conversation with your realtor on what could happen in the following months once you list your home for sale or decide it is time to start touring.
Expectation #2: You Will Pay a Commission If You Sell Your Property.
Sure, realtors love what they do, but they don’t do it for free. If you're selling a home, then one of the first conversations will be both parties agreeing on the commission the realtor will receive after finding a buyer for the home and moving it off the market.
The commission price is usually a percentage of the purchase price, and the ranges are different for each region and realtor.
The great news is if you're a buyer, the realtor generally won’t charge you to help you find a home.The seller picks up most or all of the tab for the services rendered by a realtor, which gives them the ability to show you homes. In fact, there is no reason not to use a realtor when you are trying to buy a house. Their knowledge and expertise the realtor has about the market is invaluable when you are searching for the right place to call home.
Expectation #3: They Will Understand The Area.
You probably have a preference on what amenities you prefer near your next home such as schools, restaurants, shopping centers, parks or major highways. Realtors usually live in the community where they work or at least have a good working knowledge of it. When you tell the realtor all the little things you hope to have in and near the house, they can tailor home showings to fit your tastes and lifestyle.
Their expertise is even more valuable when you are moving to a new region or state, and you are unfamiliar with the area.
Expectation #4: You Will Know How and When to Communicate.
At the very least, your realtor should be quick to respond to calls, texts or emails. Don't be afraid to call with any questions or concerns about a place you are interested in touring or buying. Always make sure the realtor is comfortable using the communication method you prefer.
If you find an interesting location, how will you let the realtor know you want to schedule a showing? Should you call, text or email? Similarly, if they need to schedule a day of showings, how should they inform you of all the addresses and disclosures?
Once an offer is on the table, response time becomes very important through the negotiation process. Ask them, “If there is ever a special circumstance and I need a response in less than 20 minutes, what is the best way to contact you?”
Before you establish the buying or selling process with a realtor, make sure you both are clear on the communication expectations. How many minutes, hours or days does it take for them to respond to email? Will they text back? Do they answer their phones or does a secretary?
Expectation #5: They Will Stay Within Your Budget
You should expect your realtor to help you find the right home for your budget and lifestyle. You both are on the same team, and they should be just as motivated as you when it comes to closing.
Home buying TV shows like to show a couple a beautiful home outside of their reasonable budget. You shouldn’t have this experience. Instead, you can expect your realtor to stay within your budget because a successful closing requires you to have the capacity and qualification to purchase the home.
If you say you can afford a $180,000 to $200,000 house, they shouldn’t show you a $300,000 property. Sure, the more expensive option may be beautiful, but if it is out of the budget, then it is out of the running.
During your early conversations, you should tell them your budget constraints and a reasonable price range for your next home. If you are more specific with your financial expectations, then the realtor can provide you with a better service.
Expectation #6: They Are Versed in Home Negotiation.
There are seller’s markets and buyer’s markets, and you can expect your realtor to know the current trends.
If you are in a seller’s market, then you have to move fast and send in the best offer earlier rather than later.
If you are in a buyer’s market, then you have the flexibility to negotiate below the listed price or add in special projects before purchasing. Finding a house is tough, negotiating the right price even more difficult. Luckily, if you hire a realtor, then you will have the benefit of someone who is familiar with home negotiations.
Home sellers can also benefit from the negotiation experience of a realtor. Of course, both parties want nothing more than to close a deal. A trusted realtor can let you know if an offer isn’t worth it.
Expectation #7: They Will Give You Their Objective Opinion
When you are buying a house, emotions run high. It’s natural. A realtor can help you step back and make an objective decision when you are overwhelmed by all the options. Sometimes, they can also see flaws in a property when you are enamored by the decor and spacious closets. If you have a good relationship with your realtor, then you can trust their opinions.
When you are selling a home, the realtor can coach you by telling when it is time to accept an offer or submit a counteroffer. The final decision is always yours to make, but with the right realtor you know there is always a team member ready to show you the big picture.
Are you ready to buy or sell? Great! It’s an exciting time. Start the process by calling us for a free consultation at 405.310.2796.