There used to be a time I have old heard of that the Realtor controlled the information, the access and the transaction because they had the license and the Cadillac and the weird yellow sports coat. But today things have changed and while there are still many similarities the role of the real estate agent is ever changing and you should know what to expect from your buyers agent. I want to point out where the agent carries value and also what you maybe should not expect as you go down the road of buying a house. So below is a list of what to expect from your Realtor when buying a house.
Transaction Management– I put this at the top of value added tasks a Realtor could bring to the purchase of a home. After you have negotiated the purchase there is a regular stream of emails and assignments that good buyers agents handle with ease and communicate well throughout the process. Yes we forward a lot of emails but we also do a great job of scheduling inspections, pushing to keep title work on track and can work hard to assure the lender, closer and buyers are all on the same page. You should rely heavily on your agent to manage the timeline and important tasks of a transaction and should expect this to be natural to your seasoned agent.
Vendor Referrals– A great seasoned buyers agent has a resource for literally every task along the way throughout the buying period. Need an inspector? Here are 2. Need radon mitigated? Call this company. Need someone to do some repair estimates before closing? Consider it done. Need to try another lender? Well you should have taken our referral in the first place. This is one of the best resources a buyer’s agent can be throughout a deal and you should be able to trust their suggestions along the way. We know who doesn’t show up or who is a bad fit for a repair and are glad to share our connections with our clients to get a sale closed. I even suggest when buying a h0me to ask your agent for their running list of vendors up front to know that you are in good hands. If they hand you 1 name of their relative that can “fix anything,”I would ask again.
Community knowledge– Moving to a new area or neighborhood cannot only be stressful but risky if you have not vetted the pros and cons thoroughly. A great buyer’s agent will take the time to do some research as well as provide you with valuable information on what may specifically affect your move. School system, home values, crime reports and over all community info is important before you commit hundreds of thousands of dollars so asking them to provide some info is easy peasy. Ask your Realtor to provide critical data as well as market knowledge to help you make a smart decision. They can find out for you if prices are rising or falling and they can also give you a report on the quality of the area whether it is schools or crime reports. These are things we see every day and our information is valuable way beyond just the house you are considering. Ask specifics and expect good answers from a buyer’s agent as you move into a new community or neighborhood.
Condition, Quality and Crap– We look at dozens of houses per week many times and have witnessed the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to homes in all price ranges. So asking us for an educated opinion is a smart move when it comes to questioning a homes condition. We really have a pulse on terrible home improvements and red flags that a seller may have spent too much time at Home Depot. We can also give you comparisons on homebuilder’s materials and quality of construction that can be critical in a long-term investment. Our job 1 is to represent you the buyer and asking us to assess these items can save you the guess work of whether or not you will need to address certain conditions down the road or if they have been already taken care of. There is also a value in knowing that something that may seem major or expensive to a buyer is a quick fix or can be correct simply and inexpensive and not worth losing a great home over.
Ethical Professional Representation– Sounds cheesy but its important to know that your buyer’s agent has your best interest in mind from day one through closing. I have watched agent’s only focus to be closing the sale and collecting the commission without real concern of what the buyer is stuck with afterwards. They may be fun or nice but in the end your Realtor needs to do their best to guide and negotiate on your behalf and only for the best outcome to you. If for an instance you feel like this is not the case you need to address the issue and regain that level of trust and comfort as there are a thousand other great agents out there that will bend over backwards for your success in buying a home.
They just sell Real Estate – So as my last point I pick something that just makes most veteran agents cringe in dealing with the “I do everything” Realtor. You should rely on your agent to handle the purchase of a home and be an expert in that but when they start offering their other services as apposed to other expert services, you should be weary. Successful Realtors are rarely contractors, lenders, title agent, designers, developers, social media influencers, cabinetmakers, lawyers or any other service that requires skill and practice. Yes they sort of exist in certain settings but if your agent refers you to himself or herself more then others you may want to ask them for a list of references and success stories before you commit. It is easy for us to see an opportunity for more business or pieces of the pie but truthfully a buyer’s agent that is the “everything” is probably not and can cause great headaches throughout the process. It may be a red flag as well at their focus on the craft you have hired them to assist you in and as nice as they may be, may not be the best fit for your next home purchase.
As usual we all want buyers to be happy and there are so many awesome buyers agents out there that no one should have to settle for less or feel like they are alone in a transaction. A great Realtor can bring a lot of value to a huge purchase and can make a deal run a lot more smoothly when it seems like it is falling apart. Rely on a great agent and be sure to put your needs first from day 1 in a home purchase. Good luck!
Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt owns WKRP Indy Real Estate and specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.