Choosing a Buyer’s Agent
Buyers come across Realtors in many ways; they may have a friend or family member that is a Realtor, or maybe one was referred to them or they found one online. Whichever way, if you are seeking the help of a Buyer’s Agent, you should ask them some questions to make sure they’d be the best fit for you.
Your agent should be a communication expert. In this market, houses move fast, so you can’t wait days for your agent to get back to you. We all have technology at our fingertips, so there is no reason for your agent to not get back to you within the same day or even within hours. Also, respect that your agent may not always be able to take your call or text right away, they may be with other clients and is giving them their full attention.
Your agent should give you their full attention. When you are in a meeting, looking at homes, at an inspection, etc…your agent should be concentrated on the task at hand. Not to say they may not look at their phone or answer a quick text if you’re occupied with an inspector or walking the back yard of a home but for the vast majority of the time they should be listening and concentrating on you. This also means they should not be late for appointments. Your time is valuable!
Your agent should know how to navigate a tough buyers market. With homes going so quickly and budgets sometimes limited, your agent should have other ideas to help you win in a multiple offer situation.
Your agent should be able to steer you in the right direction for all your questions. Whether it would be lending, title, inspections, repairs, insurance, movers, or interior design, your agent should be able to give some insight but also give you the contact information for reputable experts.
A buyer’s agent should ask you to sign an agency agreement and be able to explain it clearly. In Wisconsin, unless an agent and a buyer have a signed Buyer Agency agreement, the agent has to work in the best interest of the seller (since the seller does have an agreement signed with the listing broker). Most buyers think that if an agent is working with them to find them a home, they are their “buyer’s agent” and are working in their best interest. However, in Wisconsin, you have to have a signed agreement for that to be true. It can be confusing to buyers, which is why the agent should be able to explain it clearly.
Your agent should be assertive and knowledgeable. Realize that your agent, if you offer on a home, will be the one doing the negotiating. If you get the impression that your Realtor “goes along to get along” or maybe doesn’t know many answers to your questions it might be time to interview other agents. You hire an agent to lead you through this process, not the other way around. Not all people are meant to be Realtors!
Consider the company and/or team your agent works with. Even if your agent is new, if they have a solid company and/or team surrounding them, they will have the support they need. If they are a veteran agent, ask the support they get from the company and/or team. This may be of great value to you as they may share transaction experiences with each other and help out when your agent may be out of town.
Also check out our blog “Cold Hard Facts About Home Buying.”