There are seven things you should know about professional Realtors when you become a home buyer. When a professional Realtor works for his buyer clients, his primary objective is to serve them. If you understand how a professional Realtor thinks you will be better prepared to benefit from the buyer agency relationship and make a better home buying decision. The relationship with your Realtor is one that should be used to benefit you. Here are seven things you should know about a professional Realtor that will enable you to be better prepared to buy a home.
1. This may seem obvious but often it is not discussed or well understood. Your Realtor works in the real estate business to provide an income for himself and his family. Most Realtors get paid on commission basis. He is motivated to work for you because he will receive a commission after the sale has completed. This is a normal and healthy remuneration structure for most industries and one that actually works in the best interest of those served. As a buyer, you will rarely have to pay a Realtor out of pocket just to have his advice and guidance through the home buying process. This system is even better than having someone work for free because people are motivated to do a better job for their clients when they will receive a commission. As well you will feel a measure of satisfaction after the work is complete knowing that you did not directly pay for professional real estate services.
2. In spite of the above noted fact, a professional Realtor does not want to sell you a home. True professionals put their client’s interest above their own. In the spirit of professionalism this basic value directs a professional Realtor to help the client find the right home and get the best deal possible for the client. Because Realtors are paid on a commission basis, it may seem counter intuitive to think that a Realtor will actually help negotiate a lower than asking price for his client yet a professional Realtor will always try to get the best possible price and terms for his client whenever possible. When a Realtor acts with his self interest ahead of his client’s interest, it is unprofessional. Commission based sales is the nature of the business but true professionals do not allow the amount of commission influence their recommendation for you as the buyer.
3. Professional Realtors are knowledgeable and informed. They stay up to date on changes in the regulations around trading in real estate and they are prepared to advise you to act in your best interest. Negotiating without information is a sure way to get tied into the wrong deal. Having correct information and receiving informed guidance will go a long way to prevent you from succumbing to numerous pitfalls and ending up with an undesirable result from your real estate transaction.
4. Your buyer agent's company is working for many clients at the same time. Some of those clients will be vendors. You may be interested in a home belonging to a vendor who is a client of the same company. This will create what is referred to as dual agency. There are special rules to understand about dual agency that will affect how your agent can advise you on making an offer. If you don’t understand dual agency, ask your Realtor to explain it before you look at a home listed with your agent’s company. This will help you know how to negotiate as a buyer should you decide to make an offer on this home.
5. A professional Realtor will represent your interests throughout the negotiating process unless he has a legal obligation to the vendor. As a buyer you are entitled to as much information about the property you want to buy as you would like to have. It is your right and prerogative to ask as many questions and get whatever information you need to assist you with your decision. You should never feel like you are annoying your Realtor by asking questions. A professional Realtor will ensure that you get the answers to all your questions before you begin the negotiating process or he will build a condition into your offer that allows you to withdraw from the transaction without penalty once you have the answers should they be unsatisfactory.
6. A professional Realtor will keep you fully informed throughout the home buying process. You should expect him to call you and update you on events as they unfold. You will need to remain informed throughout as some things may come up that will probably cost you money, time or inconvenience. No decision should be made without you being informed unless you have specifically indicated to your Realtor the latitude of decisions he can make in his role as your Realtor.
7. You are the boss. Even though you may be relying on your Realtor for advice and good guidance, you ultimately have the right to reject that advice and do something different. You are the client and as such, you make the final decisions throughout the home buying process. If you do go against your Realtor’s advice for any reason, be sure you clearly communicate with your Realtor why you are doing that. This will help ensure that you have the full cooperation from your Realtor. As long as you are not suggesting he do something illegal or unethical, a professional Realtor will not "get his nose out of joint" in this situation. The results of your dealings should be those that are satisfactory to you, the buyer. Your Realtor will be satisfied that he has done a good job as long as you have achieved your goals and in the process, you have done it just the way you chose to.
R. Greg Osmond is a Platinum Award winning Realtor serving St. John’s and surrounding areas, Newfoundland and Labrador for over 20 years and can be reached at 709-895-2500. Visit http://www.rgregosmond.com/ for further information.