My First Real Estate Experience and What I Learned From It
First time experiences can be so educational. One can learn what to do again and what not to do ever again. I decided to write about what I learned about in my experience in purchasing my first property rather than working as a Realtor.
The real estate agent I used was knowledgeable and I certainly felt comfortable and confident in her abilities. I learned that this was important because the entire process of purchasing a home is stressful, and if you don't have confidence, the stress level rises. You worry about so many things; am I paying too much, does the agent know the market, will the agent negotiate the best deal for me, id the agent on top of the new properties that come on the market, will the agent refer me to the best lender, inspector, etc, etc... How often does one spend hundreds of thousands of dollars? Is the agent looking out for me, or is the agent just trying to make a buck?
I learned that a buyer consultation to go over the home buying process before you go out looking at houses is important. It sets the buyer up for what to expect and helps answer questions ahead of time. It also gives the buyer a time line to follow. This takes away a lot of the stress and can answer many questions.
The one thing I did learn not to do from my agent, was to not answer my phone while with clients. In other words, when I am on an appointment with a client and my phone rings, I ignore it and let it go to voice mail. My focus is on the client currently in front of me. The agent I had used when purchasing my first home, used to answer her phone constantly and it made me feel like I was less important than her other clients. So, when my phone rings, I explain to my clients that if I don't answer their call, it is because I am currently with another client and I will call them once my appointment is over. And they will receive that same curtesy when I am with them. By letting them know that they have 100% of my attention, lets them know that I care and that my interest is in them and not in just making a buck.
Setting expectations at the beginning of appointments will make for smoother transactions. Not only will my clients have some guidelines, but I will as well. Ground rules for when and how calls will be returned, how searches will be done and a mutual understanding of what to expect from one another.
Life is a continuous learning experience. These are certainly words I live by.