How Can I Be a Good Buyer?

Real Estate Agent with Associate Broker, Momentum Realty
Dear Holly,

I have been doing my research and I think I am about ready to hire a Buyer's Agent to help me buy my first home.  I want to be a good Buyer and make sure that my Buyer's Agency relationship is a good one. What are some things I should know about my role in buying a house?

Thank you,

About Ready to Buy

Dear About Ready to Buy,

This is a great question. I think too often, buyers start the process Buyer's Agentwithout really understanding their commitment and , as a result, the purchase process does not go as smoothly as it could.  Education is an important part of being a Buyer's Agent. Make sure that your Buyer's Agent is clear and specific about what they will ask of you and what you can expect in return.

Here are some things that I council my buyers that I will expect from them:

  1. Prompt communication: If I call, email or text you, please respond as promptly as you can. There are many ways to communicate with me, so if you can't talk anytime soon, just let me know when you will be available.
  2. Commitment to purchase: Especially in the shortsale and foreclosure markets, you need to be committed to buying when the right opportunity comes along. This is not a time for casual looking. The good properties move quickly. Once we start looking, you need to be prepared at any time to write a contract. If you don't have your down payment, or if your financing is not lined up, we should not start the process.
  3. Follow through with requests: If I ask you to follow up with your lender or to get some specific documentation to me, please do it in a timely manner.  I can only effectively represent you if you allow me to.
  4. Schedule flexibility: I realize you have a job, and I will work around your schedule to the extent possible, but, for example,  if we put a contract on a home, we will probably need to do a home inspection--and due to time constraints it might require you to take time off or do it first thing in the morning. Keep this in mind as we go through the process. This might be a good time to let your boss know what you are doing.
  5. Trust: We are going to have to trust one another during this process (offer, negotiations, home inspection repairs). Make sure that the trust is there otherwise, it will be difficult to get through the purchase process successfully.
Your agent might have a different list. Make sure you understand your role in the process and what your Buyer's Agent will expect of you prior to signing a Buyer's Agency Agreement. It will make the whole process go more smoothly and you will have the greatest likelihood of ending up with a new home at the end.

Good luck with your purchase!!


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 Momentum Realty

A GREAT Real Estate  experience.

If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!

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Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 09/25/2011 01:20 PM
  2. Mary Macy 09/25/2011 04:32 PM
  3. Ted J. Macy 09/25/2011 04:53 PM
  4. Heather Littrell 09/26/2011 01:57 AM
  5. Charita Cadenhead 09/26/2011 07:43 AM
  6. Andi Grant 09/26/2011 10:20 AM
  7. Joni Bailey 10/08/2011 04:36 AM
  8. Kathy Sheehan 10/10/2011 11:33 AM
  9. Evelyn McCorkle 10/22/2011 03:20 AM
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I think this is a twist on what agents usually do. Buyers expect us to tell them what we will do for them but don't always expect to hear what we expect from them. Good list here.

Sep 25, 2011 12:34 PM #12
Steve Warrene
Your Town Realty - Lower Burrell, PA
Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists

Holly, That is great info to put into a buyers presentation packet. 

Sep 25, 2011 01:01 PM #13
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

the part about taking time off work is huge!  It's like they think title companies, lenders, underwriters, etc... don't have 9-5 jobs.

Sep 25, 2011 01:14 PM #14
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Well said, Holly!  Working with buyers (and sellers, too) is totally a partnership. We need to be available for them and they need to be available and we both need to understand where we are in the process.
Thanks for the reminder!


Sep 25, 2011 01:27 PM #15
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Great post for the ready buyer.  Often buyers do not understand the process and think they start looking at homes without getting their financing in place first.   Good advice!

Sep 25, 2011 02:33 PM #16
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Holly ... Great Points!  Awesome blog!  I'm going to quote much of what you wrote and make it available to buyers!  Great job, very well done!

Sep 25, 2011 02:50 PM #17
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Holly - Many transactions would be easier to complete if buyers were following this list of suggestions and understood what would be required of them.

Sep 25, 2011 03:11 PM #18
Markita Woods NMLS#196099
Fairway Independent Mortgage - Woodbridge, VA
Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA

Excellent list, number five is my favorite...Trust. And of course communication is key!

Sep 25, 2011 03:31 PM #19
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Holly, I like the positive and upbeat tone of this worthwhile post!  All buyers can benefit from the information.

Sep 25, 2011 03:44 PM #20
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Excellent advice, Holly.  I will definitely bookmark this one for future use.  Congrats on your shiny gold STAR.  It looks good on you!

Sep 25, 2011 09:45 PM #21
Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

Thanks for all your commments. I have been working for some first time buyers and think this is important information for them to know BEFORE we start looking. Of course, it is important for every buyer!

Sep 25, 2011 11:45 PM #22
Nancy Pav
Century 21 Redwood Realty - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

I agree, that's a great post.  It's important for both parties to set expectations to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

Sep 26, 2011 12:18 AM #23
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Holly, I would only have one thing to add which falls under communication and that is that if you decide either against buying or going to another area, please let me know so I won't have to wonder what happened to you or that I can help you find another agent in to help you in your new chosen area.

Sep 26, 2011 01:25 AM #24
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Holly, very good points every buyer should be aware of and what is expected of them.

Sep 26, 2011 02:55 AM #25
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Holly:  I SO like that you turn the tables somewhat on potential buyers.  You point out very well that the relationship, expectations, and responsibilities of any transaction are a two-way street.  It's NOT all about the agent providing EVERYTHING in the deal to the buyer.  The buyer has to step-up too.  Expecially in this market, buyers need to know that upfront ... and that they need to be fully engaged in their own process.  Great post ...


Sep 26, 2011 04:11 AM #26
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

Holly, all great points and great advice . I would also add having a preapproval from a good lender who can close on time and does due diligence on borrowers behalf.

Sep 26, 2011 08:03 AM #27
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Gene's comment (#28) pretty much sums it up for me as well! Great post. Bookmarked for future re-blog!!

Sep 26, 2011 08:56 AM #28
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

I like the prompt communication one. Nothing is worse than wondering if your message got lost in cyberspace.

Sep 26, 2011 09:24 AM #29
Andi Grant
310-508-4354 | - Los Angeles, CA
Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA!

Holly, I love this list.  I too work with first-time home buyers who need a little more coaching on buyer protocol and guidelines.  Hence the one I hand them that they sign after we've gone over it. 

Sep 26, 2011 09:46 AM #30
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Holly, I love this post.  I work with a high percentage of first time home buyers and I plan to give them these tips.  Thanks !

Sep 28, 2011 01:29 AM #31
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