Subtle Reasons to Use the Services of a Buyer Agent

Services for Real Estate Pros with NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time

From time to time, the Pastor of my church home mentions that the "message" often takes a week or longer to develop... It ocurred to me that is often how it is with me functioning as a buyer's agent (likely many other buyer's agents as well).

First, we target location, size, bedrooms, baths and other more unique criteria important to the prospective buyer. In the Gulf Coast most agents have been burned by sending MLS listings without first contacting the listing office--so we call the listing office to validate availability and showing instructions.

Second, I get permission to preview properties--which takes about 1/2 day in organizing and physically viewing.

Third, after ruling out obvious misfits for reasons such as: smoking, poor curb appeal or other "don't show me if...criteria" I notify buyers of availability and decide on a time frame for viewing according to their schedule preferences. Next, I map out a tour and try to set appointments logistically.

Showing day arrives. I have made an extra map and an mls flier for each property along with property condition disclosures when available.

Today's criteria was: Long Beach, Mississippi (Harrison County), minimum 4Bed/2Bath, 2000 sq ft. We had six homes mapped ranging in age from 9yrs to 30yrs that fell within the price range of $199K to $238K.

All of the homes were in very presentable condition. I am quite proud of the Long Beach homeowners that made the "cut". Each home on our tour would make a great home for someone. Southern charm is back with sellers and listing agents being friendly and gracious. They were all accommodating about our schedule, granting us leeway as we quickly fell behind schedule from spending so long with each home. (My buyers loved each home, took their time to savor the "feel" and mentally placed furniture, etc...:-)

So now we have a top two homes. Tomorrow I will be rounding up information regarding flood zone rating, county records, etc.

After parting with my buyers I was driving to Biloxi for an appointment with the Cable One production team to work on some listing ads when I suddenly remembered a for sale by owner home I had visited almost 2 years ago that could work for this couple. I made a pit stop by the for sale by owners home and was assured the home was still available. They, were very hospitable.

I boldly asked them why they thought the home had not sold yet as even at 1 point the had listed with a REALTOR of a well known franchise. They bluntly told me that they went in overpriced. And that now because they are not paying an agent they have reduced the price by $17, 000 (I see how well that method is working for them).

I will run the concept of this property by my buyers and show it if they are interested. The property has some very strong points, but also has two troublesome design issues the buyers will not like and will have to correct to be comfortable.

So that is how a week rolls into an afternoon of a well designed home tour. Fun? You betcha!

The buyers are now adding finishing touches to a mortgage preparation package in order to be ready to interview morgage lenders and choose which to pre-authorize with.

What do you think I asked them to do? Keep in mind that I am a firm believer in client empowerment.

Again, this particular Buyer tour was arranged in Long Beach, Mississippi, Harrison County, 39560--which just happens to be my town of residence as well.

I arrange tours of any area by request, but most frequently arrange buyer tours for Gulfport, Long Beach and Pass Christian.

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Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information

Suzi - Impressive. Really well organized and thought out. We always give them a map and flyers too; their own  copy. And the map has the tour we take them itemized on it, with the flyers in order and numbered in sequence.

Hope you've been well,


Dec 07, 2007 01:14 PM #1
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Hey Suzi! I can only aspire to become that organized and rational. These are two relatively difficult goals to attain for me. I arrange tours of our area also but it never seems to go that smoothly! Gary said that he's impressed and so am I. How do you handle the out of town tours? Isn't it difficult to set showings if you are not that familiar with the area?

I am directionally challenged to start with and I'm working an area that covers 450 linear miles of shoreline with oodles and oodles of nooks and crannies. I am blind as a bat so I haven't gotten a navigation system although I got the On Star playback of instructions. I think that is partly why I've become a strong sales person. I keep them lost so long they begin to "depend" on me to get them out of a mess and I am able to wear them down with the quest to find a house!!

Thank you for all the tips. When I'm looking for a home in Long Beach you can bet that I'll call you! Talk to you soon. Deb

Dec 07, 2007 04:26 PM #2
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move
I think folks dont realize all the things we do BEFORE we go out and show homes.  This is a great summery of everything we do.  Thanks!
Dec 08, 2007 06:13 AM #3
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

Hello, Debra and Gary. It is so nice to hear from you both. I am especially pleased to get agent dialogue going in an open blog rather than member only.

First, few agents in our area only work one town. To document that, just visit the websites of specific agents for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Most claim to work the entire Gulf Coast. I don't know how they do that:-) unless it is utilizing the expertise of other agents.

I am most comfortable with Harrison County, Gulfport to the Western boundary. However, if a serious and qualified buyer wants to work with me, I use the above method, including previewing homes before sharing the targeted property list with clients, or, if the buyer feels comfortable I will refer them to an agent with characteristics similar to the ones that drew a specific buyer to me in the first place.

Of course, I am also looking for a licensed Partner, or strategically, a partner in each county, then each town along the MGC.

I have to say my MLS is great! As a Broker I pay $60 a month + the annual NAR dues. (Agents pay $30 a month MLS dues). Once you narrow down properties on the MLS, we can map them and also pull up flood zone info, tax info, parcel info, etc.

The best investment I made in my career was a GPS system. Sometimes I think I overpaid, but I can't tell you the times I have thanked the Lord that I treated myself to this luxury.

After making the MLS map, I simply input to my Honda's GPS "Today's Itinerary". That takes a little extra time, but it is so worth it. In fact, I am not a stranger to any town.

Please note that I do not claim to be an expert to an area itself. Sometimes, it is more beneficial for a buyer to have an agent that can be honestly objective and focusing only on their specific needs. There is so much we can't say anymore regarding neighborhoods... Buyers need to do their own research for some questions they have--such as school reports, crime reports.

Debra, in another blog we were talking about water front property--If you have anyone interested in Beach front residential and/Or Commercial property along the MGC, we still have LOTS and LOTS :-) available for purchase.

Dec 08, 2007 06:31 AM #4
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

James, we must have been writing at the same time. This was the purpose for this particular blog. I know with the internet and so much information available to the consumer, that often they ask, "Why, use a Buyer Agent?"

Every time I work with a Buyer I convince myself of my own worth--sometimes I forget, myself:-)

#1: REsearch--prescriptive and scientific, as close to objective as you can get in the real world.

#2: Previewing--Example: if I had not previewed and shown every home that met the specifics of the first list, these buyers would have been: 1) Disappointed, 2) Frustrated, and 3) We may have ran out of time to see the most qualified homes that made the first cut after preview.

Previewing may be intimidating for some agents, but a preview is simply looking for things that you won't find in the MLS listing. You have a client with allergies that cannot tolerate residual smells from smoking, or pet dander...Well, it won't do any good to show this home.  Two homes did not make the grade because in comparing with other homes on the list they were over priced, tired looking, and had no appeal beyond agent photos in the MLS. (A few were downright disgusting, why should the client be bothered with these?)

#3: My niche with buyers seems to be falling into the busy executive and the "new" to the area folks who just don't want to go it alone.

#4: By previewing properties, the added benefit to me is that I become more familiar with more listings with each round of previews.

To tie in Debra's statement about working more than one town--I have worked with buyers who do not care which town in the MGC, but do care about price, size, # bedrooms and baths, ...maybe they want to be close to the interstate, or a minimum 2 miles from the beach so they don't have to be in the wind pool--this does take more time and effort on my part, but I use the same tools outlined above and get the same results.

Thanks for commenting on an "open to the public" blog.


Dec 08, 2007 06:53 AM #5
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Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
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