The following are some tips for Realtors® when working with buyers. If you are a buyer, then you know you have a good Realtor® when they make you follow these steps. If they don't make you follow these steps that tells you something about your Realtor® too.
With the high inventory of homes for sale, it has been a buyer's market for quite a while now. Today the Realtor® who has access to a steady stream of qualified buyers is in a golden position. The issue that most often plagues buyer agents is working with a buyer only to have them flake out and end up either not buying a property or not buying it through you. These issues have caused many a buyer agent to want to pull their own hair out in disgust.
The current economy has gotten many people nervous, especially people who are potentially buying big ticket items like a new home. So you certainly cannot expect every prospective buyer to become a homeowner. However, there are ways to screen out the wannabe buyers who may want to try and buy a house at some point in the future from the serious buyers who are going to buy a house within the next 90 days or so, and that is what this article is all about. Working with buyers is a three-step process. The first step is the qualifying interview, the second step is the buyer agency agreement, and the third step is finding and selling them a property.
The qualifying interview may be a longer process for some Realtors® and it may be a shorter process for others. There is no set way to do it, but at some point you are going to want to sit down with a prospective buyer, learn their needs and desires, get them pre-approved for a mortgage, verify their financial situation, and get them started on their home-buying journey. I urge all Realtors® to not skip this step. Just because a buyer calls you up out of the blue one day and asks you to show them a property, don't drop everything and drive over to meet them just because you have nothing else going on. Showing properties to un-interviewed, un-qualified buyers is not only a potentially big waste of time. It can also be a potentially dangerous situation. How many other businesspeople go out and meet strangers at vacant houses on a regular basis? Be wise, screen them first. If your mortgage broker has all their financial information and has approved them for a loan, odds are they are a real buyer and not a time waster or worse, a criminal.
The second step is the buyer agency agreement. No Realtor® would ever list a house for sale without a signed listing agreement. In fact the MLS requires you to have one. But I would guess that 80% or more Realtors® will spend hours and days of their time working with a buyer without having a signed buyer agency agreement in place. These agreements not only legally protect your commission, but they also provide you other protections. Other Realtors® must inquire if a buyer is represented by another Realtor® under a signed buyer agency agreement. If the buyer is represented, the other Realtor® is ethically prohibited from working with that buyer (See NAR Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 16-5.) If the buyer is not represented, another Realtor® could ethically get them to sign an agreement and potentially snatch your customer away from you. Lastly, a signed buyer agency agreement can help mentally reinforce to a buyer that they are working with you as "their" Realtor®.
The third step is finding and selling them a property. This is probably the easiest step right now. There are plenty of homes for sale and many sellers are very motivated to make a deal happen. Getting the buyer's financing to go through is a different story for a different article.
I will recommend to any Realtor® that is focusing on buyers to get your Accredited Buyer's Representative (A.B.R.) designation. The course goes into great detail regarding all three steps that I have outlined in this article. Sales are up, so get out there and sell a home to your buyer today.
(Copyright © 2008. Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Rob Arnold - Your full service and investor friendly Realtor in Orlando and Central Florida.
ABR, CPL, CRB, GRI, Managing real estate broker, Licensed mortgage broker, Notary Public
Learn to invest in Central Florida real estate and Orlando real estate. Investor mentoring and counseling available. We sell properties, list properties, and we buy houses cash throughout the Central Florida & metro Orlando area.
I also provide flat fee MLS listings, For Sale By Owner, and menu-based services in most parts of Central & South Florida, the Space Coast, and the Treasure Coast including Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Debary, Deland, Mount Dora, Eustis, Clermont, Kissimmee, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton, Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Port Saint Lucie, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainesville, Volusia, Brevard, and more.