|Daytona Beach Real Estate & Community Events blog. By Lisa C. Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"|
I just read the post below, by Lenn Harley. I liked it so much that I decided to re-blog it. It just has so much sage advice for real estate agents, and provides real estate buyers with a look at the other side of the coin. It's posts like this that I believe, help to bring about a "meeting of the minds". It's all too often that problems occur, strictly because of miscommunications. Plus, this is just a good read =)
Now in the Daytona Beach area, not all of this advice will apply. I say this because our market works differently. Perhaps I'll elaborate on that in another post. For now, if any real estate buyers in the Daytona Beach area are reading this post, I'd really love to hear your opinion about the advice that Lenn provided below.
If you're planning to buy or sell real estate in the Daytona Beach area, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill with Adams Cameron & Co., REALTORS®.
IMPROVE YOUR LEVEL OF SERVICE AND SELL MORE REAL ESTATE BY TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR BUSINESS. Use your time wisely and save it for serious home buyers.
We often read about agents who show properties to buyers for months and sometimes years. That's very nice and may result in a sale. OR NOT. However, in the long run, I believe that buyer's agents will improve their business and income if they take control of their business and establish ground rules for the agent and the buyer.
GRANT ME THE FOLLOWING PREMISES:
- Real estate agents know the listing inventory far better than the average consumer.
- Real estate agents understand market value far better than the average consumer.
- Real estate agents are more familiar with mortgage financing than the average consumer.
- Real estate agents are more familiar with the Contract of Sale than the average consumer.
- Real estate agents have observed more home inspections than the average consumer.
- Real estate agents are more familiar with real estate settlements than the average consumer.
EXPERIENCE IS THE AUTHORITY. Given the above, why do so many licensed real estate practitioners permit consumers to control the home buying process?
THE INTERNET EMPOWERED CONSUMER often believes that they are, through "their own research on the Internet", experts in finding, buying, financing, inspecting homes listed for sale. I dispute that premise. A consumer who is a first time home buyer, second time home buyer, home seller, etc. cannot possibly have the knowledge and experience of a real estate agent or broker who has closed or managed 5-20-100 or 500 sales transactions for buyers or sellers.
ARE WE MANAGING OUR BUSINESS or ARE WE A WALKING KEYPAD?
The walking keypad syndrome manifests itself when a licensed real estate practitioner permits a consumer to
- Select the homes to tour.
- Obtains loan approval without consulting with the agent.
- Contacts the agent an hour before they wish to see a house they found on the Internet.
Many consumers believe that, because of all the information and free advice found on the Internet, that they are competent to make real estate brokerage decisions without consulting an agent. Free advice is not always good advice.
THE NEW PARADIGM FOR REAL ESTATE BUYERS AGENTS:
The Internet presents use with wonderful opportunities to offer our services to buyers who conduct their search for homes on the Internet. However, don't be fooled. Most consumers use the Internet to FIND HOMES, NOT AGENTS. We welcome buyer contacts from our blog or web page. However, the Internet empowered consumer is not likely to have your best interest in mind. Agents must learn to engage Internet leads or referrals with friendly helpful services. However, we must maintain control.
DON'T BE A TOUR GUIDE. Make sure the consumer is qualified for the price range for homes about which they inquired. We have a duty to the home sellers to make sure that buyers touring their home is qualified.
Just because a consumer calls does not mean that you must run out and show a property to a perfect stranger. Experienced agents know that if they run out and show a house to a consumer without some pre-qualifying discussion, not only may the agent be wasting their own time, but how much respect can a buyer have for an agent that is willing to admit them to any house anytime?
If a consumer will not give you income information to qualify them for the price range, they cannot be taken seriously. Folks cannot test drive a vehicle without providing a drivers license and often a credit report permission. Why should be take folks in homes without knowing that they qualify for that price range?
DON'T PUT BUYERS AND AGENTS AT RISK OF INJURY. Schedule home tours when there is sufficient time to avoid rushing. Don't let the buyer persuade you to look at "just one home" after dark or in peak rush hour for the area. House numbers are hard to find and walking unfamiliar properties in the dark is dangerous.
DON'T LET THE BUYER ARRANGE THE TOUR. Arrange the tour route based on geography and not the ones that the buyer want to see first, etc. I have spoken with buyers who want to prioritize the tour. The agent has the tools to arrange efficient tours and not backtrack all around to get to homes. The agent is the one who makes appointments and needs to schedule accordingly.
DON'T MEET STRANGERS AT A LISTING. If possible, meet buyers at an office or convenient location and drive them to properties. This gives the agent the opportunity to have a friendly conversation with the buyer. Nothing bonds a buyer and an agent better than a friendly conversation. Concurrently, you aren't sending a consumer to a listed property without an agent.
DON'T BE A DOORMAT. At peak traffic times, it is possible for a buyer to be delayed. Based on the weather, time of showing, traffic, etc., have a reasonable wait time, 15-20 minuted pre-determined. If the buyer has not arrived without calling, cancel the appointment and go about your business. Waiting an hour for a buyer to show is not going to make them show.
LEARN TO IDENTIFY SERIOUS BUYERS FROM LOOKERS. Always ask a consumer if they are working with an agent. Last minute calls from consumers who want to look at one home on short notice is a clue. They are usually already working with an agent who can't accommodate the buyer at the desired time. Don't be a stalking horse for other agents. If you try to recruit the buyer for yourself, you'll have nothing more than a disloyal buyer.
AVOID LONG BUYER AGENCY AGREEMENTS. Buyer representation agreement that are for 3-6-12 months are an invitation to the buyer to look, look, look for 3-6-12 months. Short initial Agreements encourage the buyer to look now and make decisions. The agreement can always be extended if the parties, buyer and agent, are working well together. However, a short initial agreement gives the agent an opportunity to make sure that the buyer is serious, qualified, available, accessible. Long agreements don't make buyers loyal. All that does is give the agent the contract on which to pursue litigation if the consumer buys with another agent or on their own.
SCHEDULE TOURS EARLY AND OFTEN. Let the buyer understand that, to help them find the best home for their money in their preferred location, you, their agent will be out previewing and researching homes for them to view. If the buyer is not willing to schedule future tour dates, they may not be serious buyers. If at the end of 2-4 weeks the agent doesn't believe that there is a likelihood that the buyer is ready, there is not need to do any more previewing or research.