If you are in the market to buy a home, your chosen real estate agent should first above all and anything else, uphold the law of real estate in this fair state! Or any state for that matter. All licensed real estate agents and brokers are bound by the real estate law in which they have their license. While on that subject, don’t be afraid to ask your agent for a copy of their license. It may seem crazy but there are a few unlicensed practitioners out there who will usually be asking you to pay their commission. That’s because they cannot be a member of the MLS without a license.They may have let their license run out and still be working. Don’t get duped.
All real estate agents that are members of a REALTOR association are bound by a strict Code of Ethics. All licensed real estate agents and brokers, whether REALTORS or not, are bound by real estate law. One of the most important rules we must abide by is honesty. Whether servicing a client, talking with any party to a transaction, or just talking with the public, we must always be honest.
How do you judge if your agent is honest – all the time – if you’ve never met them or spent very little time with them. It’s important to consider interviewing agents before you start working with them and ask a lot of questions. An honest agent will have no problem answering your questions with ease or simply state, I don’t know. A dishonest answer or fabricated answer will usually be clear to you. Trust your gut!
Is your agent able to provide references? If not, why not? A rookie agent may not have any yet but experienced agents should have no issue giving you names.
A Good Listener
Interview potential candidates! You can pick the best to interview by reading their blogs. That will save you some time.
The interview will show whether a real estate agent has the ability to sit and listen and not interrupt until you are finished. This is so important. How can we possibly help you if we do not listen to your needs! We need to understand your situation. Listening to you helps us understand what you may know and may not know. Then we can fill in the blanks for you, guide you, help you.
Help and Guidance – Not Pressure
Yes selling real estate is a sales environment. We only get paid when our buyers buy a property. It’s hard to work for no money and that happens a lot for many reasons. But it’s no excuse to start ladling on the pressure to buy. Pressure can come in the form of constantly calling you for updates on your situation, finding out which houses you like the best, asking if you are ready to write an offer.
Don’t get me wrong, communication is important and required. Lack of communication is an all too often reason that buyers fire their real estate agent. A top producing agent will find out from you what your expectations are regarding communication. The phone, email and text are all used commonly today. We understand you are busy and technology has certainly made the communication aspect easier. So there’s no excuse for silence.
During the process of looking at homes your real estate agent should be guiding you on current sales activity, pricing and keeping you up to date with new listings or price changes. Your real estate agent’s job is to make sure you have the information you need and want, to buy your home on your timeframe. I hope they listened to you!
Talking of Technology
We are all different when it comes to use of today’s technology. For communication top real estate agents will be using s and will never answer it with Hello! The best buyers agents are professional and work professionally in everything they do, including answering the phone, emailing by computer and phone, texting, and responding fast.
Buyer’s agents should also be using digital signature software. With many buyers moving 50 or 500 miles, or even more, it’s not realistic to expect a buyer to come to the office to sign paperwork! Digital signing software is easy to use by us and by you, our buyers. It can save time too, let’s get your offer in quickly!
We must also have real estate apps on our phones and tablets. So we can find any home you see while driving around and give you the details on the spot. It answers questions you may have about the house you are currently viewing. It’s a great way to cut down on paper too!
The Best Business Connections
When buying property you need more than just an expert real estate buyer’s agent. Here in Northern Illinois when buying you’ll need many other service providers including loan officers, home inspectors, radon testers, attorneys, as a minimum. The best real estate buyers agents will have the best recommendations to provide you with quality service.
As one of the best buyer’s agent’s we always recommend both a home inspection and a Radon test for every home, no matter the condition and age. Remember, what you cannot see is what will hurt you. We’ve worked with many business connections over the years and have the best team. We like to call it our A Team.
Availability & Flexibility
Do you want to work with a full time agent or part time. Only you can answer that question but remember two things.
- The top producing real estate agents likely work early to late, 7 days, holidays and more. This may work well with your schedule.
- The majority of real estate support works business hours. Home inspectors, banks, attorneys are working 8am-6pm, what if your agent is also working those hours on their other job. Can they answer the phone, troubleshoot problems, attend inspections etc.
Full time agents love the flexibility of the job because we can go shopping, run errands, walk the dog during the quiet parts of the day, yet still serve our clients daily. We accept we work beyond 6pm, often lose weekends to showing property, even work on Holidays.
Make sure the agent you choose does not have a rigid schedule that will not work for you. Good buyers agents know you work likely during the day and have a flexible schedule to work with you. We cannot always be available on short notice but we won’t be making excuses all the time because it’s a Sunday or late in the day.
Ask any potential agent what their schedule is like, how many clients they are currently servicing, what their flexibility is.
You should expect that your agent will be on time. If not then you should be told why and how late they’ll be. A good agent will respect your time. Tardiness on the part of your agent is not acceptable often. If your agent is always late, maybe it’s time to find a better one!
We do expect our clients to respect our time too. We do have a life and sometimes cannot answer the phone or stop for a showing immediately. We should let you know if we are not available for extended periods of time, like vacations or a hospital appointment, anything that takes us out of action for a half day or more.
Our responses to you should be timely too. If we cannot take your call or answer your text/email, your expectation must be to get a response the same day.
Knowledge Of The Local Real Estate Market
We already know that the most important thing real estate buyers want is local knowledge. That means knowledge of the areas in which they serve and also the real estate market. A website belonging to your agent should be publishing regular stats for the areas served. A lot of the knowledge comes from researching for these reports and also from observing the market and selling homes.
Knowledge of a market will help a real estate agent guide you towards making the right offer to ensure success. You’ll need your agent to help identify overpriced homes so neither of you waste valuable time. Low balling overpriced homes rarely leads to success.
Skilled Strategist and Negotiator
A buyer’s agent is your advocate. When you decide on a home to buy a great agent will not only be able to let you know a target buying price but will have the strategy and experience in negotiation to get you there. You’ll need someone who is strong but not pushy, can validate your offer rather than defend it. Negotiations are always a two sided event, so an agent that can respond no matter which way it turns is one that knows his or her business as a buyer’s agent very well.
Knowledge Of The Local Rules, Regulations, & Required Documents
Property sales and the rules of local government differ village by village, town by town. Working only in the areas we know best means you’ll get an agent that either has the answers or knows where to turn to find them. Here in Barrington our villages all have village halls. Those are the best place for community guidelines. We know where they are!
Since buying a home requires lots of patience, dedication, and persistence, it’s important that you have a top notch buyers agent in your corner. There are certain things you should absolutely expect from your real estate agent when buying a home, many of which are listed above. By having a top producing buyers agent in your corner, you’ve given yourself a huge advantage over other home buyers.
About the author: “What Should You Expect From Your REALTOR When Buying A Home – Top 10” was written by Corinne Guest, REALTOR and Managing Broker of Barrington Realty Company. With over 10 years experience working with buyers, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
I service the following Barrington, IL, and Neighboring areas: Barrington, Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness, Deer Park, Tower Lakes, Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove, Palatine, Fox River Grove, Wauconda, Cary, Algonquin, Dundee, Island Lake, Lake in The Hills, also known as the northwest suburbs of Chicago Illinois.
Are you a prospective Barrington home buyer? Are you looking for a top real estate agent for this community? I’ve helped many buyers move into the Barrington area over the years. I’d love the opportunity to help you now! Contact me for a no pressure chat, it can be formal or informal, your choice.