August 29, 2011
Tips for working with a REALTOR®
by Kelley Skar
- Be respectful, use common courtesy and don’t expect an agent to drop what she is doing to run out to show you a home. You are probably not that agent’s only prospect/client.
- Do not make an appointment with a real estate agent and then forget to show up.
- If you are going to be late, call and let your agent know when you expect to arrive.
- Decide whether you want to work without representation: dealing directly with listing agents, or if you want to hire your own agent.
- If you decide to hire your own real estate agent, interview agents to find an agent with whom you are comfortable. If you are interviewing agents, let each agent know you are in the interview stage.
- If listing agents show you the property, the listing agent will expect to represent you.
- If you aren’t ready to buy, you don’t need a real estate agent. You can go to open houses by yourself; call listing agents for showings — but be honest, say you are “only shopping”; look at homes online; but don’t waste an agent’s time if you aren’t ready to act.
How We Work as a Team
If you are heading out to Open Houses (which I suggest) make sure to hand your agent’s business card to the agent hosting the open house. Sometimes this agent will be the listing agent, but often it is an agent also looking for unrepresented buyers. Announcing you are represented protects you.
Let your agent know how you want them to communicate with you and how often. Do you want phone calls, e-mails, text messages, IM’s or all of the above?
Set realistic goals and a time frame to find your home. Ask your agent how you can help by supplying feedback.
If you are displeased, say so.
Do not feel silly for asking your agent to explain a form to you. It is their job. Many forms are second nature to agents but not to you, so ask for explanations until you are satisfied you understand.
Bring your check book. You’ll need it to write an offer because an earnest money deposit may be required to accompany your purchase offer.
Agency and Contract Law
Realize agents are not lawyers and cannot interpret law.
Listing agents work for the seller, not the buyer. If you hire the listing agent to represent you, that agent will now be working under dual agency
By law, I am required to give buyers and sellers an Agency Disclosure. Signing an agency disclosure is your proof of receipt. It is solely a disclosure. It is not an agreement to agency. Read it.
The best and most practiced type of agency is the single agency. This mean you are represented by your own agent who owes you a fiduciary responsibility.
About the Contributor
Kelley has consistently been in the top 5% in sales since he started full time in the real estate industry in 2008. He went through a major shift in his marketing plan at the end of 2009, recognizing the trend, and making the move towards digital marketing including websites, video, blogging and social media. Kelley is incredibly passionate about the use of technology and social media in his business and is often sought out for advice from other Agents from across North America. Kelley’s primary websites are: http://nwcalgaryliving.com and http://kelleyskar.com.