55 things a buyer’s agent should do for you when helping you buying a home.
Most people assume that a buyer’s agent is just someone who drives you around and unlocks doors while you are looking at houses, and then fills out the purchase agreement when you buy. I would like to say that this is completely untrue, but its not. Some real estate agents do exactly that. A professional Realtor on the other hand does much, much more. Here is a list of what a quality buyer’s agent will do for you while buying a home. You should not accept anything less.
The buyers consultation.
- Discuss their process for home searching.
- Give you contact information for both them and their managing broker.
- Set expectations for what to expect in the home buying process.
- They should present you with their agency affiliation disclosure.
- The agent should present you with their office policy on limited or dual agency.
- The agent should present you with their buyers agreement.
- Asking you about your specific housing needs. (house size, area, timeline)
- Listening closely to you for clues and asking leading questions about your life to ensure that nothing is missed in those needs. (e.g. The fact that you love to entertain should lead the Realtor to ask if you need a large living room, bonus room or separate dining room)
- Refer you to a lender and encourage you to get preapproved for your mortgage.
- Answer any questions you may still have about the home buying process.
Home search and house showings.
- Conduct an initial search and disqualify as many houses from it as possible based on your stated needs.
- Present to you the 20 or so homes that best fit your stated needs.
- Ask you for feedback on those homes and how well they fit based on the listing sheets. (Communication is key to this process)
- Take you out and show you your favorites from that list.
- During each and every showing your buyer’s agent should pointing out good AND bad qualities of each home you see. We are there to facilitate your buying process, not sell you something you don’t want.
- After showing each house the buyer’s agent should ask you for feedback on each home.
- Provide feedback to the listing agent based on your comments.
- If you have found a home you want to buy, the Realtor should move on to the offer and negotiation phase. If not, the agent should ask you if there are any adjustments you would like to make to your search, or if you want to go further down the list of possibilities.
- The buyer’s agents should compile the feedback you have given them and use it to make adjustments to the search.
- At this point the real estate agent should set you up an automated search that emails you any new listings that fit your criteria.
- During this whole process the buyer’s agent should be available to take calls and answer any and all questions you may have…and you will have them.
- Repeat 2-7 until your perfect home is found and you are ready to make an offer.
The offer to purchase and negotiation.
- Once you have found your forever home, and are ready to make an offer, the first thing your agent should do is go over your home buying situation with you and develop a negotiation strategy. I know you think it is always the same, but its not. Some people are more concerned with time than money and vice versa, and some care about neither as long as they get THIS HOUSE! On top of that, the market is in constant flux. Every negotiation is different, and should be treated accordingly.
- The buyer’s agent should go over the purchase agreement with you line by line. This is a contract. Many agents treat it lightly and do not inform their buyers of its import. If your agent fits this bill, fire them and get a new one before they get you into a bad legal position.
- The buyer’s agent should write the purchase agreement to match the terms that YOU set forth.
- Present you with the purchase agreement for signature.
- Present you with the sellers disclosure for review and signature.
- Get a copy of your preapproval letter from you.
- Get your earnest money check.
- Present the offer package to the listing agent.
- Call and/or email the listing agent to let them know an offer has been made.
- Wait, and keep you calm when you call several times to see what is happening.
- Receive the offer acceptance, declination, or counter offer.
- Present the counter offer to you and explain your options.
- Write up your counter offer or acceptance, and present it to the sellers agent.
- Repeat 9 through 13 until a deal is made or you decide to walk away. NOTE: through this part of the process it is useful for your buyers agent to maintain an “off record” dialogue with the listing agent to facilitate the deal and keep everyone’s feathers smooth. As always communication skills are one of your agents most important attributes. If they don’t communicate well with you early on, replace them.
- If you walk away, the process starts over with a home search. If you have a deal the agent goes over all of the paperwork thus far to check for completeness and accuracy, and moves on to the closing phase.
Contract to Close. aka “the real challenge”
- The buyer’s agent sends your purchase agreement to your mortgage lender so they can take care of their end.
- Your agent then discusses title company with you and refers companies that you may want to use.
- Sends all necessary paperwork to the title company for your side of the deal.
- If you are getting a home warranty, refers a home warranty company.
- Orders the home warranty.
- Educates you on the types of inspections available and what may or may not be needed for your home and loan situation.
- Refers a home inspector. (You order the inspection though)
- Goes over the home inspection report with you and discusses your options.
- Writes the inspection response, and presents it to you for signature.
- Presents the inspection response to the listing agent.
- Receives and negotiates the listing agents counter to the inspection response. This process repeats similarly to the original offer/counter offer negotiation.
- Coordinates between the title company, your lender, and the listing agent to get all of this straightened out and schedules closing.
- Sit at the closing and makes small talk while you sign approximately 6,235 pieces of paper.
Throughout the home buying process.
- Communicates and coordinates between the various parties in the transaction, to keep the process smooth.
- Acts as your advisor on all parts of the home buying process.
- Answers all of your questions and keeps you on course throughout the process.
- Helps you navigate the stress of home buying by knowing how to solve each problem that comes up.
- Protects your interests first and foremost.