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Author: Barry Fotheringham
WORKING WITH YOUR REALTOR®
In my last article I suggested ways to find a good REALTOR®. Now that
you have found that person, I have some thoughts for you.
REALTORS® will generally work under one of two methods depending upon
the state's requirements. In states where lawyers are not usually involved
in a transaction, you may be asked to sign an Agency Disclosure. This
is not a contract between you and the REALTOR®. Consider it a hand shake
agreement that is not binding on either party. It states that the REALTOR®,
while working with you, owes their fiduciary duty to you which includes
loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentially and accounting in the
If the REALTOR® asks you to sign a Buyer Broker Agreement, this is a
contract between you and the REALTOR®. It should have a beginning date
and an ending date. You will be bound to that REALTOR® for that time
frame. The agreement will also indicate how the commission will be
paid. Most of the time the seller will pay the commission, but you
could owe the REALTOR® an additional amount if there is a shortage on
the agreed upon commission in the Buyer Broker Agreement. Make sure
you read the entire agreement and fully understand your rights and
what the REALTOR® is required to do for you.
No matter what system/disclosure agreement you will work under, I would
like to point out some things that you need to do to help your REALTOR®
find that one property you have been looking for. Make sure you explain
how you intend to finance the property and the maximum you are willing
to spend. You should have determined that at the time you met with
your loan officer to start your loan application if you are financing
your home. I know I will show you any home in our Multiple Listing
MLS that meets your criteria up to the price you give me.
At this point your requests or criteria should include all your likes
and mandatory items. It is now up to your REALTOR® to search the MLS
to come up with the homes that fit your needs. Please trust your REALTOR®
that they have researched everything that is available. Homes magazines
are nice, but in today's market, most of the homes you see in the magazines
will probably have been sold. One of the things you can use the magazines
for is to show your REALTOR® the style of home you would like.
On the day of showing, I like to spend a few minutes with my clients
talking about the homes we are going to see. I usually have made appointments
or have left messages on seller's answering machines as to the approximate
time I will show their house. Please help your REALTOR® stay on schedule
as there are times we have to meet with someone to get into a house.
I usually allow enough time to stay on schedule. We can always revisit
a house if there is real interest.
Once you have seen the first home, give your REALTOR® feedback of your
likes and dislikes about that home. When you find a home you like,
compare all other homes to that one. On the first day I try to show
five to nine homes depending on the distance between the homes. After
that day discuss what you saw and what you liked. Take lots of notes.
I find that naming a house helps to recall that one later. The "smoke
house" (cigarettes tell on themselves)
or the purple house (if a room is purple) or, one of my favorites "the
duck house" (country theme with ducks everywhere).
With the information you give your REALTOR®, they are better able to
narrow in on the next days showings and save you time.
Now, here is some advice: if you find the home of your dreams, STOP!
Write a contract! If you love it, I guarantee someone else will love
it also! Have your agent work up a competitive market analysis (CMA)
so that you can make an intelligent offer. But do it FAST! If you have
not found that right home, keep looking and helping your REALTOR® with
feedback. You are part of a team looking for that special property
you will be able to happily call home.
About the author:
Barry has been in the Real Estate Business for over 26 years. He holds
the CRS, GRI, and e-Pro designation with the National Association of
REALTORS®. He is the Broker for his family owned business.
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