In the home purchasing process, both the seller and the buyer have an agent representing them and their particular interests. Here we explore the real estate agent responsibilities to buyers. Follow these tips to ensure that your clients will know what to expect from their real estate agent so that they can find a house of their dreams.
Understand the Current Market
Real estate agents tirelessly research the neighborhood and current market conditions. Agents should know local price trends, basic real estate laws and zoning requirements, financing, insurance, and tax information, and how to negotiate a good deal. Savvy agents also recognize the stresses that come with buying a home and have workable strategies to alleviate this stress. Buyers should be able to ask agents about the local amenities, real estate values, and what it take to get to closing.
Determine Client Needs and Wants
An agent schedules an initial meeting with potential buyers to ascertain their needs and wants. Do they want to live in a bustling neighborhood near stores and businesses, or would they prefer a remote location? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do they need to be comfortable? And wants may include items such as a fireplace, swimming pools, and energy-efficient appliances. Agents create a master list to search for homes that closely meet the clients’ criteria.
Top agents work with a team of other professionals who can help facilitate almost any deal. Once an agent knows what the clients want, they need to determine if they can afford it. Some clients are pre-qualified for a mortgage before consulting with an agent. Others are looking for help finding the right mortgage lender. Provide a list of potential lenders to help clients get pre-approved for a mortgage, so they know how much house they can afford.
Tour Available Properties
Once an agent knows what the clients are looking for and how much they can spend, it’s time to go house shopping. Agents should peruse the current listings and check to see if any houses will be going on the market soon. Appointments are scheduled at the convenience of the buyers and sellers. Successful agents try to be available anytime to accommodate their clients. Before touring the homes, print out the listings for the client to keep track of each house they view. Encourage them to take photos and notes to remember their reactions to the property. Agents should focus on the features of each home, highlighting all the selling points during the tour.
Get Disclosures and Negotiate the Deal
A buyers agent obtains the necessary disclosures to move forward with the deal. Any material defects should be disclosed to the buyer. The agent verifies all home inspections are completed and reviewed by the client. And they follow-up to check all repairs have been made, per the findings of the inspectors. If problems arise, the agent negotiates the terms to get the best possible deal for the buyers. Agents remain in touch with the attorneys, lenders, and title company to ensure the documentation is complete so that a closing can be scheduled. Agents should be ready to answer any questions the buyers have or refer them to someone who can.
Discuss the Commission and Dual Agency
Typically, the sellers pay the commission, which makes the agent’s services free for the buyers. The listing agent markets the property for the sellers to attract qualified buyers. A buyers agent has clients who are ready to make an offer on the house. Usually, the commission is split between these two agents. Many buyers agents do not list properties, but some have their own listings. If a client decides to purchase their agent’s listing, a dual agency situation arises. The contract of sale should reflect the buyers are aware of dual agency and agree to it.
Confidentiality, Courtesy, Compliance, and Completion
Agents are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of their client throughout all interactions. Clients should be treated fairly and courteously at all times. Reputable agents comply with all local, state, and federal laws, and provide an accurate accounting of the funds received and disbursed. A hard-working agent is with the buyers every step of the way, until the deal is negotiated, closed, and completed to ensure their total satisfaction. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents adhere to a set of core business values represented by the acronym PAIGE – Passion, Authenticity, Inclusion, Growth, and Excellent. Ongoing educational opportunities mean these agents are well-versed in the latest strategies to help buyers find a house they love.
Defining real estate agent responsibilities to buyers lets them know what to expect, which is particularly reassuring for first-time buyers. Agents should help them find a house, secure financing, and get the best possible deal based on verifiable disclosures. When agents surpass their clients’ expectations, they are building relationships that bring them more business in the future.