If you’ve been in this business for any period of time you’ve had your share of disappointments. It comes with the territory and after a while you learn that the best way to deal with these situations is to simply move on. For me it’s not the delayed closings or “glitches” in the paperwork that happen from time to time, it’s when I realize that someone is wasting my time, intentionally or otherwise.
It’s important that clients (and others) understand that we work on commission. The general perception of most people is that agents make the “big bucks”. They see the commission rates that are paid but what they don’t see is the amount of effort and time that we spend on their behalf. Late nights and weekends are par for the course for most of us and the amount of time we spend in just marketing a home for sale qualifies as a full time job.
One of the worst things that a client can do is to be too involved in the process. As often as not good intentions result in bad results. Regardless of the many misconceptions that the average person may have regarding real estate agents the truth is that we are true professionals. We know what we are doing and our experience has taught us the easiest way to get the job done. Below are some of the more important aspects of dealing with an agent that clients should be aware of. We are here to help and if given the freedom to do so, everyone involved will be happy when all is said and done. Be sure that your client understands the following.
Time IS Money
If anyone in the world works on “good faith” it is a real estate agent. Most of us receive no salary of any kind and we depend on being successful to get paid. “Successful” doesn’t mean doing what we want to do, it means doing what you want us to do. Please don’t ask us to help you if you don’t intend to finish what you start. I promise to do my utmost for every single client and to see it through to the end, no matter what. I am loyal to my clients, please be the same in return so that we can all benefit in the end.
Please Understand, You Will Need to Sign Something
It is normal protocol to sign a Buyer’s Broker Agreement if you want an agent to help you find your dream home. Without this document the agent is working for free and that’s not fair, right? If you’re not ready to commit to buying a home than please don’t ask the assistance of an agent. If you decide for some reason that you are not satisfied with the agent’s performance than ask to be released from the contract and find another agent.
Tell Us What You Want
We can’t possibly make you happy if you don’t tell us exactly what you expect. Do you expect to view homes only on Sundays? Let us know. Do you want us to email you with new listings? Is a phone call better? Do you want us to be in touch on a daily basis or only when something new has just “popped up”? Let us know. Are you dissatisfied with us for some reason? Let us know and we will fix the problem! Communication is important and if you don’t tell us what you want there is no way that we can make you happy.
Don’t Leave Us (and the Seller) Hangin’
If you have an appointment to see a home with your agent it is important that you show up on time. If you can’t make it or are going to be late please notify your agent ASAP. Keep in mind that if you are viewing a home that that is still occupied the seller may have gone through a lot of effort to be ready to see you and they’re not going to be happy if no one shows up. Be courteous and respectful of other people’s time the same as you would expect them to be respectful of yours.
Follow the Proper Protocol When Dealing With Others
If you are searching for a home you should never call the seller’s agent. This can cause a lot of confusion. The seller’s agent is working for the seller; the buyer’s agent is working for the buyer (that’s you). If you have any questions about the home you need to ask your agent, not someone else’s. Remember, if another agent shows you a home and you eventually make an offer than that agent will be expecting a commission when the home is sold. Allow your agent to do their job. Besides, the selling agent’s loyalties lie with the seller and it is their best interest that he/she has in mind, not yours.
Find Out Your Agent’s “Open House Protocol”
In some areas attending an open house without your agent present is considered unusual. If you intend to view a home please ask your agent if it’s OK to go unescorted. Be aware that many times the agent attending to the open house is the listing agent and is looking to represent any buyer that is not currently working with a buying agent. Please be fair to everyone involved. Give your agent’s business card to your gracious host so that he/she understands that you already have an agent and won’t be mislead in any way.