Working with a real estate agent effectively to buy a home

Logo ColdwellBanker

January 27, 2012


A good real estate agent can support and assist his clients, but how they handle the process of searching for and buying a home will affect how helpful he or she can be. One agent told MSN Real Estate that he once had clients refuse to enter eight out of 10 houses they were scheduled to visit because of the neighborhood or exterior.

While this may be frustrating since it seems to waste time, he noted there was a more significant problem as a result. Without seeing homebuyers walking through, discussing and considering a property, he found it more difficult to know what they wanted.

Taking advice

People may find it hard to trust in their agents' judgment, since they are the ones who will be buying and living in a home once the decision is made. However, agents are professional experts who commonly have years of experience, not just in their job but in a specific housing market.

Talking over what the buyers want and walking through homes that are not quite right may require patience, but ultimately can help the agent and buyers refine their search so that they know what to look for. Once agents have a specific concept of the type of home to find, they can better serve buyers.

Sometimes, buyers may be attracted to characteristics of a home that does not meet their needs. If an agent's advice conflicts with their own instincts, buyers may wish to re-evaluate what they are looking for and ask themselves whether the property has those characteristics. If not, the agent may have saved them from making a mistake.

Trusting an agent

Trust applies not only to judgments on whether a property is right, but also on price and other factors. By the time negotiations are beginning, the homebuyers should have had a chance to develop trust with their agent.

When the time comes to make offers, homebuyers should remember that their agent has experience in both the negotiation process and, generally, the local real estate market. This makes him or her better suited to evaluate what is a fair price than most consumers. While the agent cannot make all negotiation decisions for his or her client, the point of hiring an expert is to benefit from his or her advice.