Making a big move is a major challenge. And you will likely need some help…certainly in finding and purchasing the right home.
Here are some ways you can help YOUR REALTOR better help you. And this is true even if you aren’t moving a great distance.
RESPOND QUICKLY. Your REALTOR is working hard to help you, and you are probably on a tight schedule. Delays in communication will hurt you, and make it more difficult to get the help you need. Responsiveness is an indication of interest and cooperation (on BOTH sides of the fence, of course), and can set the tone for the relationship.
GET PRE-APPROVED SO YOU KNOW YOUR BUDGET Your REALTOR will ask, and you DON’T want to waste your time and your REALTOR’s looking at homes you cannot afford. Plus you will need to provide a pre-approval when you submit an offer. Bank requirements are tougher than ever now and the guidelines on credit scores and loan-to-value ratios have shifted.
BE A GOOD LISTENER. This can be hard when you are stressed or frustrated. Don’t let your emotions get in your way of hearing what is being said. And communicate well, too – be clear, concise and decisive. And, of course, check to be sure your REALTOR really hears what you are saying. They have to listen well, too.
PROVIDE YOUR REALTOR WITH THE INFORMATION NEEDED IN A TIMELY MANNER, and in particular when things change (e.g., your budget, dates, thoughts about certain homes). Even more important when you get an acceptance and start the purchase process.
BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED in your new home and community. This can be hard, and may change over time, but your REALTOR will have a more difficult time if you don’t have a clue and can’t decide on what’s important to you.
GET SIGNED UP FOR DAILY EMAILED LISTINGS FROM THE MLS in your new home city to educate yourself about the market. You need to quickly make decisions about the kinds of housing you want and where you want to live, and must understand what is going on in the market. Be sure to let your REALTOR know your likes and dislikes – feedback is essential. I am happy to preview homes for buyers who are out of the area (and provide photos and videos), and hopefully your agent will do the same.
WHEN IT’S TIME FOR A HOUSE HUNTING TRIP COORDINATE WITH YOUR REALTOR and see the homes and areas that interest you. Decide on your objective – just to tour areas, narrow down the search, or buy that home?
ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. You may think they are dumb or petty, but if you don’t ask you won’t get the information you need.