Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Searching for a Home – Part 2

This is the second post in a series called Top 5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Searching for a Home. See Buyer Mistake # 1 here.

sonic super villain by samlavi on flickr

Buyer Home Search Mistake #2: Assuming an agent will let you into a house with very little personal info on you.

For most people, purchasing a home is an exciting and positive event, so most agents hesitate to discuss the negative underbelly of the business, but there is one.

Real Estate Agents need to constantly take safety precautions in the interest of their clients and themselves.

Gone are the days when buyers would call an agent they don’t know and arrange to see a house. With increased use of the internet for home searches, I often got calls from buyers asking to see “123 Dream House Lane” tomorrow. They’re excited and it’s a rush because they don’t want anyone else to snap it up before they’ve had a chance to look. 99.9% of the time there is no reason to worry but unfortunately that .1% dictates how these calls are handled.

It’s a very touchy situation for the agent. We WANT you to call us. We WANT to become your Realtor and help you buy your home.

But there are two BIG safety concerns:
There are people who will call us and act just as you do but under the pretense of doing the agent harm.
There are also people who will call us and act like an excited buyer but plan to rob the seller.

There is another concern:
Respect for the Sellers Time & Privacy.

As Real Estate Agents it is our responsibility to ensure we are only inviting legitimate, capable buyers through any homes listed on the market. Otherwise, we’re wasting the sellers time (and our own). Unfortunately, there are people who just enjoy looking at homes, without any means or plans to purchase. They don’t consider the time involved on the part of the seller to prepare for that showing and to leave the house for several hours to accommodate it.

If we (the agents) don’t have an existing relationship with you or through someone we know, we want to believe you are a legitimate buyer but we can’t assume you are.

If an agent doesn’t know you personally, here is the information they typically will ask for before showing you a house:
Where you got his/her name
Your First & Last Name
Your Current Address/email/phone number
Your Lender’s Name & contact info

(They may request a copy of your pre-approval which has to be in place before you can make an offer anyway)
Sometimes buyers are reluctant to share this information because they don’t want to be harassed by a salesperson whose only goal is to make any sale. A respectable agent will never do that. If you decide you do not want further contact… it’s a waste of their time to keep running at you.

Why do good agents consider it a waste of time? Because they only want to work with people who see the value in their services. They’ll consider you a partner. Their role is to offer guidance and consultation to you through the ever-changing real estate market. The result of a mutually respectful & successful relationship is a sale that closes with a happy client (you!).

Up Next – Buyer Home Search Mistake #3: Using Search Criteria that is Too Restrictive

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