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Monday, April 19, 2010

Choosing the Right REALTOR® : Part Two....

Last month I provided Buyers with a set of guidelines for selecting a REALTOR® to assist in a home search. I hope that those guidelines made the process of choosing a REALTOR® easier.

It is best to make a commitment to work exclusively with just one REALTOR®. As your designated “Buyer’s Agent”, your REALTOR® will be your “eyes on the street”, constantly scouting for properties matching your criteria, emailing you new listings as they come on line; and watching for price reductions of properties you have seen and liked. You will also be the first person notified when a hot new property that meets your specifications hits the market, giving you the edge over the non-represented Buyers.

Some REALTORS® may ask you to formalize this arrangement by signing an “Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Agreement” in the same way as listing REALTORS® sign formal listing agreements with Sellers. It is important to understand that this agreement is “bi-lateral”, meaning a promise for a promise, so if you feel that the REALTOR® is not meeting your expectations, you can cancel the agreement at any time.

So why would a REALTOR® want a commitment from Buyer? With all due respect, REALTORS® are not taxi drivers. They don’t just love driving people around looking at houses on a Sunday afternoon only to have the Buyer call another REALTOR® the following week to look at another set of houses. REALTORS® do enjoy your company and enjoy showing houses, however, it truly not a productive use of time or gas if you have no allegiance or commitment to their services. While this does not occur frequently, it does happen.

With or without a Buyer’s Agent Agreement, the relationship between REALTOR® and Buyer must be based upon excellent communication, and a mutual level of trust and confidence.

Once you have found the REALTOR® you are most comfortable with, and assuming you have “done your homework”, you are ready to visit properties on a tour specifically designed to meet your requirements. Hopefully, the REALTOR® you chose will follow these steps for your first tour:

1. Listen to what you are looking for in a home, regarding features, location, price and condition, and take you to these type of properties exclusively.

2. Preview all of the properties ahead of time, and be familiar will the history of each listing, (days on market, price changes, etc.) in order to answer most of your basic questions.

3. Select a manageable number of properties for review prior to the tour so that you can prioritize.

4. Conduct a planned route of properties, timed so that you are not exhausted or overwhelmed at the end of your tour.

5. Provide a tour package with a detail sheet for each listing, so you can take this information with you at the end of your day.

6. Leave ample time at the end of the tour to help you organize, review, summarize and plan the next step based upon the result of the properties seen that day.

This process may be repeated as needed, but if the REALTOR® truly understands your needs, it will be a process of elimination from the original group over the course of the search.

Once your ideal property has been identified, the same skills required of a Listing REALTOR® must be employed by your Buyer’s Agent. Comparative market analysis data will be vital in a Buyer’s decision of how much to offer for the selected property. Knowledge of recent sales and current inventory will be the REALTOR’S® tools in guiding their Buyer’s decision making. The Buyer and the REALTOR® will work together to obtain the best value for the property that has been chosen.

Comments? Questions? I would be delighted to hear from you on this or any other subjects related to Real Estate: Please also feel free to review my listings or search all the available listings at the shore using my web site at

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