How do you find the best buyer agent for you? We recently wrote about what to look for in a buyer agent. We highlighted the qualifications that ALL BUYERS need in a buyer agent – whether they know it or not! Now we’ll go a step further, and show you how to sort through the good buyer agents to find the one who is the best buyer agent FOR YOU.
The key is – of course – FIT. In addition to being a highly qualified buyer agent, you’ll want to know how an agent fits your personal needs; how will it be for YOU to work with the agent. Below are seven fit-related questions that need to be answered. Some will help you clarify your preferences…what special qualities should your ideal agent have. Other questions need to be answered by the agent.
1. Does the agent listen to you well?
Does the agent show that s/he is listening carefully to you by giving you helpful responses and feedback…or do they say things that sound like canned speeches? Does s/he suggest properties for you to view that fit the requirements you talked about and make suggestions tailored to your needs?
2. Do you understand what the agent says?
Did you understand when the agent explained to you about how the market works? how buyer agency works? how making an offer works? etc. etc. If you don’t understand the agent’s explanations, it’s not a good fit! You should find someone who makes things clear to you and answers all your questions to your satisfaction.
3. Is the agent responsive?
How quickly have you been getting responses to your calls? emails? texts? whatspps, etc.? Is it fast enough for you? Does the agent contact you using the approach you prefer/requested from the above list of ways to connect?
4. Do you trust the agent to protect you?
All agents are trying to earn a living. But some agents see nothing but dollar signs and want you to buy as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. Other agents understand the importance of putting their clients’ needs first. Among other things, they know that this will lead to referrals and a thriving business in the long run. So the question is: “Does your gut tell you that the agent will put your best interests first?”
5. Does the agent work with assistants?
Many agents have showing assistants and/or a team with additional buyer agents. You’ll want to know whether the agent will do the showings, whether the assistant/team member will, or some combination of both. If the agent doesn’t do all the showings, will s/he step in for second showings? for negotiations? None of these approaches is superior, rather it’s a question of which suits you best. Some buyers like the idea of working with more than one person; they feel that each one is a specialist in a piece of the process. Other buyers want continuity…one agent from beginning to end. BTW – if there will be other people involved, you may want to meet them up-front.
6. How does the agent handle offers on his/her listings?
Later in the process, you may decide to make an offer on a property that happens to be your buyer agent’s listing. It’s best to ask – before you select an agent – how s/he will handle this situation if it comes up. Some agents will ask you to sign forms which explain that the agent will be helping both you and the seller, but not advocating for, (i.e. trying to protect the best interests) of either of you. Others will refer you to a colleague who can work with you for just that one offer and protect your interests while your agent works with the property owner. Unless you are a very experienced and savvy buyer (in which case you probably wouldn’t be reading this post), it’s hard to imagine the advantage to you of letting your agent work with both you and the seller, leaving you without an advocate. So find out at the beginning if you are comfortable with the way the agent will handle this situation should it arise.
7. Does the agent FEEL like a good fit for you?
What is your gut feel about working with this agent? Buying a property is an intense, time-consuming, and important process in your life. All six questions above aside, If you don’t have a really good feeling about an agent, best find another agent who does give you a good feeling.
Set up a FREE meeting with Chris Kostopoulos. Learn why he is a GREAT BUYER AGENT, and find out if he is the BEST BUYER AGENT for YOU. Call Chris 617-751-4111 at or email him at Chris@Isellmass.com.