The agent you choose can make you or break you #739

#739 in a series of true experiences in real estate

For a number of reasons, the agent you choose as your own can make you or break you. If you are planning to buy, you will, of course, pick someone you feel comfortable talking to, and you’ll confirm that he or she has the time and inclination to consider you individually. But, in addition, you will want as your representative someone who is able in other ways that you may not have considered.

Frequently these days, there are multiple offers. Sometimes, of course, there is one offer that is obviously better than the others and that is the one that is accepted. But other times, when there are similar offers, who your agent is can be the deciding factor. You might be able to buy the house you want because you chose the best agent.

Fortunately, in our market area, there are quite a number of excellent agents who are known for their “good works”. “It would be a pleasure to do another deal with you” cooperating agents tell them.

Long before presenting an offer, these agents have been genuinely concerned about their clients. They don’t want anyone to get in over his head. They’ve made sure the buyer is able to afford to buy, is pre-approved for the loan he needs, has read all available disclosures, and is committed to buying the house he is offering on.

Plus – a big plus – good agents know what is in the contract. They’ve read it thoroughly and everything that the agent has included in it is understood by the buyer. They know what loan the buyer plans to get and they’ve been provided a pre-approval letter. They’ve arranged for delivery of the earnest money deposit, they already have a plan for inspecting, and they know – for real – the timing of contingencies and close of escrow.

Once in contract, these agents do their part. They keep on top of things. They are there during buyer inspections, make sure conditions are understood and are found satisfactory. They meet contract deadlines on time. They communicate! When a problem does arise, they don’t go to pieces. Instead, they are calm, supportive and resourceful. They can be depended upon to talk and to listen to their clients, advise them on available options, help to find the best solution for everyone.

Other agents want to work with these good agents because they know that their buyers have been educated and are being kept informed through the sale. And — bottom line — their sales close.

Deciding whether the agent, his client, and his offer are acceptable begins when the offer is presented. There is much more to an offer than price, so much more that the highest price doesn’t always win. Among other things, an offer covers timing, contingencies, personal property, the buyer’s loan, and the division of sale costs.

Sometimes agents arrive at an offer presentation asking up-front for a counter offer if there is anything that they haven’t covered. An agent may say, for instance, that his buyers haven’t seen the disclosures yet but, if their offer is accepted, they will read and sign them then. Worse, the buyer’s agent says he is “pretty sure” his buyers can qualify for the loan but they haven’t had time yet to complete pre-approval.

It’s sloppy business, and the trouble with it is that even if these buyers have offered the highest price among many, the offer will probably not be accepted.

Good agents try hard to write an offer that can be signed as it is written because, although writing a counter offer is easy enough, the contract will not be firm until signed by all parties. Until then, someone else could come in with a better offer.

Another difference in agents is in their ability to draw a picture of their buyers. Not always, but often, the passing of a house to someone new is an emotional experience. Sometimes very emotional. Many sellers want to know who wants to buy their house.

Sellers also want to know if the buyers are firmly committed. Once an agent told us that she sure did hope that her buyers got this house because the last time they were in contract, they withdrew just before close of escrow although the agent had no idea why. Obviously, we did not want to do business with them.

We also heard from a buyer’s agent – in a competitive, multiple-offer situation – that the buyer and the agent had never met in person. “They must have seen it at the open house” we were told. The agent didn’t know much about the buyers and had never talked to the buyer’s loan broker. This agent was unable to give us any clue of the buyer’s firm interest, let alone any assurance that the sale would close.

Our sellers accepted less money from another buyer, a buyer whose agent was convincing in her trustworthiness. Imagine how mystified the first people will be when they learn that the house sold for less money than they offered to pay.

This entry was posted in Buyer Information. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

  • Sign up to receive our newspaper columns: