How to Deal with Real Estate Agents When Buying a Property

September 4, 2019

One of the challenges of buying a property is working with the real estate agents who stand between you and the homes on your hit-list.

It’s common for buyers to feel frustrated, and even disrespected by the real estate agents they encounter.

“The agent promised to call me back, but never did.”
“The property listing was misleading.”
“There was no transparency in the negotiation process.”

In those situations, it can be tempting to lash out at the agent in question. However, a more productive response would be to empathise.

Why? Because if you put yourself in the shoes of the real estate agent, you can understand their motivations, and therefore what buttons to push when buying through them.

Most real estate agents are decent people (yes, really!)

Here are three things you need to know about how to deal with real estate agents when buying your home:

  1. Agents represent the vendor (the seller), not the buyer, so they have a legal obligation to protect the vendor’s interests – not yours.

2. Real estate is like any other profession in that while there are some great operators and some poor operators, most are somewhere in the middle. The typical agent is a decent person trying to make a good fist of a high-pressure job.

3. Despite their obligations, agents are human. They prefer to work with buyers who are going to make their life easier, not harder. Also, they prefer working with qualified buyers, such as those who already have finances ready as this makes it easier for their client to make a decision.

Real estate agents prefer to sell to friendly buyers

With that in mind, here are three things you can do to get agents on side when buying a property.

First, the more friendly, organised and responsive you are, the more they’ll enjoy working with you, and the more likely they’ll be to advise their vendor to accept your offer. They’ll also keep you in the loop first if there are any developments such as other offers being received so you can respond quickly.

Second, don’t abuse agents (and dump their properties) if they’re slow to return your calls. Swallow your pride and call them instead, because if they’re not following up with you, it’s likely they’re also failing to follow up with rival buyers.

Third, while it’s fine to start with offers at the lower end of your budget and work your way up, don’t insult agents with ridiculously low offers. In other words, don’t give them a reason to favour other buyers over you.

Get to know real estate agents in your target area

Finally, a bonus tip for the smart buyers out there: build relationships with agents through Soho. This is one of the best things you can do to improve the deal with real estate agents when buying.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify some agents in your preferred suburbs
  • Start following them on Soho to get access to their monthly market updates
  • Leave comments on their posts
  • Use private messages to ask them questions about the areas you’re interested in

That way, you’ll turn yourself from just another anonymous house hunter into a friendly, serious buyer – just the sort of person who agents enjoy working with.

For example if you were looking to buy in, say, the Sydney suburb of Ryde, you could use Soho to build a relationship with Stefon Bertram. Or if you were targeting the Brisbane suburb of Albany Creek, you could build a relationship with Matti Walker.

Some of the other agents who are active on Soho include Julia Sikora in Lane Cove, Nicholas Wise in Coogee, and Adrian Tsavalas in Leichardt.

Soho
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