How to Make Your Real Estate Agent’s Job Harder
Some buyers take years to complete a purchase. They need lots of hand-holding. And, since they’re not paying for their real estate agent’s time, they make tons of requests. Here’s how to make your real estate agent’s job harder—and, consequently, make the already challenging process of buying a home even more challenging for everyone. Including you, the buyer.
1. Secretly plan to ask for a lower price
It’s one thing for a buyer to ask a seller for a credit if the final home inspection uncovers a problem. But after you have a deal, planning to negotiate the price down without telling your agent is a big no-no. It adds stress and ill will among all parties involved, during what could already be a difficult transaction. Instead, be upfront about your intentions. If the deal isn’t meant to be, it’s better to not go down the path at all.
2. Make unjustified lowball offers
The seller’s property is on the market for $400,000, and it’s worth close to that, based on recent comparable sales. And yet, a potential buyer offers $300,000 and won’t budge on the price. It’s not because the home is grossly overpriced or there’s something seriously wrong with it. It’s simply because the buyer wants a bargain.
Unjustified lowball offers can be a waste of time for everyone involved. The seller isn’t going to swallow $100,000 for no reason, even if the property has been on the market a while. In fact, a lowball offer will likely just help the listing agent get a small price reduction, thus opening the window of opportunity to another buyer.
3. Ask for too much during the showing
It’s typical for a potential buyer to view a property during an open house, then ask for a private showing—even two or three times. But it’s frustrating when a buyer arrives to a showing with a designer, architect, contractor or some friends, then spends an hour or two at the home checking out and measuring each room. This is counterproductive, particularly if you do it at one home after another and never make an offer.
Some buyers have even been known to bring their psychic, who, after making a big splash with tarot cards and numerology charts, declares that the property has “negative energy” and isn’t a good fit. Did the psychic really need to see the property in person to figure that out?
4. Demand tons of attention early on
Some buyers are a year or two away from being ready to pull the trigger. Yet they make a lot of demands on the agent’s time. Asking an agent to research city building permits on a house just because you’re curious—and even though the property doesn’t fit your requirements—is usually not a fair request. Agents can’t be as effective with their active clients if they’re spending lots of time researching tax records or city permits for clients who are years away from being ready to purchase.
5. Change your mind—repeatedly
It’s OK to shift course based on what you learn during the home shopping process. But if you find yourself moving around and you’re uncertain about the object of your search, it’s possible you just aren’t ready to buy. That’s fine. Take your time and learn the market.
The home-buying process is a journey, and a good local agent, brought in at the right time, can add so much value. Be mindful that agents work for free until a buyer or seller closes. Agents should be leveraged as a huge resource—when the right time comes.