The right information

While working with the right real estate professional will have an impact on how quickly you find the home of your dreams, another important factor is making sure that you provide that agent with all the information they need to match the property to your criteria, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“The more information that the agent has to work with, the easier and more quickly it will be for them to be able to narrow down their search and only show the buyer properties that fit within the parameters of what they are looking for in their ideal home,” says Goslett. “This is why, as a buyer, it is important to work with an agent that you feel comfortable with and have an open line of communication with to be able to convey exactly what you require.”
Goslett notes one vital piece of information that buyers are often unwilling to share with their agent is how much they can actually afford to spend on a property. “We find that because most buyers are looking for a bargain, they are hesitant to share their financial position and are actually inclined to say that they can only afford to buy a home in a much lower price bracket than what they are actually looking for. This is partly because they are testing the waters to see what is available and partly because they are hoping to get a good deal. In some instances this decision might also be based on trust, with buyers assuming that the agent is not looking out for their best interest but rather their own and therefore only showing the homes in the top half of the buyer’s price range in order to get a higher commission,” says Goslett.
He notes that a good agent from a reputable real estate brand would prefer to maintain their reputation and build their business based on referrals, rather than act unprofessionally and push the buyer into purchasing a more expensive home merely to gain more out one single deal and narrowing their chances of getting more business through referrals. “Having the buyer and seller’s best interest at heart will be a sure way of the agent finding the buyer their ideal home in the shortest possible time, while building their network of possible future clients,” says Goslett. “From a real estate professional’s perspective, building and maintaining relationships is far more advantageous than merely aiming for a larger commission.”
Goslett maintains that it is vital that buyers approach property purchases in an upfront manner and disclose all their criteria and exactly how much they are willing to pay for these needs. He notes that buyers who do this will find themselves walking away from the experience far happier than those buyers who don’t disclose their affordability levels.
“Although agents have been trained to listen to a buyer’s needs and apply that to their property search, it is not always the easiest exercise and there may be some miscommunication at times, especially in the case where a husband and wife may have different visions for their future residence and what defines a dream home,” says Goslett. “Issues such as the number of bedrooms or bathrooms may be fairly simple to decide on, but when it comes to the various styles of homes or other features it can be slightly more complicated.”
He notes that it is important for buyers sit down beforehand and make a list of the features that are absolutely essential and a list of those features that are negotiable and can be compromised on. Once this has been decided on, communicating the essentials to the agent will make house hunting a lot easier. “Although it might be uncommon for buyers to find exactly what they are looking for, sorting out any differences and having a clearer idea of what they want before meeting with an agent will have them in their ideal home far quicker,” says Goslett.
Dealing with an agent you can trust and who understands your needs will play a substantial role in a successful house hunting experience. “Very often clients will deal with the same agent when selling and buying because they have formed a relationship of trust with that agent. These relationships occur when the agent has put in the effort to maintain these relationships by going the extra mile for their clients and when there is open and honest communication between the two parties,” Goslett concludes.

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