The right information is key

Aspirant homeowners who are working with a reputable real estate agent will benefit greatly if they provide their agent with the right information, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.  He notes that the more information that a buyer is willing to give their agent, the quicker the they can narrow down the search and find the buyer the perfect property.
“It is particularly important for buyers to divulge how much they can afford to pay on their new home. Very often buyers are looking to find a property at a bargain price so are reluctant to provide the agent with what they can actually afford. What usually ensues in these cases is that the buyer tells their agent that they can only afford to buy a home at a much lower price than what they actually can. There are two main reasons that buyers do this: firstly because they want to test the market and see what is available to them in the hope they will find a great property selling for under market value,” says Goslett. “The second reason is that they don’t trust their agent and feel that the agent is looking for the best deal for themselves and will only show them homes that are priced in the top half of the limit, hoping to secure a higher commission.”
Goslett maintains that a good agent from a reputable agency will always have the best interests of both the buyer and the seller at heart. “The real estate business is about building trust and lasting relationships, it’s not just about earning a commission from one sale. A good agent will want to find the perfect fit for both the seller and buyer, ensuring that the transaction is in everyone’s best interests. The object is to ensure that the buyer finds their dream home in the shortest time possible. While there are good deals in the current market, these homes are generally snapped up quickly. The more information an agent has, the faster the buyer can get in and make an offer on the right property,” says Goslett.
According to Goslett, buyers who approach purchasing a property in an upfront manner by disclosing all their criteria and exactly what they are willing pay to ensure that all their needs are met, walk away from the process far more satisfied than those who don’t provide the agent with all the relevant details.
“Real estate agents have been trained to listen to a buyer’s needs and apply their criteria to the search for the right fit. However, this can sometimes prove to be a rather challenging exercise, especially when spouses have differing aspects that they are each looking for in their dream home. While the decision around elements such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms may be easily agreed upon, the finer points may prove to be a little trickier. The fact is that certain elements appeal to certain people and not others. One spouse may like more contemporary sleek design that incorporates a lot of glass and steel, while the other may prefer an older more homely type property. If couples agree on what they like and don’t like before starting the house hunting process, finding the right home will be far easier,” says Goslett.
Ideally, potential property buyers - particularly those with varying tastes - should write a list of all the features they would want the home to have. Goslett notes that if necessary, compromising on certain factors may be required so that both parties have a common, clear idea of want they want. “It is not always easy for buyers to find exactly what they want and it certainly becomes more challenging for agents to find a home for a couple with different tastes. However, finding common ground and sorting out differences before talking to an agent will make the buyer’s lives and the chances of finding the ideal property far easier,” says Goslett.
Buyers should work with an agent that they feel comfortable communicating with and form a relationship of trust. “It is essential for the communication channels to be open so that an agent can fully understand the wants and needs of the buyer. This will play a vitally important role in successfully finding the perfect home for the buyer,” Goslett 

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