Factors you should never hide from your real estate agent

Effective communication is a fundamental factor within successful relationships. This is especially true for the relationship between the prospective homebuyer and their real estate agent. An open communication channel is imperative for an agent to fully understand what a buyer wants and needs.

Yet, according to Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, some buyers are reluctant to provide information about their finances because they want to try and get a bargain price on a property or because they think they can put in a cheeky offer on a home they cannot afford with the hope that it will be accepted.

“Buyers who say they can afford less than they can usually do not trust that their agent is on their side. Knowing that agents work on a commission basis can lead to thinking an agent will only show properties within the buyer’s upper price range so that he or she might secure a higher paycheque. If this is how buyers feel, then I would recommend that they look for a new estate agent who they can trust,” says Goslett.

Taking this further, Goslett explains that good agents understand that the real estate business is about building and maintaining relationships, not earning a commission from selling brick and mortar. “A good agent will be focused on securing a client for life, rather than just the commission from one transaction. In order to secure repeat and referral business, it is in an agent’s best interest to do the best possible job and find the right fit for both the buyer and the seller, ensuring that the transaction meets everyone’s criteria,” he reassures buyers.  

On the other hand, buyers who say they can afford more than they can are only hurting themselves. Goslett warns that those who try this tactic might end up falling in love with a home that they simply cannot afford. “Being 100% honest with your real estate professional means that your agent can show you homes that you should be able to afford, even if the initial asking price is beyond your budget. Estate agents usually know the sellers and can tell if they would be willing to accept a lower offer. If you’re honest with your agent, the agent can then recommend an amount within your budget that the seller would be willing to consider,” he explains.

Apart from your financial information, Goslett says that it is also important for the buyer to have a clear idea as to what he or she is looking for in a home. Before approaching an agent, Goslett recommends making a list of the must-haves and the things a buyer would like to have but is willing to compromise on. “Once you know what you want, it’s far easier for you to communicate this to your agent and give them a clear picture of the type of property you require - this will make house hunting way easier,” he says.

As a final piece of advice, Goslett reiterates that an agent can only narrow down the search and pinpoint the perfect property based on the information that the client provides. The more information buyers can provide their agents, the faster they can find their dream home. “If you work with an agent you trust and are comfortable sharing information with, the process will be far easier and quicker. When you start searching for a home, it is best to be as upfront as possible with your real estate professional. This approach will guarantee that you leave a satisfied new homeowner,” he concludes.

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