A real estate agent works for the seller but they only get paid if the property sells.
So, even though a sales agent may be working for the other team, it doesn’t mean you can’t get them on your side.
Doing so may mean a place at the front of the queue when viewing houses as well as a stronger negotiating position.
1. Meeting face-to-face
This is an important first step because you will then be a person looking for a property rather than a faceless name who communicates by email.
You should try to meet all the active local agents in the area you are interested in buying.
2. A serious start
When it comes to real estate, there are a lot of tyre-kickers, so you can make a great first impression by letting the agent know you’re serious and ready to buy.
3. Swap contact details To
Get the individual agent’s name, mobile phone number and email to allow you to develop a relationship with them.
Likewise, give them your all your contact details and a rough estimate of your price range for property.
4. Ask for advice
Rather than telling them exactly what you want, ask for their advice.
Most agents have extensive local knowledge and usually enjoy sharing it with potential buyers.
5. Tell them what you want
When you first meet, tell them what type of properties you are looking for, and which areas you would most like to invest in.
It’s important that you’re proactive in your search, which includes making connections with agents in your chosen investment area.
Make clear which requirements you will not change and which you are happy to be flexible about.
In my opinion, there are three types of people:
- Those who make things happen
- Those who watch what happens, and…
- Those that sit and wonder “what just happened?”
Be in the first group and always be on the lookout for opportunities.
6. Provide feedback
After each viewing tell the agent what you did and didn’t like about the house.
This will enable them to build up a better picture of what it is you’re looking for.
7. Don’t be a time-waster
Looking at properties outside of your budget will just annoy the estate agent and will also make you dissatisfied with your final choice.
Also, the vast majority of estate agents are decent people who work hard in a very competitive market, so be nice to them – if you charm them, they might well respond favourably!
8. Keep in touch
Call the agent every few days to tell them that you are still on the hunt and to find out if they know of any new properties coming on the market.
If they don’t hear from you, they will assume you are no longer looking and you may miss out on a great property.
Likewise always respond to their emails and telephone calls even if it’s just to explain why you aren’t interested in a particular property.
9. Remember agents are keen to sell
Although the agent works for the seller and are motivated to get as high a price as possible for the house, they do have a slightly different interest, which may turn them on your side – if they don’t sell at all, they get nothing for their efforts!
Agents may be keener than the seller to accept a lower price, just to make sure they get a deal.
If a property is proving a little hard to shift, and is perhaps overpriced, the agent can effectively end up on your side, trying to get the seller to agree a lower price.
And it this all seems like too much trouble, or you just don’t have time for all the steps, perhaps consider using a buyers’ agent, who will do all of this work on your behalf!