Buying a house, for most people, is one of life’s biggest transactions. Few people buy homes on a whim, and even fewer buy more than one or two in a lifetime. Buying a home is an important decision, one that requires the buyer to ask all sorts of questions.
Are you looking to invest your time, money, and energy into a fixer-upper? Do you want a move-in ready home with a shiny chef’s kitchen? Are you thinking about having that second child in the future? Do you need home office space? An extra bedroom for your nomad sister when she visits? Are you firm on what you’ll pay for a house? Are you a first home buyer? Will you be getting a VA loan?
If figuring out what you require isn’t enough, you then have to communicate your needs to your Realtor. For this reason, a Realtor must possess superior interpersonal skills. He or she must not only listen to your words but also understand the motivations and desires floating just beneath their surface.
According to Vivian S. Toy in her NYTimes article, “Who’s Got Your Back?” “A good broker can help you make sound decisions and guide you through what might easily be the most expensive and emotionally charged transaction of your life.”
The question is…how do you know you’ve got a good Realtor to help you buy? Communication skills and experience top the list. But, how do these traits relate directly to a Realtor's ability to guide you through the home-buying process?
We’ll just reiterate that listening is one of the most important qualities a Realtor can possess. If you tell your Realtor that you want to buy a three-bedroom, two bath Craftsman-style bungalow within walking distance to shops and restaurants, and your Realtor insists on showing you homes in planned communities miles away from walking culture, you’ve got a serious communication breakdown.
Your Realtor should make it his or her priority to understand your motives for buying and your desires in a home and respect those desires. A Realtor who refuses to listen to you doesn’t actually have your best interest in mind.
That said, maybe your desires are a little on the unrealistic side. Maybe you’re looking for that Craftsman-style bungalow at an impossibly low price and won’t consider budging. Or maybe you want stainless steel appliances no matter what. Your Realtor would be remiss if he or she didn’t at least clue you in to the fact that, hey, we’re not going to find a bungalow in that price range right now. Or—you can buy a house without stainless appliances and have them installed yourself at a much lower price. That way, you’re informed and you can be as idealistic as you like.
In these cases, your Realtor’s knowledge also shines through. He or she understands the current real estate landscape and can converse about it fluently. He or she is well-versed in cost-benefit analysis and fluctuations in the market.
A Good Fit
If your Realtor only works with buyers and sellers who are making million-plus transactions, and your budget is around $200,000—or vice versa—it might be smart to think again. Your Realtor may know every single thing there is to know about the price range he or she is familiar with, but that’s not going to help you if yours doesn’t match. If your Realtor has to do too much homework going in, his or her time will be spent catching up as opposed to pounding the pavement and showing you homes. Look at your Realtor’s current listings, and be informed.
Finally, is your Realtor staying on top of creative advertising? You’d be surprised how important marketing and social media can be these days. A Realtor who’s active on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram develops an online rapport with prospective buyers and sellers alike and may even get “first dibs” on some seriously cool properties that way.
If you have a Realtor who thinks outside the box and is willing to try new methods, in addition to the tried-and-true ones (you don’t want to be a test case, after all), you likely have someone who’s thinking about how to best serve his or her clients.
Looking for an Realtor who is the right fit for you? Message Julian or call: 941.539.2852
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist