Selecting the right real estate professional is a critical part of the home buying process. I’ve been careful to use the term “real estate professional” as not to suggest that other titles that are used in the industry are indicative of ensuring that you’ll get what you want and need.
Regardless of whom you may find on the internet, through social media or by referral, it’s important to meet face-to-face with the person whom you will want to choose to work FOR you and WITH you. Someone might have been a great fit for a family member or friend, but may not be the best fit for you. It’s important that you have a connection with the person who will be a part of an extremely personal decision. This process involves the largest and most intricate transaction that most people will encounter in their lives. That said, you’ll want the right fit for you. For example, if you are super nervous about the process, you’ll definitely want to work with someone who is patient and willing to work with you knowing this about you. If you are super aggressive, you may not want someone who is laid back and perhaps will not be as timely in responding to you as you’d like. If your method of communication is picking up the phone, then perhaps someone who prefers texting may not be the best fit for you.
I make a distinction between your real estate professional working FOR you and WITH you. You’ll definitely want both. When you hire your real estate professional, there should be clear expectations of what that relationship will entail. You need to be aware of the role that they will play, the scope of services they will provide and what they cannot or should not do for you. Working FOR you refers to areas such as ensuring your confidentiality, creating the offer and making suggestions to you when negotiating the terms and conditions of that offer. Working WITH you could refer to items such as locating properties that are specifically based on the criteria you communicated. It could also mean making suggestions about how a property could be reconfigured to meet your current and future needs for example.
I highly recommend that you insist on completing an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement with the person you select. This document will provide the clarity you will need regarding how the real estate professional will interact with you. If there is an unwillingness to sign such an agreement, you will definitely want to reconsider using that person. Similarly, if you, as a client, are unwilling to embrace such an agreement, it may indicate to the real estate professional that you are reluctant to make a commitment to the process. The last thing a true professional wants is to put in the work and then to have a client not be committed. Remember, agreements can be terminated, so if the relationship is not working despite attempts to make it work then, by all means, terminate the agreement. You’ll want to make sure that you are clear as to why you are terminating the agreement and be sure to communicate this to the real estate professional.