When you team up with a real estate agent to sell your property, it’s not a one-way deal. Expectations and requirements must be met by both sides. You are working for a mutual benefit. You have a business partnership, and that requires reciprocal respect. If you want to sell your house, or if you’re buying, you need your relationship to function smoothly. Additionally, you may be one among dozens of clients and you want to secure the agent’s full attention to sell your property. If you’ve found the right real estate you want them to stay enthused and pitch for you. The rapport that you build now may reap later rewards if you’re a buyer turned seller, or you’re selling again. Likewise, being tight with a good real estate agent may gain you entrée into their network. What are some key recommendations for building a solid relationship?
Trust Goes A Long Way
The honeymoon period begins once you’ve found your perfect agent. Now it’s time to collaborate, although until your property is sold, the agent works for free. That’s worth bearing in mind. What happens next will determine whether they hit their target or your relationships deteriorate. How you treat the agent is just as important as how they treat you. Bad real estate agents are much talked about, but there are such things as bad clients. There are obvious dos and don’ts on both sides. Communication is essential, but so is respect. If you’ve compared agents and finally settled on one, it’s time to let them do their job. You may be fretting about whether or not they can be trusted. But indicating a lack of trust in an agent will only turn them away. They are your advisors and need to be allowed to function in that capacity.
Trust can be measured in many ways. For instance, if you’re unduly questioning their decisions. You may be calling them an inordinate number of times throughout the day or leaving a plethora of messages. Perhaps you are constantly emailing them and become frantic if you’re not immediately responded to. Remember, they have other clients too, who have equal expectations of their time. Allow them to get things done. If they’re arranging for a home staging and you fuss over every detail, you’re demonstrating low levels of trust. And you mustn’t be seen to undermine them in front of a buyer. Talking down to them or invalidating them is a sure way to get them off-side. What’s more, you’ll be weakening your deal and undermining yourself. When negotiating a commission, you must trust that they intend to work hard to justify their remuneration.
Communicate With Your Real Estate Agent
As much as it’s ill-advised to make a nuisance of yourself by constantly calling an agent, not calling them is worse. Today, most of us are lazy and prefer to communicate by email. Email is surely convenient, but it scarcely replaces verbal one-on-ones. There is so much that is nuanced in a private discussion that cannot be shared by email. Also, it is too easy to misinterpret a person’s meaning without the right audio cues and the proper inflection. Taking time to be available for your agent is also a way of showing them a modicum of respect. And respect helps to build relationships. This is by no means trite advice; many situations can deteriorate without satisfactory dialogue. If a deal is going badly, or there is a change of terms on the buyer’s behalf, There are many scenarios in which this admonition is relevant.
Along with communication comes availability. You expect your agent to be available whenever you call because you are important. Likewise, you need to be contactable. One imagines that somebody selling a property will be waiting impatiently with their mobile at the ready. They will check for the caller’s ID frequently, hoping to hear from their agent. But that’s not always the case. A seller also leads a busy life. The day is filled with pressure and demands. The inclination to “call back” can foreshadow complacency. This could be risky if your agent is calling with an offer that is time-contingent. But it’s not all phones and emails; you must be clear in your meaning when talking to your real estate agent. There are many things you don’t want to fall into the greyness of ambiguity. When they are negotiating on your behalf, you must leave no room for misunderstanding.
Listen To your Real Estate Agent
We’ve talked about communication, and that would appear to cover this topic. But it doesn’t necessarily. Engaging with your real estate agent is different from listening to them. You can be attentive to what they are saying, but when it comes to the important stuff, are you hearing them? The most common example of this is an agent telling the buyer that the price is too high. A buyer will often stop listening and start arguing. They will push their opinion without respecting the agent’s expertise in bringing it to the advice they’re giving. By “hearing” what the agent is saying, you are appreciating their reasoning. This is, after all, what you are paying for. By dismissing them, or blocking your ears, you are making things worse for yourself. You run the risk of having your property wane in the listings until both of you lose hope.
Sometimes expectations outweigh our common sense. We might have an idea so fixed in our minds that it becomes an insoluble truth to us. If the real estate agent is telling you that your house needs repairs or other work, you should listen. Maybe that work is going to add value, or the lack of it lowers the asking price. If the message doesn’t get through, then you’re defeating the purpose. Defensiveness is not going to get a buyer to pay your dream price. Achieving the sale you’re hoping for is only possible by following a competent strategy as laid out by your agent. By hearing your agent, you are affording them respect. You are also demonstrating the trust that should be inherent in your relationship if they’ve proven themselves thus far. Listening to advice is one thing; hearing it is another. The latter demonstrates trust and understanding.
The phrase “sorry I’m late” only goes so far. Time is precious to both you and your agent. Being flippant about time or expecting them to be adjusted to your ad hoc frequency is a deal-breaker. This is no way to establish a working relationship. There are a host of situations that will require you not only to be available but also to be punctual. You do not want to leave potential buyers self-consciously milling about on your doorstep. Likewise, you don’t want to arrange to meet your agent and “get caught up in traffic.” In particular, if there are important papers to sign. More than once, a buyer has chosen not to sign at the last moment. Knowing the rhythm of a route is very important. Lateness should be no excuse. Being late too often, or even once, can give the impression that you are lackadaisical about your affairs.
When time is money, every moment that you waste on careless planning could mean thousands of dollars lost on a sale. Punctuality is a common courtesy that you expect from others and that you should show. If your real estate agent is cavalier regarding time, you will certainly consider choosing another agent. That cuts both ways. An agent might give up on you if you are not demonstrating the requisite amount of courtesy that being punctual conveys. This is especially the case if you are not in the “hot property” bracket. Depending on your property, you may find that you need your agent more than they need you. The idea that an agent will chase a commission like a dog running after a bone is not realistic. Remember, there is plenty of fish in the sea. You don’t want to be the one that gets away due to tardiness.
Establishing a good relationship with your real estate agent is not rocket science. In many ways, this advice reads like the instructions on a milk carton: somewhat obvious. But it is exactly those obvious qualities that we sometimes ignore in our fast-paced and self-centred western lifestyles. The world is not all about us. When we enter into a partnership, we get out of it what we put into it. This is true no matter whether we’re talking about selling a property or agreeing to terms in a marriage. Above all, honesty is always the best possible option. If you’re honest with your agent, then they’ll be honest with you. If they’re not, you move on. But it is not incumbent upon the real estate agent to do all the work. They also depend on you. If you’re looking for that perfect agent to sell your property, contact us.