I love working with Buyers. The excitement of shopping for houses, seeing homes through their eyes, and the ultimate gratification everyone has when the transaction closes and move-in day occurs! It just doesn’t get much better than that!!
But working with Buyers is a tremendous amount of work. There’s a lot of stress involved, a myriad of big and little steps, lots of time on the phone, on the computer, in the car. Sometimes several offers are written and negotiated before an offer is ever accepted by a seller. In today’s world of bank-owned homes, short sale properties, pre-foreclosures, government-owned houses, the work can be difficult, exacting, and LENGTHY!
And I LOVE it!
Sometimes one of the trickiest negotiating points when working with Buyers begins early in the relationship between the Buyer and their Broker. After all, there’s often a presumption of loyalty very early on. You trust that the Broker will work with your best interests at heart … and the Broker trusts that you’ll use them to complete your home purchase.
Often a Buyer initially contacts the Broker asking to see that perfect house – you know, the one they’ve just driven by and it’s exactly what they want. Or the house on the internet with great pictures, or a great price, or a great neighborhood, or whatever.
So the Buyer calls the Broker. Could be the listing broker, could be a broker used by their best friend, or could be a broker for whom they’ve seen some advertising, found on the Web, or whatever.
The best Brokers start by doing a bit of careful screening prior to meeting a prospective Buyer at a home. The screening has a couple of purposes: Is the Buyer qualified to buy? Have they been looking long? Who have they worked with in the past? Are they working with an agent already? And, subtly, do they sound trustworthy? Should I take another agent/hubby/wife with me?
After agreeing to meet, whether it’s at the office for a prescreening, down the street at the local coffee shop, or at a home that’s just too good to delay, it’s typically a careful and somewhat cautious first date. Sometimes the first date is a lengthy phone call where everyone asks and answers a fair amount of questions. It’s a good way to see if there’s a fit – can the Buyer work with the Broker? Can the Broker work with the Buyer? Is there a formation of trust beginning to occur?
I’ve also found that there’s usually a whole portfolio of information the Buyers should receive prior to jumping in to make an offer on a home – sample contracts, definitions of terms, how the process works, a few legal documents including a copy of the Law of Real Estate Agency and a Buyer Agency Agreement. We’ll have a frank discussion about money matters as well. It’s important to me to learn what exactly what you can afford and how we should structure any sort of an offer to purchase. It’s important to you to learn how I get paid and by whom. It’s an important step to forming a trusted relationship between a professional (the Broker) and the Buyer.
Now, I won’t necessarily ask you to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement the first time we meet. YOU need to see if you can work with me as well. But I do request official formation of an agency relationship through acceptance of the Agreement at the conclusion of either the first or second showing session, after you’ve had some time to digest whether you like my working style, whether you trust me to represent your best interests, and, as well, whether I feel we can work together well as a team. Terms are negotiable, of course, but endorsement of the Agreement as we move forward will be necessary.
Follow the link here for more information about what’s in a basic Buyer Agency Agreement.