Everyone wants a special relationship with their real estate agent. It’s not hard to see why: spectacular deals, the inside word on stinkers, the first call up on tasty ‘off markets’ – all these stereotypes abound.
Reality isn’t that simple though – both in terms of the ease with which you imagine yourself building said relationships, and the benefits which will allegedly flow.
DMARGE spoke to Edward Brown, Director at leading Australian real estate provider Belle Property, who told us, “most properties go to market – don’t rely on just being told about ‘off markets’ when you’re not in a position and able to act.”
However, if you do want a shot at those ‘holy grail’ off markets, you need to play your cards right. Namely: don’t muck your real estate agent around. This is the most important piece of real estate etiquette advice many Australian first home buyers forget.
“When building a relationship with your real estate agent,” Brown told DMARGE, “be upfront about what you’re looking for.”
“Get an understanding of what they have coming up; be ready to buy.”
“As soon as you’re ready to buy and bidding on other homes you’ll be in an agent’s front of mind because you’ve been actively pursuing properties they’ve been showing you.”
“If you’re sharing that sort of information with agents they’ll be looking after you because they know you’re red hot and ready to go.”
Rich Harvey, CEO and Founder of Property Buyer, argues building these kinds of relationships with a number of real estate agents is “absolutely essential.”
“Agents provide the access and the conduit to vendors. While you can try and approach vendors directly, you actually have a better chance of doing deals via agents as the vendor feels that they have ‘tested’ the market, and will also be more educated on market values by the sales agent.”
What should you do in order to build strong relationships with estate agents and get priority treatment? Though Harvey is speaking to investors rather than buyers generally, his advice is applicable to both: “Attend open home inspections. Give them your details. Show the agent you are a serious buyer, treat them with respect and reply to phone calls and emails.”
“Don’t waste their time.”
“How important is it to show you are a serious buyer? What should you have prepared to demonstrate this? Tell them your key criteria and what you are looking for. Develop a ‘Buyers Brief’ and give this to the agent,” Harvey adds in the aforementioned Property Buyer article.
“If you make an offer – then follow through. If you keep putting in false offers to an agent you will get the same reputation as the boy that cried ‘wolf.’ If you put in lots of crazy offers, you can lose the respect of the agent.”
Also – though this is one man, who works in the space’s, opinion – Harvey recommends you keep in regular contact with your real estate agent, initiating a conversation once a week or so, but no more.
“Don’t stalk them, so anything more than once or twice a week might be overkill.”
There you have it: the word from the agent’s mouth. Happy house hunting.