Tuesday, January 17, 2012
6 Ways to Be an Exceptional Client
1. Ask Questions
Agents will bombard you with questions to help understand your needs, wants and motivations. It's their job to completely understand you and exactly what you want. You should also be asking as many questions as possible. If you don't understand a term or a process, ask the question. Make it a point to understand everything you're signing, ask, "What comes next?", and communicate often with the Realtor. Never be afraid to ask anything.
2. Know What You Want
A lot of time and effort can be salvaged if you establish and communicate your needs and wants early on. Are schools important? What about a big yard? Do you need an upgraded kitchen? Agents typically get stuck in between husband and wife debates over what is more important in a home. My advice: sit down and write a list of ten "must haves" and prioritize them together, before the agent does their first search. If you find a home with seven or more of your top ten qualities and it feels like home, write an offer.
3. Be Flexible and Open-Minded
A good agent will help expose you to new and different areas, styles and opportunities that you might not have thought about. It helps to be semi-flexible on price range too. Make sure it's wide enough to understand what you might be able to get. Don't be turned off by nauseating paint colors and other things that are easily changed. Being flexible and open minded is an excellent trait of exceptional clients because it seeks potential and understands what is possible, rather than what isn't.
4. Cooperation is Key
Throughout the entire process, your agent is going to need you to respond timely to lenders, title companies, insurance underwriters and other parties to ensure the transaction goes through. There is a lot of paperwork and information that gets processed through you. Sometimes, you'll even provide the same information twice. Instead of getting upset about it, just understand that it's part of the process and do it as quickly as possible. You'll be in your new house before you know it if you do what's required of you and cooperate to the best of your ability.
5. Be Open and Honest
Honesty really is the best policy. Communicating honestly is being open. To make sure you and your agent are on the same page, you need to be honest and open with them. An exceptional Realtor will understand that and respond with the same honesty and openness. If your situation changes, or you re-evaluate your parameters, let your agent know. Deal with your lenders honestly and act in good faith towards the other parties involved. If your agent isn't working out for you, give them the courtesy of letting them know why before you let them go. Being open and honest isn't an easy thing, but it is highly important.
6. Be a Decision Maker
Decisiveness is a trait of an exceptional client. There's nothing worse than a portfolio of 15 "maybes". When searching for your house, you're going to see things you like and don't like about each one of them. If it doesn't feel like home, then get out, and cross it off the list. Don't search for things to like about it, thinking that you might be able to settle for it. Make the tough decisions. Finding the right house is much more about eliminating the wrong homes than finding the right one. Saying "YES" or "NO" is so much more helpful than "maybe".
Keep these in mind when considering buying or selling your home and you'll be off to a much better start than most. Exceptional clients attract exceptional Realtors.