So you have been casually browsing the MLS and a great property pops up. You don’t have a realtor yet and have been in “research mode” of home buying for awhile. You are finally ready to see a house in person. You are excited and call the listing agent. But wait, the listing agent is asking you all sorts of questions! They want to know if you are pre-approved? They are asking questions about you?? How dare they!! They refuse to accommodate your showing request without a pre-qualification. You are annoyed. You hang up and Google the agent determined to give them a poor review. Well, take a deep breath keyboard warrior! Before you judge that realtor, continue reading to learn why that agent was pre-qualifying you before setting up an appointment and how it actually benefits you.
SAVE TIME/NOT WASTE TIME
Listing agents are working for the seller. The seller needs to clean the house prior to every showing and also vacate the property. How would the seller feel if they prepared the home, packed up their 4 kids 2 dogs 1 cat just for the home to be shown to someone who cannot afford to buy it? Or they show it to you and it lacks a feature you *must have* that could have been discussed prior to viewing the home? I can tell you how the seller would feel: angry! Seeing a property that is out of your price range or that doesn’t suit your needs is a waste of time for you, the seller and the realtor.
Seeing a home without being pre-approved by your lender is like putting your shoes on before your pants, it might be possible but you look like a fool. Imagine viewing the home of your dreams only to discover it’s out of your price range. It is not a good feeling. You will forever compare the homes you can actually afford to the one you could not, crying yourself to sleep every single night. Trust me when I tell you it is extremely important to follow these steps in order to avoid disappointment: Get pre-approved by a lender, find a home.
UM, HELLO, PANDEMIC
Unless you have been in a coma for the past 6 months you should know that we are in a pandemic. Regardless of *your* thoughts on COVID-19, most sellers do not want any Tom, Dick or Harry traipsing through their home during these unprecedented times (yup, I said it, unprecedented times… anyone else looking forward to ‘precedented’ times again??). Seriously though, you don’t know the sellers health status or the health of their bubble. Before you see a home the listing agent will want to make sure the you are pre-approved, have seen all the photos, read the MLS listing and ideally have viewed a virtual tour. They will also ask you about your health and likely have you sign a COVID disclosure prior to viewing the property.
The listing agent will want to make sure you do not already have a realtor working for you. This is very important. The listing agent will not want to step on any toes if you are already in relationship with a realtor. They will ask you if you are working with a realtor and if you are, tell them! Also, your buyer agent will *want* to show you the home, you are not “bothering them”, it is literally part of your buyer’s agent job to show you homes. Is your buyer agent on vacation? Make sure they have left you with the contact information of a colleague who is available to show you homes in their absence. Is your agent not able to accommodate your schedule for that particular home? No problem. Have the two realtors communicate for a solution. Just don’t lie about having representation, OK? It’s so not cool.
Lindsay Buziak, Wendy Carroll, Janice Tisdale, Teresa Grant, Beverly Carter. Those are names of women who have been attacked during a showing. Some survived, sadly some did not. Put yourself in the realtor’s shoes… meeting a complete stranger in an empty home. It’s scary stuff. You should gladly provide any information you can to assure the realtor will be safe during the showing. Also, do not be offended if the agent brings a colleague with them. It should be noted that male realtors have been victims too, particularly of assault and robbery, so safety concerns are not just limited to female realtors.
I hope this clears up some misconceptions about listing agents. They do want to sell their listings, trust me. They also want to protect their time, your time and their seller’s time, not to mention they are thinking of the safety of all parties. The best advice I can give for anyone thinking of buying a home is to select a buyer agent first. Your buyer agent can safely show you homes and their fiduciary duty is to you. Once you have selected a buyer agent, sit down with them and complete a buyer consultation prior to viewing any homes. This consult will analyze your needs and wants. And don’t forget – get pre-approved by a lender! If you do not know a mortgage broker or mortgage specialist, your buyer agent can guide you to one. Happy house hunting!
Thinking of making a move? I’d love to interview for the job. Call/text me at 519-859-7792.