If you are going to use a buyer’s agent, and it’s probably a good idea you do, there’s a need for due diligence before you proceed. Agents can be extremely useful when purchasing a new house.
Whether it be for homeownership or investment, a buyer’s agent can usually save you a lot of time, money and needless stress. However, not all agents are created equal, and to blindly accept the services of someone without doing a little homework would be inadvisable, and could end up being a costly error.
So, what to look for in a buyer’s agent? It’s not that difficult really. Many of the things you would like to see in any professional should be apparent: suitably trained, experienced, references, proven success in the industry. However, buyer’s agents should display a few traits that would certainly make them more useful in this unusual, target focused profession.
Your potential buyer should be a strange breed. An unusual mix of geeky nerd and suave salesman. Not easy to pull off, but a winning combination nonetheless. Your guy should have a statisticians appetite for facts and figures. There are lots of variables regarding the purchase of a property and someone with a lax, unorganised approach to their work will undoubtedly miss a trick or two, which means you miss a trick or two. Your agent also needs to do a lot of face-to-face negotiations on your behalf.
Therefore they need to be tough without being callous. They need to sell themselves. They need to be relaxed and approachable while remaining strong and focused. It’s always a good idea to meet a prospective agent in person and try to get an idea of their persona. Would you be happy dealing with them from the other side of the fence? You don’t need to be logical about it. People make judgements on others in almost imperceptible ways.
A smile, a gesture, an intensity or lack thereof. There are so many things which can alter a person’s opinion. You would be wise to let your intuition guide you on whether or not an agent will be of any use to you.
Finally, and of great importance, you must choose a reliable buyer’s agent. Even if they possess all the charm and all the intelligence money can buy, if they are not reliable it is all for nothing.
Test your potential recruit. Set at least two meetings before you hire them. Have at least two or three small matters that you would like clarified before you make a final decision.
Nothing extravagant, maybe ask that some documentation is provided, or ask to meet at a particular venue at a given time. Any small test to gauge whether or not your time is being taken seriously.
A professional buyer who appears late to meet a potential client, or forgets to bring and asked for the document, shows a lack of commitment from the outset and is probably best avoided.