March 13th, 2014 9:44 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
As most people know, the real estate market
shifts between a buyers' or sellers'
market, depending on supply and demand. However, regardless of which
market we're currently in, buyer etiquette can help you get the home you want
with the least amount of stress.
It may sound odd to
some, especially first-time homebuyers, but manners matter when it comes to the
real estate transaction. I'm not talking about "Please" and
"Thank you." So, what exactly does this mean?
Buyer etiquette is not only about doing the
things that are vital to helping sales go through but it's also about general
manners like being on time for your viewing of a home, being prepared with your
financial documents, and being responsive when requests for documents,
signatures, or answers are needed from your real estate professionals.
This isn't about
lecturing buyers about minding their manners; rather, think of this as the
inside tips to helping land the home you really want. For instance, sometimes,
being late for a viewing of a listing could cause you to lose that particular
home. In a really hot real estate market, if you're late or you don't show up
for the listing, you might not get a second chance - the home could be sold.
is to be aware of how much time you need to view a home. If you try to see too
many homes in one day, chances are you're not going to treat each home with the
same respect. The first homes might get lots of attention by you in terms of
time and what you notice. However, by the time you're on, say, 15th home of the
day, you might be so tired that you blaze through it barely giving this last
home the attention it deserves. You'll end up wasting your time and potentially
making a poor choice because you were worn out when you viewed it. Instead, you
may have to return to the last few homes you viewed that day. While it's often
expected to return to a home you're very interested in, it's time-consuming to
have to return to several homes simply because you weren't able to focus or pay
attention in great detail.
One of the most
important etiquette tips is to make sure that you've been pre-approved and are a serious buyer,
ready to take action should you find the right home. Shopping for homes is
serious business. It's likely the largest monetary transaction you'll make;
being financially and emotionally prepared is good etiquette and will help
expedite the process.
When viewing a home,
if the sellers are present (sometimes this happens), don't share your likes or
dislikes about the home with them. Be courteous and keep the conversation to a
minimum with the sellers. You want to make sure you leave the negotiation process
to your experienced real estate agent. If you have questions about the home, be
sure to take good notes and consult with your agent. Your agent is the liaison
for good reason. The agent is experienced and knows how to find out the
information you need without undermining your bargaining position. Polite
conversation with the sellers is appropriate if the opportunity occurs. And, if
the house isn't right for you from the moment you set foot in it, at least give
it a quick walk-through, just to be absolutely certain.
Good manners when house hunting is about more than just
having people like you. It could be the potential development of a successful
real estate transaction. Good will during that process helps keep things moving
along at a steady pace and possibly with a better outcome than if the sellers
were selling to a buyer they really didn't like.