Facing the normal pressures that accompany buying or selling a home is a tough task for most. Add in a dysfunctional relationship with your real estate agent, and the experience can go from demanding to disaster pretty quickly.

Fortunately, working with a Realtor who can guide the transaction successfully is not merely a matter of luck. Rather, a deliberate approach and attention to three crucial areas can help to ensure a drama-free journey to closing. 

  1. Preparation

Getting the process off to the right start should begin before you even choose an agent. Whether you’re buying or selling, you need to be sure about your decision to move forward. If you have any doubts about whether this is the right time to make a change, it’s best not to engage an agent just yet. Without the necessary decisiveness, it will be hard for either party to avoid frustration. Also, buyers should speak with a lender to confirm their borrowing power and identify any issues that could derail the process before it begins. 

With a solid commitment, however, it’s time to move on to finding the right agent. Avoid the temptation to rely on a single recommendation or default to using someone with whom you share a personal connection. It’s important to interview more than one prospective Realtor. Pay close attention to their experience and personality, and make sure they have a clear plan for reaching your goal. 

  1. Communication

Your obligations won’t stop with finding an agent you have confidence in, however. Having a clear understanding of communication responsibilities is essential. For buyers, make sure you and your agent both have a clear understanding of the parameters of the search. Agents may be wary of unserious buyers with a broad set of criteria. A prequalification letter from a lender and precise requirements will make clear that you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.   

In addition to preferred contact methods, sellers will want to make sure they are notified of upcoming showings as soon as possible. Meanwhile, buyers will need to decide on a process for identifying and arranging for listings to visit that works for everyone’s schedules. In either case, you’ll want to eliminate the risk that someone starts to feel ignored or overwhelmed along the way. 

  1. Expectation

Among the most likely causes of displeasure when working with a real estate agent is the failure to live up to the client’s expectations. Make sure you ask the questions that will align your understanding of the process with reality. Inquire about average days on market of similar homes, find out what issues you are most likely to encounter in a home inspection, and request a thorough explanation of the methodology behind any pricing analysis provided.  

While the agent won’t be able to predict the future, their expertise should provide some useful insights. If it’s your first time taking part in a housing transaction, ask for a full overview of the steps you should expect along the way. Also, find out what adjustments the agent will make if your sale or search is stretching beyond what is typical for your market. Limiting surprises will make working together during the process more likely than drifting apart.

In need of a lender that can live up to your expectations? Call Open Mortgage to speak with a loan origination specialist you can count on. Find out more at OpenMortgage.com.

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