Buying a home is not the same as selling a home. The process is quite different. So, how do you find someone that you can trust to guide you through this process? In addition to making sure your agent is licensed to sell and is working with the industry to keep up great professional standards, consider these important points:

Compatible Personalities

Buying a home or property, regardless of whether it is a house, a condo or bare land, is a process. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are comfortable with the personality of the buyer’s agent you work with.

To a degree, you may be able to get a sense of the agent’s personality by researching their online presence. In the end, a brief sit-down over coffee will show you if they pass the “compatibility” test.

Real Estate Experience

This question is one that cannot be missed. Experience in the real estate industry is important. The longer real estate agents have been selling real estate, the more transactions they have likely completed. It’s not impossible, however, that
real estate agents who have been in the business for two or three years have completed enough transactions to put them in the “experienced” category.

A great buyer’s agent will be able to juggle several buyers at a time due to their organization and efficiency but will make you feel like you are their only client.

Full Time or Part Time Agent

Buying a home can be a time-consuming process. As a buyer, you have a career, family, and other responsibilities. It’s important that your agent is available when it’s convenient for you.

Track Record

Representing buyers is different than representing sellers and no two deals are alike. It’s important to know how many homes a potential buyer’s agent sold last year while representing buyers.

Preferred Communication Method(s)

There are so many ways for people to communicate – phone calls, text messages, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts to face-to-face interactions. If you have a preference, your buyer’s agent will be able and willing to accommodate it.

If you call me, I will call you back. If you email me, I will email you back. The only time I vary from this approach is when you either inform me to use a different method or if time is of the essence in which case, I will use the quickest method of communication.

Sensitivity to Your Desires

Sensitivity to your desires simply means your buyer’s agent listens to you. What you want and need is your agent’s priority.

Ability to Explain Terminology and Processes

What does pre-qualified versus pre-approved mean? When do you need an addendum? What is a counter offer? The list of terms in real estate is extensive and their meaning is not intuitively obvious. Therefore, it’s imperative that the buyer’s agent you decide to work with is skilled at explaining each of these terms and processes in a manner that resonates with and is understandable by you.

Mortgage and Financing

It is critical when buying a home that buyers get pre-approved before looking at homes. A good buyer’s agent will ask so they know what financing you qualify for and whether you are able to purchase a home at that time. This can help eliminate disappointment, heartbreak, and save you a lot of time.

Did you know that a buyer agent’s services are free to the buyer?

Market/Niche Knowledge

The agent you choose to work with will demonstrate their competency within the market. For example, if you are a first-time buyer looing for a starter home in Vernon, your agent will be well versed on the neighbourhoods in the Vernon area and have the ability to walk you through each step of the process of selecting the ones you want to investigate further.

A great buyer’s agent has a system or questionnaire in place to determine what homes may match your wants and needs. This will allow them to determine what homes in what area may be a good fit. On average, buyer’ agents will show between 5-10 houses because, as the get to know your wants, needs, and preferences, they are ale to narrow down the search. They also send you detailed information and photos about homes that match your criteria so it is easier to preselect the homes you really want to see.

Negotiation Techniques

Certain skills like negotiating are universal. However, the more focused and unique your needs, the more important it is to find an agent with the corresponding expertise.

When it comes time to write an offer, it’s important to have an agent that approaches the negotiations in a manner you are comfortable with. The best agents are capable of adapting their style to meet your desires, and that’s important as the buying process comes closer and closer to completion. With the right buyer’s agent, you’ll get your desired outcome in a manner that is right for you throughout the entire process.

Industry Connections

No one buys a house totally on their own. Ask your agent about the different professionals they can recommend. You will likely need a lawyer or notary, a home inspector, insurance carrier, mortgage lender and other professionals throughout the buying process. Your agent will share these connections with you.

Testimonials

Every agent will be able to provide you with testimonials. If contact information is available, call the client(s) and ask for their opinion of the agent.

Willingness to See Things Through to the End

Being a buyer, regardless of the market, can be a lengthy process. Many months can pass from when you first decide the time is right to buy a home until the day you close and receive the keys. Your agent will have the patience to complete every step of the journey with you.