Home Buyers Often Need To Know What They Don’t Know Before They Can Know What To Buy
Working as a buyer’s agent, my extensive experience in real estate enables me to provide a high level of guidance with property search, vetting, and negotiation. I enjoy working with both first-time buyers and the experienced; providing both with a high level of guidance and attention to detail.
In my experience, a “hyper-local” agent should not be a good fit for many buyers in their search. The hyper-local agent is a hot concept right now, but it has both positives and negatives associated with it. Some are hyper-local to be more competitive with other agents locally; some don’t have the knowledge to go beyond their local neighborhood; some have other reasons or a combination of reasons for this approach. Does it better serve the public in general? It’s a positive for newer agents and those with little or no real estate experience since the learning curve and complexity of understanding the markets they serve is greatly reduced, making them more effective and credible with the public.
I believe the main driver of the “hyper-local agent” has to do with marketing and economics. An agent concentrating on listings will get much better name recognition and optimal competitive advantage having all their real estate signs in one neighborhood while limiting travel from their office to their listings is much more time and cost efficient.
However, I find it works against many buyers to be served by a hyper-local agent. In my experience, most buyers need to consider several locations while keeping their options open before they are ready to buy and have the market knowledge to know which locations are most attractive to them.
Working as a buyers agent I can rely on the tools learned through my eleven years of full-time valuation experience to go into diverse areas – I have probably appraised homes and land in most of them in the past as well and pricing a home in Bailey vs. Wash. Park is not something that can be learned in a classroom – it’s a complex subject that requires years of real-life experience and mentorship. My valuation experience is why I have the expertise to go where my Buyer’s journey takes them. My transaction map on Zillow reveals the diverse areas where I’ve already helped my clients purchase and sell real estate over the more than five years I’ve worked full-time as a broker/agent in Colorado.
Another way I help buyers is in my familiarity with construction and property. So, when vetting property together with my buyers, I can point out things that may be of importance to them or which may need a professional to look into further or about which we will need to perform some investigation/due diligence. These can pertain to the dwelling, the other improvements to the land, the land itself, and even the means of access to the property. While I’m not acting as an inspector, my contribution is my ability to inform my buyers to aid them in decision making and developing a strategy and path to move forward.
For Out-of-State and Relocating buyers, I provide a virtual walk-through video!
The virtual walk-through video for my buyer client’s is not a kind of video I would produce to “Sell” property, such as for marketing purposes – I don’t sell to buyers when they are my clients, I inform as a consultant. Clarification – If I have a listing, my duty is to the seller and not to the buyer. If my buyer client is trying to buy one of my properties listed and they are my client, I will point out the conflict of interest and suggest they hire another agent for my listing (a human can only represent one side in a transaction). The purpose of the video is to provide enough information for a buyer to vet property, and to put forth an offer if the property is acceptable and fits their goals.
The video encompasses the exterior of the property and the interior – the nuts and bolts, the good and not so good. If access is a factor, I will include the problem access points as I’m driving to the property. I include opening up appliances, drawers, all rooms and closets, and looking at each room from various angles. I point out all things a buyer of a house should find important, whether that’s the drainage around the house, the slope of the land, the mechanical systems, evidence of deferred maintenance, failing windows, etc. This video is not a home inspection (that should be ordered when under-contract), but it is rather a visual inspection.
No property is perfect, and it’s important to see the property in an unfiltered way. I make the video continuous, so the buyer can see how each room or area connects to the other rooms and areas. I upload this video to YouTube and provide a link to it in an email for my buyer clients to review so we can discuss it when convenient.
Whenever a buyer relies on information obtained from my walk-through video to make an offer on a property, I strongly recommend they visit the property to see it and the areas outside the property in person during the inspection period in the contract offer to be sure. The inspection period allows the buyer to not only inspect the property by professionals but to personally inspect the property and surrounding neighborhood to be sure the house is acceptable. If it isn’t, then we can object by the end of the inspection period to retain the earnest money and cancel the offer contract.
The real estate eco-system expects you to go directly to a listing (the product) without a buyer’s agent, just like you buy most any other product.
Zillow based its business around this expectation, and listing agents are only too happy to “sell” you the house, but there is a smarter way to go about going about this deceivingly simple process. True, it is easy to exploit buyers, especially first-time buyers, because they don’t know what they don’t know.
I’m not for exploitation and misleading people – it goes against my religion and my moral compass. If you would like to consider my help, it’s very simple – See the bullet points below:
- Contact me so we can arrange a time and place to meet – a coffee shop or at a property that interests you. If you are buying as a couple, then you both need to be present, so I’m getting the full picture of your goals, and you both can ask questions.
- If after our coffee and discussion you would like to move forward with my help, then I’ll set up a real-time search on our Realtor MLS system to feed me listings are good candidates for you (you are welcome to receive these directly too if you like). You may also like to continue using your preferred sources as well.
- When a property interests you, you email me or call me so I can then quickly dig up any additional information we need to vet before you see the property (this may only take a few minutes).
- After we discuss any additional info I find on the property that may affect your desire to see it, you still believe it could work for you; we then schedule a time to see it – that may involve me running to my car right away!
- We meet at the property, discuss the location, and then walk around the property and inside the property. Open cabinets, appliances, look at all the nooks and crannies to see if there are any issues apparent with the location, land characteristics, the foundation, the grade, settlement, the floor-plan, room size, etc., are acceptable.
- If you determine this property is “the one”, I will notify the listing agent right away that we are submitting an offer and to request they don’t accept another offer until they see ours – the specifics of the offer is not part of that communication since that needs to be discussed between us when we draw up the offer.
- We then leave the property so I can put together a draft offer document then complete with you on the phone and having some computer device where you can see the offer document as we complete it. It is on a “cloud,” so there are no PDFs or files transferred in the process. For first-time buyer’s, I go through each section in detail to explain the clauses and how they work and protect you. Some matters will involve a choice that only you can make.
- You will need to employ me as your agent. I can’t legally advise you and submit an offer for you unless my agency is agreed upon in writing by the buyer. I will structure the agency, so it applies to just that one property or I can specify it over a time range. The only difference is in the former we need to fill this form out again with each property (there may be only one anyway!) I don’t care which you choose. *Notice, you didn’t need to sign any contract when you agreed to work with me. I allow you to see how I work first with you before you find the property you want and submit an offer. That should put you at ease, and it allows me to prove that I’m putting you first and it allows you to vet me first before accepting me as your agent. You should not have to pay me, and I haven’t charged a buyer a single fee to date. The listing office shares their fee due from the seller; it is not paid by the seller (a common misconception). My compensation reduces the total net compensation to the listing office. There may be a situation where I may discuss/negotiate a fee to my buyer, such as, with a For-Sale-By-Owner; however, most FSBOs will pay a buyer’s agent fee since they are not paying any listing fee.
- After the offer looks good, and you assigned me as your agent for that offer, then I submit it to the listing office electronically with time-stamp, and a custom cover letter I write for that offer to both notify the listing office, agent, and seller of the offer sent, and to explain why they should choose our offer.
- When the offer is accepted, I will guide you through all the milestones along the way to the closing day. I normally recommend inspections and inspectors depending on the property, the condition of the property, and what concerns you. If you haven’t decided on a lender, or you want a second or third opinion, I can recommend people I have worked with in the past who have been very helpful.
- Closing Day – Congratulations! You begin a new life in your new home!