Relationships between real estate agents and their clients can go south in a hurry. Once a relationship is even slightly fractured, any delay in working things out almost always dooms it to failure. The best way to avoid this sort of thing is to treat other people the way you wish to be treated. It sounds old-fashioned, but it works.
Before agreeing to work with a real estate agent, check out the broker they represent. Why? Because most agents work underneath brokerages. Even though many brokers also work as agents, they tend to have multiple agents working under them as well.
The point of letting you in on that secret is to drive home the point that agents often reflect the brokers for whom they work. A highly professional broker who bends over backwards to serve clients is likely to bring on the same kinds of agents. The same is true in the opposite direction.
1. Establish Communication Up Front
The key to successful business relationships is communication. If you want to maintain a strong relationship with your real estate agent, start by making communication expectations known up front. The experts at Salt Lake City’s CityHome Collective says those expectations should be laid out before a contract is signed.
Lack of communication is one of the top complaints among dissatisfied home buyers and sellers. On the other side, agents are known to get frustrated with clients who are suddenly hard to reach when things heat up.
2. Consider Their Families
Next, make a conscious effort to consider your agent’s family. It is true that agents work odd hours to accommodate their clients’ schedules, but they are not robots. Real estate agents are human beings with spouses and children. They have lives separate from helping you find a home.
It is not reasonable to expect your real estate agent to be at your beck and call at all times. Not only do they have families, but they also have other clients. If you don’t want to alienate your agent from the very start, be prepared to share.
3. Avoid Assumptions at All Costs
Another chief complaint among real estate agents and clients alike is the tendency to make incorrect assumptions. As a buyer or seller, never assume you know what your agent is thinking. Never assume that you know how the agent can best do their job. If you have questions, ask. If you have concerns, speak your mind. Just do not ever assume you know anything.
4. Honesty Is the Best Policy
Honesty is always the best policy for maintaining a solid relationship with your real estate agent. If you are selling, be honest about the condition of your home. Disclose all of its faults upfront – even the hidden ones. Should offers start coming in, be honest about your thoughts on each one. Your agent cannot effectively negotiate on your behalf if they don’t know your thoughts.
As a buyer, you should be honest about exactly what you are looking for. If your expectations are unrealistic, your agent will hopefully be honest and tell you so. At any rate, not being forthright about your expectations makes the agent’s job more difficult.
While you are viewing houses, be upfront about what you like and dislike. Most agents do not expect you to buy the first home they show you. They do want to know what you think because they use each experience to offer you better choices moving forward.
Whatever you do, remember that relationships are hard to repair once broken. Do your best to avoid trouble before it occurs.