Sunday, September 9, 2018

What Should Your Agent Be Doing For You?

It's hard to know what to expect from your agent unless you have bought/sold a number of homes.  So many times, people work with agents and really don't know what their agent should be doing for them. They wind up talking to friends and comparing stories to get a feel for what they are experiencing (good or bad).  I've worked with a number of clients before, who conveyed to me, that they were very surprised by what I was doing because their previous agent worked in a much different way. So here are some things you should expect and hopefully receive from your agent:

When selling a home:
1. He/she should offer to meet you in person to fill out disclosures that may require more than just a signature
2. They should hire a professional photographer to take amazing photos of your home! This is must!
3. They should have disclosures filled out by you ready for any buyer prior to the acceptance of an offer.
4.  They should have the city report called a 9A be requested and paid for by you before an acceptance of an offer (these can sometimes take weeks for the city to get and they hold up the closing of homes way too often because of the time they take)
5.  They should talk to you about what to expect in terms of needing your house to be ready for a retrofit inspection and what that looks like and may cost.
6.  They should have a title report run on your home prior to putting your house on the market to make sure there isn't anything that needs to be taken care of now before your house is in escrow and issues can arise.
7. They should have you fill out a "Statement of Information" so that the escrow company can start working on making sure there aren't any liens or other information found out about you that could affect the sale of your home. (many times someone with a seller's same name can come up on a title report that looks as if the seller has a lien or judgment when in fact, it is another person by the same name and this "Statement of information" is meant to clear up situations like this.
8. The agent should give you an idea of what open houses they want to have for your home and if your home doesn't sell right away, they should be available (or have someone available) to hold more open houses on your home for the weeks to come if you choose.
9.  They should clearly explain to you what the listing contract means, how much commission your agent and the buyer's agent receives, and what it would take to get out of that contract if you're not happy. (you should see this in writing)
10.  They should tell you in what manner your home will be shown to prospective clients.  Will you, the seller, be showing it? Will your agent meet the other agent and buyers themselves to show? Will there be a lockbox on the property for buying agents to gain entrance themselves? (Personally, I don't typically leave a lock box on a property AND also advertise that it is there on the MLS.  Regardless if agents say they need to call the owners prior to showing your home, it happens too often that if an agent reads that there is a lock box, they don't read the comments regarding calling the agent first and they just show up.)
11.  Your agent should try to be there for the inspections the buyer has on your home. It's best to hear, in person, what the inspector says regarding the condition and possible issues of a home.  It's also a good time for the listing agent and buyer's agent to communicate.
12.  Your agent should be advertising your home in whatever manner they deem best for your home.  Social media, mailers, neighborhood flyers etc....
13.  Your agent should clearly go over any offer and the pros and cons of what it may mean.  There is SO much more to an offer than the price.  Who is the buyer's agent? Does your agent know them? Who is the buyer's lender? Are they good? What are the time frames the buyer has for inspections? After inspections are completed and agreed upon by buyer and seller, does the buyer still have the right to come into your home before closing? Can the buyer just walk away from the purchase? If so, under what conditions?
14. Your agent should be able to do "Reverse Prospecting" which is looking up buyer's agents who have sent your property's MLS link to their clients. Your agent should be able to reach out to these other agents to ask for feedback or advertise your property to them.
15. Your agent should be able to give you an HONEST answer on what your home may be worth/sell for.  Some agents will get your hopes up by telling you your home is worth more just so they can get the listing signed and then later convince you to lower the price of your home.  (If your agent is convinced your home's price is more than other agents you've spoken with and you choose that agent. you have the right to have wording added in your listing agreement that states if your home doesn't sell for a certain price, you can cancel the agreement)
16. Your agent should discuss with you the possibility of them also representing a buyer for your home. And if they do that, what does it mean? What should you expect?  Personally, I've only done this a couple times and only at the request of the seller.  There is much to be discussed about this situation.
17. They should tell you about what is going on in the market in your area and what to expect in terms of how long your house may take to sell.
18. They should tell you who pays for what during the sale. Does the seller pay for certain closing costs or the buyer? (each transaction is different)

When Buying A Home:
1. Your agent should first have you get preapproved with a lender.  Not all lenders are good and just because you are pre-approved does NOT mean you will get the loan.  Lenders can be a huge hickup in the middle of a purchase.  Get recommendations from your agent or friends. Don't just call someone from the internet.
2.  He/she should be sending you homes that come up, or change price on a regular basis.
3.  They should be able to ask fellow agents if they have listings coming up that are not yet public.
4. They should advise you on how to put your offer together.  Should you offer the asking price? More or less? Will you be able to hold all needed inspections in the time frames on the contract?  What are your rights to walk away from this purchase if you choose?
5. They should have inspectors they have worked with and can recommend.
6.  They should be reasonably available to come with you to listings or have someone they work with take you.
7.  They should give you an idea of what to expect once your offer is accepted. How long till you put your deposit in escrow? How do you do that? What is included or not included in the purchase? What about things like solar panels, water softeners and security systems?  When should the owners be moving out or are they staying past the closing date?  Can you have things fixed on the home prior to closing?
8.  They should be with you during inspections of the home and be able to give you guidance on what the inspections mean.
9.  They should CLEARLY explain what the contingencies are prior to putting in your offer. What is at risk regarding your deposit with the contingencies?
10.  They should go over the disclosures with you and tell you what they mean and how they may affect you.
11.  They should go get you your keys/remotes to the new home when the home closes!


If you are looking to sell/buy a home, please give me a call.  I work hard, not only for my clients, but to get their future recommendations.  My clients and their needs are always my top priority.