Communication & Buying a Home
Purchasing a home can put strain on anyone, that is one of the primary benefits of hiring a real estate agent. They have experience with the process and can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with doing something new.
Tools & Resources > Communication
Relationships are sometimes strained when purchasing a home, so it is important to maintain healthy communication with your spouse as well as your agent throughout the process.
The world of communication we live in makes it easy to reach someone, but can make it difficult to actually communicate. For example, we are bombarded with email, social media, and text messages every day. But communication doesn't occur unless there is a response and exchange. You need to find an agent who is easy to get in touch with so you can communicate your concerns and needs.
Most agents have a telephone number and a smart phone, but are still difficult to reach. This is because a lot of agents have a second full-time job and are unavailable to talk when you are. Those who do real estate full-time can be difficult to reach because they are helping other clients at the peak times when you want to talk. Calling your agent is still the fastest and most immediate way to communicate, if you can get a hold of them. Try to find an agent with a team or support staff who can take your call. Sometimes the staff can answer the question, but if they can't they will be able to reach your agent and relay any messages.
Sending a text message is becoming more common. It is a good way to communicate with your agent because you know they receive the message. However, real estate agents drive around a lot and it is unsafe to reply to a text while driving. So do not expect an immediate response if you send a text. Before sending a text to your agent make sure you check to see if it is a land line or a cell phone. Many agents have a business land-line that does not receive texts.
this is the most common form of communication with real estate agents. This is primarily because a lot of information can be conveyed and you don't both have to be available. You can write an email to your agent on your lunch break with all of your questions. The agent can draft a response answering all of those questions at their earliest convenience. Even if this isn't until after 8:00 at night. They don't have to call you and interrupt your evening plans to answer your questions. You will receive the email with all of your answers. Email correspondence is especially good in real estate transactions because it leaves a paper-trail. It reduces the need for "s/he-said". You can review your conversation and point out where promises were made. Keep your agent accountable for what they say by communicating by email and saving those emails until the transaction is complete.
The popularity of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites makes it easy for agents to communicate information to a large audience. Full-time experienced agents help a lot of clients at the same time. It may seem better to have a part-time agent who is focusing exclusively on you, but that means the agent has less experience. You need to decide which is more important for you. If you've chosen to use an experienced agent they are constantly researching the latest market trends and have access to a lot of information. Subscribing to their Social Media will give you a direct link into this information. It is good to engage with them on Social Media about the real estate market, interest rates, and other topics. However, if you have personal information about your situation do not discuss it on Social Media. Once the transaction is done you can tell your friends about your new home, but sharing too much on Social Media will weaken your negotiating position.
More agents these days are utilizing video to convey large amounts of information to a large audience. This is one way communication, but you should be able to make comments for clarification. Some agents may use video to show you a home virtually. This is helpful if you want to look at homes that are far away, or you don't have time to see them in person. The agent can use their camera to take a virtual tour of the home and share it with you on YouTube. Another option is for you to join the agent on a video call when they are at the property. That way you can ask questions about different rooms and other details you need.
Communicating in person has obvious benefits and is still the most reliable form of communication. If you can set an appointment to sit down with your agent and discuss your situation do so as early on as you can. It is tempting to find a house first and then find an agent. Communicating with an agent first will help you avoid common mistakes with a home purchase and get you ready for a fast purchase.
Introducing yourself to an agent can be awkward. Using a web form will give them the information that they need to get the process moving. Then the ball is in their court and they can contact you to move the process forward.
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