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CJ Davies
REALTOR®, ABR
(609) 713-8952
Broker / Sales Person
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Real Estate Etiquette 101 : For Buyers

 

Struggling to find a competent agent?  Bouncing from agent to agent and not getting anywhere? Does it seem like some agents arn't putting in as much effort as you expected from them? Not happy with your current agents efforts?

You might be to blame!   

As a buyer, your real estate agent is your most powerful asset aside from your ability to purchase a home.  It is important to have a strong bond with your agent and be confident that they are doing everything in their power to help you.  Unfortunatley, there are thousands of missed opportunities to secure relationships like this from buyers and agents alike due to not fully understanding proper real estate etiquette.

 

I have put together a few tips, facts and suggestions to make sure that you get the most out of your agent and help understand how to have a great relationship with them.

 

Real Estate Agents only get paid when you close on a home

Some buyers might not know this and other might just forget, but real estate agents are not paid by the hour and do not get compensated for their time unless their client closes on a house. Since most buyers have never practiced real estate before, they know little about what goes on behind the scenes and how much effort an agent makes to help them, even if there is very little face time. 

Things as simple as going to see 3 houses on a weekend can take as much as 5-6 hours (and usually more) for your agent to schedule and complete.  It can take 2,3,4 times out with a buyer just to narrow down a location and prefered condition of a home, let alone go through the 60-90 day process after finding the right one.  Imagine working 20+ hours and not being sure if you are going to get compensated for it.  Thats why these next points are so important to understand.

 

Loyalty is worth it's weight in gold.

While most real estate agents would love to help every person who contacted them, they unfortunatly would be out of a job if they tried to do so.  Part of what makes a good real estate agent is being able to prioritze and efficiently use their time to help clients as best as possible.   What serperates a client from a great client? Loyalty. Any good agent will bend over backwards for a loyal buyer.  That's what makes the world go round. 

 

It shouldn't matter how long it will take you to close, what your price point is or if you are experienced or a first time home buyer.  What matter's to an agent is that their hard work is acknowledged and that they will be compensated at some point for doing their job.  To be clear, "Compensation" doesn't just come in the form of a dollar amount.  A good agent knows that it's not the commision that counts, it's the sale.  As long as an agent is able to close a sale with a happy client, that agent will be happy too.  While loyalty is the #1 key to being a good client, a few other examples are below.

  • Treat your agent way you would like to be treated - Agents will pick up on your habits as a buyer very quickly and they are likley to mimic your actions.  If you are very detail oriented, they will be too.    If you are unenthusiastic, they will be too.  You will find that most agents will share your sense of urgency.  Show up on time to meetings, don't cancel plans you have made, answer your phone if you ahve questions.  You will find that if you arn't putting forth an effort, your agent will pick up on it ans switch their focus to a buyer who will.
  • Be dilligent - Don't sit back and expect an agent to read your mind and create your dream home out of thin air.  Remeber that you agent is covering hundreds of miles and thousands of homes for hundreds of clients.  Be aware of the fact that you might actually know your niche market as well if not better than your agent and know that thats ok because your agents job goes well beyond just finding you a home.  that's the easy part.
  • Be willing to listen - The bulk of your agents job comes into play after you have found a home or two that you are interested in.  This is where their experience, expertise and skill come in. Not only is an agents time worth $, but their experience is infinitly more valuable.  
  • Communicate - Don't be shy - Ask for help.  Keep in contact. Don't be afraid to express your concerns or ask them to do things differenlty if what you are currently doing isn't working.  Be honest with your agent and give them a chance to better the situation.  Many times there is a disconnect between an agent and a buyer because of the frrequecy that both parties deal with real estate transactions.  A buyer might ahve something that is impacting them greatly and  think that an agent is indifferent to their situation when an agent has seen the situation a million times and knows it will resolve itself.  Agents arn't mind readers and almost all good agents can relate to your concerns, but if you don't let them know that you are concerned, they might never understand your feelings.                                                                                     

You don't have to deal directly with the listing agent on all properties

A common misconception that I see is that buyers think they need to call the listing agent for every property.  This is a very inefficient way for you to spend your time as a buyer.   It's important to understand that A good agent can help you with any listing in the area.  Listing agents ahve a fiduciary responsibility to their sellerds and need to disclose any information they know to them.  While they can be working for you, they also must do whats best for their seller.  To avaoid having to create new relationships time and time again, explain your situation a million times and avoid wasting time with agents who don';t ahve your best interests in mind, its best to work with one agent who you ahve thoroghly researched right from the begining.

 

Research Agents Prior to Veiwing Houses

Many buyers put themselves in positions where they have blindly reached out to an agent, used their time and then realized they weren't a good fit.  Not only do you have to start from scratch but the agent doesn't get paid for their efforts either.  It's hard to create a great relationship if you don't fully trust your agent or know what to expect from them upfront.  MAke sure you do your research and find an agent who seems to be on the same level as you as far as communication, work ethic etc.

 

Understand how Zillow and other search engines work

Zillow is an extremely valuable platform that allows buyers to search for homes and agents.  While not always 100% accurate, it has great guidance for buyers and access to the best local agents available.  It is important to know however, that zillow is able to provide these services for free to buyers because they leverage the local agents by providing advertising.  When you request information about a property, your lead is circulated in a specific order to differenct agents who are paying to access your information.  Many times, if you hit the contact agent button, you are not necessaily getting the lsiting agent of the property, you are getting an agent who is next inline for the lead.  This is not a bad thing, just remeber that if you are working with an agent already, its best to disclose that information upfront.  Also, while its great to search on these sites, its best if you share directly with your agent and have them send you the details as opposed to requesting the information from other agents.

 

 

Communicate.  If you aren't happy with your agent, let them know.

This touches on the fact that sometimes its hard to know what the other person is thinking or doing.  It goes both ways.  Your agent might be searching frantically for you day and and night and you might think they are being lazy.  You might be super anxious and ready to move quickly and your agent might think you are taking your time.  

 

Many experienced agents might seem lacksidasical to a first time home buyer when really, they just know what to be worried about and what to let go.  The bottom line is, if you need something more than what your agent is giving you, let them know.  I can almost guarentee they will step up the game.  Chances are they just didn't know exactly how much contact was too mucha nd how much wasn't enough.  Some buyers wont mention anything and then switch representation leaving a bad taste in both parties mouths.

 

Be Prepared

You might not be quite ready.  That's ok, but it's hard for an agent to expende all of their time and efforts if you do not have your ducks in a row.  A real Estate agent's job is not to be a mind reader or even to magically find you something without you lifting a finger.  Don't expect agents to be dragging you around to 100 houses if you do not have your pre-qualification yet.  Some agents would prefer you to narrow down a certain area before driving hours and hours to multiple towns etc.  If you do your homework and know what you are looking for, you will find that your agent will ahve a much easier time doing the leg work that you need them to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1601 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008, Unit B

1601 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $1,061,950
  • List: $1,099,000
  • Square Feet: 2,360
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 3.1
  • residential - condo
  • Represented: Seller

22 W Tebco Ter, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008

22 W Tebco Ter, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $448,650
  • List: $448,650
  • Square Feet: 1,440
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - single

22 Virginia AVENUE, Long Beach Township, Ne, 08008

22 Virginia AVENUE, Long Beach Township, Ne, 08008
  • Sold: $1,330,000
  • List: $1,330,000
  • Square Feet: 3,100
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 5
  • Baths: 4.1
  • residential - single

1903 Bay Terrace, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008

1903 Bay Terrace, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $875,000
  • List: $899,000
  • Square Feet: 2,240
  • Acres: 0.1
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 3.1
  • residential - single

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 202, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 202, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $190,000
  • List: $199,900
  • Square Feet: 439
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 1
  • Baths: 1
  • residential - condo

304 W 17th St, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008

304 W 17th St, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $349,900
  • List: $349,900
  • Square Feet: 1,152
  • Ship Bottom
  • multi - multiple

4 W. Maryland, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008

4 W. Maryland, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $227,500
  • List: $249,900
  • Square Feet: 865
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 1
  • residential - condo

102 Atlantis Ave, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050

102 Atlantis Ave, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050
  • Sold: $269,000
  • List: $269,000
  • Square Feet: 1,996
  • Stafford Township
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - single

23 Maplewood Dr, Little Egg Harbor, NJ, 08087

23 Maplewood Dr, Little Egg Harbor, NJ, 08087
  • Sold: $244,000
  • List: $249,900
  • Square Feet: 1,550
  • Little Egg Harbor
  • Beds: 2
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - single

116 Bark Rd, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050

116 Bark Rd, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050
  • Sold: $259,850
  • List: $259,850
  • Square Feet: 2,117
  • Stafford Township
  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 3
  • residential - single

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 103, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 103, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $209,000
  • List: $209,000
  • Square Feet: 421
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 1
  • Baths: 1
  • residential - condo

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 300, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 300, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $403,000
  • List: $359,000
  • Square Feet: 960
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - condo

195 John St, Eagleswood, NJ, 08092

195 John St, Eagleswood, NJ, 08092
  • Sold: $154,000
  • List: $159,500
  • Square Feet: 855
  • Acres: 0.3
  • Eagleswood
  • Beds: 2
  • Baths: 1
  • residential - single

4412 Gloucester Dr, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008

4412 Gloucester Dr, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $1,575,000
  • List: $1,729,000
  • Square Feet: 2,042
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 2.1
  • residential - single

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 104, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 104, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $195,000
  • List: $199,000
  • Square Feet: 492
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 1
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - condo

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 203, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 203, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $205,000
  • List: $189,000
  • Square Feet: 548
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 1
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - condo

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 102, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008

204 S Atlantic Ave unit 102, Beach Haven, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $299,000
  • List: $299,000
  • Square Feet: 816
  • Beach Haven
  • Beds: 2
  • Baths: 2
  • residential - condo

113 Roxie Ave, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008

113 Roxie Ave, Long Beach Township, NJ, 08008
  • Sold: $1,860,000
  • List: $2,000,000
  • Square Feet: 2,900
  • Long Beach Township
  • Beds: 5
  • Baths: 3
  • residential - single

224 Yeoman Rd, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050

224 Yeoman Rd, Stafford Township, NJ, 08050
  • Sold: $355,000
  • List: $359,900
  • Square Feet: 2,951
  • Stafford Township
  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 3.1
  • residential - single

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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/07/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/07/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Ocean County MLS (last updated Thu 09/12/2019 11:22:12 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Wed 12/07/2022 8:53:47 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Davies & DeGennaro may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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