An open communication channel is imperative to the relationship between a prospective homebuyer and the real estate professional they choose to work with, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. He notes that in order for an agent to fully understand what the buyer wants, the buyer needs to feel comfortable that they can divulge information to the agent - openly and honestly.
“The more information a buyer is prepared to give their agent, the better their chances are of finding the right home which meets all their needs. However, there is often rather sensitive information that is entrusted to an agent, such as how much a buyer can afford, so it is important that the agent is reputable and trustworthy. If a buyer works with an agent they trust and are comfortable to freely share information with, the process will be far easier and quicker,” says Goslett. “With the information that the buyer provides the agent, they will quickly be able to narrow down the search and pinpoint the perfect property.”
In some cases buyers are reluctant to provide the agent with information regarding their financial situation because they want to get a bargain price on a property. Goslett says that in instances such as this, buyers will tell the agent they can only afford to buy a home at a much lower price than what they actually can. According to Goslett, there are two reasons why buyers choose to do this, the first being that they are looking to test the market and see what is available to them at this price range. The second is because they haven’t reached the point where they trust the agent and see them as an ally looking out for their best interest. “Knowing that agents work on a commission basis can lead to buyers thinking that the agent is only showing them properties within the upper range of what they can afford to secure a higher pay cheque out of the deal. If the buyer is working with a reputable agent from a respected agency, they can rest assured that the agent will have both the buyer and the seller’s interest at heart,” says Goslett.
He adds that a good agent will understand that the real estate business is about building and maintaining relationships, not earning a commission from selling brick and mortar. “A good agent will be focused on securing a client for life, rather than just the commission from one transaction. It is in their best interest to do the best possible job and find the right fit for both the buyer and seller, ensuring that the transaction meets everyone’s criteria. The more information an agent has, the faster the buyer can get in and make an offer on the right property,” says Goslett.
According to Goslett, buyers who approach the process of purchasing a property in an upfront manner by disclosing all their criteria and exactly what they are willing pay to ensure that all their needs are met, walk away far more satisfied than those who don’t provide the agent with all the relevant details.
Apart from their financial information, it is also important for buyers to have a clear idea as to what features and elements they are looking for in a home. “Before approaching an agent, prospective buyers should sit down and make a list of their must haves, as well as the things they would like, but could compromise on. Once a buyer knows exactly what it is that they want, it is far easier for them to communicate this to their agent and give them a clear picture of the type of property they require. This will make house hunting a far easier process,” says Goslett.
For a successful business relationship, the agent and the buyer need to be on the same page. The only way this can happen is through open communication. “Fully understanding each other is essential so that an agent can determine exactly what it is that the buyer is looking for. Communication plays a vital role in successfully finding the perfect home for the buyer,” Goslett concludes.