A buyer’s agent, as the name indicates, is a real estate agent who works only for the buyer and, ideally, tries to do only what is in the buyer’s best interests. But sometimes a conflict of interests can arise because buyer’s agents often work on a commission, as contracted in the listing agreement, that they split with the listing agent. So it sometimes happens that a buyer’s agent is more interested in that commission than in what is best for the buyer. A good way to avoid that trap is to seek out an agent who possesses these 5 characteristics every Houston buyer’s agent should have.
1.Ability and Willingness to Explain Clearly
A real estate transaction can be a highly complex affair full of confusing jargon and technical terms and littered with impenetrable contracts and documents. A good Houston buyer’s agent, then, should have the ability as well as the willingness to explain all this to you in understandable layman’s terms. Purchasing a house will likely be the largest financial transaction of your entire life, one that will profoundly impact your future, so you must fully understand what you are doing and all the implications. Make sure, then, that your Houstonbuyer’s agent has the knowledge, communication skills, and willingness to help you understand all the steps and intricacies of the whole process.
2. Knowledge and Experience Within Your Niche
A good Houston buyer’s agent will also have niche knowledge and experience. That means she will fully understand and have her finger on the pulse of your particular market. If, for example, you are buying a home to live in for many years, a buyer’s agent who specializes in investment properties would likely not have the niche experience to adequately meet your real estate needs. Your buyer’s agent shouldn’t be a generalist either. Rather, she should have demonstrable knowledge and experience in the niche market you’re looking at – local experience in the neighborhood and type of property you’re interested in.
3. Industry Connections and Professional Network
Further, any real estate deal involves a lot more people than the buyer, seller, and agent. Even if they remain in the background, a host of players are needed to meet all the legal requirements. There are, for example, the seller’s agent, inspectors, appraisers title officers, loan officers, real estate attorney, and more. So your buyer’s agent should have plenty of quality connections within the industry or at least be able to refer you to qualified professionals within her network. You should have options and choices in order to get the deal that meets your specific needs.
4. Compatibility and Availability
If you and your Houston buyer’s agent aren’t fully compatible, then there will likely be problems. You are entering into a reciprocal business relationship with your agent, so you must be able to get along well, and there should be a good amount of alignment with respect to goals and methods. You can get a feel for the agent by checking out her website, social media interactions, and online reviews, and then it’s best to conduct a face-to-face interview to assess compatibility.
In addition, your Houston buyer’s agent must make herself available and be willing to communicate your way. Common complaints buyers have about agents is that they are hard to get in touch with, don’t return calls, or don’t communicate via their preferred channel such as email. A good buyer’s agent will be available and will make it easy for you to stay in touch. There must frequent and easy communication.
5. Honesty and Integrity
Your Houston buyer’s agent must also possess honesty and integrity – even when that honesty is less than pleasant. Your agent simply must be willing to shoot straight and tell you like it is. Otherwise, you could wind up making an enormously costly mistake in your purchase that you will have to pay for and live with for the next 15 to 30 years. “A good real estate agent is an honest and genuine person. His/her approach should always be consultative, not commercial. This can only happen when he or she reaches the right mindset to help house seekers in finding them the best deal. Genuine customer service skills are what they need to be successful” (PropertyFinder). This could possibly be the most important characteristic of your buyer’s agent: a mindset and approach built on honesty and customer service.
Finding a good Houston buyer’s agent with these 5 characteristics will be a big step toward getting the house you want with the features you want at a price you’re comfortable with. And, finally, your agent should treat you as if you were her only client, giving you the time and attention you deserve and striving to do what is best for you.