Ahhh, the home buying (and selling) process. From the day you decide it’s time to move and leave all your friends, to the moment you go to unpack the last box and find out that your favorite wedding present got smashed in the truck somehow, it’s an emotional and sometimes upsetting process.
Did you know that it’s not only homebuyers and sellers who need to cry it out sometimes? YUP, it’s true. Sometimes, it’s the clients who make the agents cry their way through the process. By now you’re probably wondering if you’ve committed any heinous acts that made your agent cry, right? Well, we dug deep to find out what makes them feel the worst. Read on to find out…
1. Ask To See A House Before You’re Pre-Approved
Ah, this old chestnut. We get it, you’re really excited to see some houses, and they’re really excited to show them to you! But they just CAN’T before your pre-approval is in. Why’s that? Well, let’s be honest here. You only get 24 hours in a day. The same is true for everyone — even your agent and Beyonce. They don’t want to spend those hours showing you a house you adore, only to find out it’s out of your range (or maybe even way cheaper than what you can afford). So if you ask to see one before you know how much you’re spending, they’ll be really sad, but the answer is usually ‘no’. Sorry.
2. Ask To Look At Houses That Are Out Of Your Price Range
“Oh, look, this one’s just down the road, and I’ve always wanted to see a ten million dollar house. Can we go take a peek? Please? It’ll be fun!” You know what, you’re right. It might be fun. You know what else is fun, though? Going home to your loved ones instead of spending extra hours at the office. Let your agent go home; they’re already drinking 45,297 cups of coffee just to make it through the day as it is.
Oh, and one more thing? By NOT looking at the El Grande Expensivo Mac Daddy houses, you’ll keep your expectations for your own house in line. This means you won’t feel super sad when your new place doesn’t have a dog shower or a gift-wrapping room.
3. Drag Your Feet Every Step Of The Way
OK, buying or selling a house takes a lot of careful consideration, I get that. But the problem is if you take too long in every step of the process, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential deals. As they say on the playground, if you snooze, you lose.
When your agent says they need a decision on something pretty quick, or some paperwork turned around within a certain timeframe, they’re not being megalomaniacal. They’re really looking out for your best interests, so step lively now, will ya?
4. Decide You Want To Look At Houses 30 Minutes Away (After Three Months Of Looking)
Siiiighhhh… Ok, ok, nothing here is to your liking. That’s understandable. But if it takes you three months to figure that out, though? It’s kind of a brutal blow to the agent who’s been through thick and thin with you these last ninety days or so.
Do yourself and your agent a favor: get a feel for the area quickly by driving around in person, and be realistic about what you will and won’t accept. If you don’t like it on day one, you’re not going to like it on day 89, so pick an area early and stick with it rather than hoping you’ll find something better.
5. Tell Them You Found A Place On Your Own
If you want to know a real estate agent’s true Kryptonite, it’s this one. After all you’ve been through together, to go and step out this way? Why, it’s just unconscionable!
Even if you’ve stumbled across a great little piece of property on your own, your agent is still your best advocate when going through the offer, sale, and closing process. They’ve got your best interests at heart, so don’t be so quick to kick them out of the transaction…you might really (really, really, REALLY) regret it later.
6. Lowball Like You’re Trying To Steal The Joint
Saving money is important. Making an offer that’s so low it’s insulting, though? That’s just bad business. Not only will both sides have to complete paperwork (ahem, time is a precious resource for all!), you’ll also have to deal with the emotional stress when you’re inevitably denied. You may even upset the seller enough to not want another offer from you, no matter how good it is. So make judicious offers, and keep your agent’s advice in mind.
7. Ask For A Lower Commission (Especially After The Ink Is Dry)
This is a tricky topic. It seems like all agents do is type up a quick listing, spend a few Saturdays showing off your house, then write up a contract when it sells. Why on earth should they make thousands for that? Simple. It’s because they’re a tried-and-true professional AND because there’s SOOOO much more going on behind the scenes that you don’t even hear about. Asking them to lower their commission is like your boss coming in and asking if it’s ok that he pays you less for doing the same job you already do. Seems kinda preposterous when you put it that way, right?
8. Ask For ANYTHING After The Ink Is Dry
Whether you decided you want to keep the curtains after all, or you’ve changed your mind and you don’t want to pay for any repairs, asking for changes (or just assuming you can have them) after the contract is written is a no-go. Your mama may have told you that you’ll never know what you can get until you try, but in this case, it’s better to be really comprehensive about what you want on the front end, because mama’s not in charge here…the long arm of real estate contract law is.
9. Go Behind Their Backs
“Well, I know we have a contract, but I found the listing agent’s phone number and she wrote up the paperwork. Sorry about that!” OUCH. This is perhaps the worst thing you could do to your agent. Listen, they’ve been with you through the blood, sweat, and tears, so stick it out with them through the entire process. They’re your trusted adviser, after all, so you should act in a trustworthy manner, too.
Now that you know what turns even the most stalwart agent into a mushy, sad mess, you can avoid these faux pas like the plague.