Buying a home is a big moment and one that’s easy to get emotional about. Most home buying etiquette is common sense but it’s easy to overlook something in the heat of the moment. Fail to show good etiquette and you could end up losing the deal. Remember, sellers are people too and making a faux pas can tank what could have been a good deal for everyone. Knowing how to treat your buyer agent is also important. Here are a few key tips to help you in your home buying journey.
Get Preapproved for a Mortgage Before You Make an Offer
If you really want to stand out to a seller then get preapproved for a mortgage. This is a relatively simple process that will let you, your agent, and the sellers know how much you can expect to borrow. If a seller feels uncertain about your financing, then they may not take your offer seriously. Many listing agents won’t even consider an offer unless it comes with a preapproval letter. This should be one of your first steps before you even begin your search for a home.
Be Polite on Home Tours
On your search for a home, keep in mind that you’re walking through someone’s house. There is a very fine line between checking out a property and rifling through someone’s personal possessions. Try to be tactful about critical remarks or just avoid any negative comments at all. Some sellers will be on site during tours. Making a critical remark about their aesthetic choices or lifestyle can cause offense and lead to any offer being rejected. This can be an emotional time for seller’s as well so respect that.
Arranging a home viewing or meeting takes time and it’s understandable if there’s a schedule clash. But once a time and date are set, make sure to be on time. Nothing says you’re unprepared like being late for a home viewing or canceling at the last minute. If you are going to be late or need to reschedule then let the seller know as soon as possible. This also applies to your agent. They’re putting their time into this and if you can’t be on time for appointments then it’s not a good recipe for a good working relationship. A home purchase takes time and you don’t want to be the one that’s wasting everyone else’s
Don’t Pretend You’re Ready to Buy When You’re Not
This seems obvious but it’s worth repeating just to hammer the point home. If you don’t feel 100% ready to buy, then don’t pretend like you are. It wastes everyone’s time and makes you look untrustworthy. If you’re still on the fence about buying, then don’t enlist the services of a buyer agent. They work on commission and will resent having their time wasted when they could have instead been working for actual paying clients. Seller’s don’t have the time either to deal with people that can’t put their money where their mouth is. It’s fine to take your time when deciding on whether to buy a home, just make sure you’re fully on board before you start making any phone calls.
Be Open and Honest with Your Buyer Agent
Your buyer agent is there to look out for your best interests and help you find the right home. But they can’t do that if you’re not open and honest with them about your needs and current situation. It can feel a bit uncomfortable at first being so open to someone about your personal finances. But unless you are, you’re only going to go in circles and waste everyone’s time. Be upfront with your agent about your personal financial situation and housing needs. Don’t be afraid to share your concerns or doubts about something. A buyer-agent relationship requires a high degree of trust from both parties if it’s to work effectively.