Expectations of your buyer’s broker

By Elizabeth Erickson | Mar 14, 2012

So you’re ready to buy your home, but you’re not sure of the whole process; what to expect and where to find help.

You’ve started looking online at houses and areas where you’ve chosen to live. You’ve played around with affordability calculators – or better, you’ve spoken to a few lenders to confirm the amount you can spend.

Now it’s time to go through the maze of the unfamiliar process of contracts, negotiations, inspections and moving. What help can you expect from the buyers broker you’ve selected?

There’s the obvious: professionalism and availability. But there are three other illusive qualities of a professional real estate broker that can make buying your home a successful endeavor.

1. Educating you on market values in the area you’re looking:

It’s key to understand the difference between ‘list prices’ of homes currently available and the prices of those that have Sold/Closed Escrow recently.

Those comparisons are the only ones that matter when determining current ‘values.’ One home may look good compared to others you’ve toured, but those asking prices may not be representative of market value.

The home you’re interested in buying must be held beside what has actually closed – not pending – but SOLD.

2. Advising you and representing your best interests on what is a fair price to offer:

This is another key in the ultimate success or failure of buying a home.

If it’s priced too high compared to similar SOLD’s nearby, then a drastically low offer may be in order. If a broker repeatedly says, “They’ll never take that!” it might be time to research a new representative.

Homes are closing at seemingly ridiculous prices. You have the right to expect that any offer that is supportable by sold comparables will be presented. You also have a right to hope that your broker will follow Washington’s Law of Agency and not say to the other broker “It’s just my buyers’ low offer – so just counter back.”

This is where agency law cannot be legislated. “If you can’t say it with your client next to you ... then you can’t say it,” about sums up the spirit of our Agency Law of representation.

3. Explaining competently the nuances of our 15++ pages of a real estate purchase and sale agreement: We sometimes err with our ability to upload a contract into an e-signature program and push ‘send’:

Reviewing the contract in person whenever possible can alleviate lots of stress created from our complicated, confusing – but legally binding documents!

Buyers today are savvy and educated, many finding their own homes online. But securing that home, negotiating an offer to purchase into a binding contract is still the talent that experienced brokers successfully accomplish.

Your broker can mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars in your negotiations, either to the positive or to the negative. The selection of your buyer’s broker can make all the difference in this complicated process. As always, get referrals!

Elizabeth Erickson is owner and designated broker of Gallery Homes Real Estate. Contact her at erickson@galleryhomesre.com or at the office: 425-212-4300 or direct: 425-508-1405, or go to www.galleryhomesre.com.

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