September 29, 2020 at 9:48am | BBHST Admin
By: Kyle Spearin

Buying a house is easily one of the biggest decisions you’re going to make in life; it’s a huge moment. 


It can be exciting, overwhelming, and sentimental all at the same time. Like doing anything new, there’s a learning curve. Luckily for you, it’s been done before. You’re not the first person to ever buy a house and you certainly won’t be the last. That means you can learn from the trials and tribulations of those who have already purchased houses before you. To make this process go smoothly, you need to find a great real estate agent.


By following this blueprint, you can successfully find a great real estate agent to help you buy your next home.


From start to finish, this post is intended to give you tips on what to do when looking for a great agent. This should be one of the most memorable experiences of your life--in a good way. If you follow the guidance provided, you will feel at ease about many of your “what if” questions and avoid buyer’s remorse. Having a great agent  will make you feel much more confident in your decision.


Negotiation Skills

Let’s say you found the home of your dreams and you want to pull the trigger. 


Making an offer that gets the conversation started and eventually sticks is what you’re looking for. During this phase, you either win or lose the deal. Remember: you make money when you buy a house, not when you sell. Putting yourself into a strong position early on gives you tremendous flexibility from thence forth. Although the definition of “winning” or “losing” in this context may vary based on a buyer's needs, one thing is for certain: you want to have a real estate agent with strong negotiation skills.


A great real estate agent will be able to help you craft an offer that gets the deal done. In order to design a winning deal, your agent must understand The Art of the Deal. Regardless of what you think about Donald Trump’s politics, his real estate empire speaks for itself. When it comes to negotiation, you want a real estate agent that follows principles of all strong negotiators.


1. To get the upper hand in deals, convince the other person that you have what they want.

The first rule in any negotiation is to go in knowing what you want to get out of a deal. Once you define this, an agent with excellent negotiation skills can help you execute. 

Isn’t this the opposite of what the quote just said?


Not really. If you define your needs first, you can work backwards to create a deal that works for everyone. Once your needs are defined, a great real estate agent will also need to figure out what the seller wants. By listening to the way the seller or seller’s agent phrases things and asking the right questions, it’s very possible to figure out what the other side wants.


Take for example a motivated seller. This is someone who wants to sell quickly for one reason or another. If you have a talented agent, they’ll be able to pick up on this based on listing price, the number of people that show up to an open house, or even the wording used in conversation. In doing so, the agent can advise (they cannot make you do anything) you to build your offer according. Maybe you want to lowball if you’re the only interested party, perhaps it’s competitive so you just want to make sure you win the bidding war. 


A strong negotiator can pick up on these things and help put you into the best case scenario.


2. Watch where every penny goes because “soon those pennies will turn into dollars.”

 As noted above, you make money when you’re at the negotiating table. Penny pinching in this instance is probably going to annoy the seller, BUT understanding where you can find value in a deal can save you a ton of money.


At times, an agent might suggest altering the terms to be more favorable rather than changing the price. You might be able to get terms that require the seller to give you money towards closing costs. It’s possible to negotiate anything into terms, this might be one way an agent saves you money.


Another way the agent can help during negotiation is to be cognizant of the inspection. After a home inspection, there will be a litany of imperfections on the report. Some of these are more important to look out for than others. A good agent will be able to tell you what major red flags are, but they should also be able to identify good bargaining chips. If done correctly, they might be able to help you knock a few thousand dollars off the price of the home. 


Your agent should know how to save you money at the negotiating table.


Willingness to go Above and Beyond

Think back to when you were in school. Who was your favorite teacher?


Chances are that one person’s name just stood out in your mind. The teacher you thought of probably had several amazing attributes, for each person they could be different. One common denominator across the board though, is a willingness to go above and beyond. A great real estate agent should always be providing a service that is more than what you would expect or even hope for.


One way that you’ll know an agent is going above and beyond is the frequency of communication. This might mean checking in to see how you’re doing or even learning more about open houses that could be worth looking into.


Another sign that you have a rockstar agent is if they have supplemental material to help you through the process. They might have infographics, blog posts, or data about a given area readily available for you. If they’re really on top of it, they might put together packets for you.


Quality of service matters, choose someone who treats you like you’re their only client.


Final Thoughts

Finding a great real estate agent will make the rest of the home buying process a lot easier. By knowing the signs to look for, you can position yourself to have a much better home buying experience. 


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