Buying a home can be quite stressful for a buyer.  So much can go wrong and there is so much at stake (ie losing your deposit, overpaying or simply picking the wrong place for you and your family).  So doesn't it make perfect sense to choose the best buyer's agent in your area? 

Like any profession, there are buyer's agents who are at the head of their class and buyer's agents who simply do the bare minimum.  Here' are some indicators to see if your agent is worth their weight in gold or manure:

1.  Is your buyer's agent accessible?  

Buyer's agent worth their weight in gold tend to be available at all times of the day, whether it's in the morning afternoon or evening.  They also are available in multiple means of communication, ranging from texting, calling or emailing.  And if a buyer's agent is busy, which is inevitable, then he or she will acknowledge your call and get back to you once they have a free moment in the day.  

Buyer's agent worth their weight in manure tends to be unavailable for great lengths of time.  In some cases these agents' response times are 2-4 days, which, as you can imagine, can have a negative effect on urgent, time sensitive matters. In fact, I have seen a buyer's agent lose out on an available home for sale because he went out on vacation and was not available for 5 days.  And to top it off, the agent never even notified the buyer.

2.  Does your buyer's agent have a proactive versus reactive approach to handling problems?

Make no mistake, there will always be problems with a real estate transaction.  It's up to the agent how they handle these problems.  If you have a buyer's agent worth their weight in gold, they will be proactive.  They anticipate problems and come up with several solutions, preparing the buyer and managing expectations.  Here's a real life example:  A buyer's lender is not being responsive when asked about the status of the loan.  A great buyer's agent knows exactly when the Loan Commitment is due and does everything in their power to motivate the lender.  Motivation can come in the form of gentle reminders, forceful demands and even going above the lender's head to management.  The buyer's agent worth their weight in gold does whatever it takes to remove the barrier so that the buyer is on track to perform per their contract.

The buyer's agent worth their weight in manure is purely reactive.  They only tell their buyers of a problem when they are notified by someone else, often times through the title company or mortgage broker.  Reactive problem solving, by nature, gives the buyer less time to derive solutions and may result in a breach in contract.  In the case of the nonresponsive lender, a reactive buyer's agent would most likely get a call from title or the lender saying that an extension is needed for the Loan Commitment because it has expired.  At that point, the buyer is at the mercy of the seller because the buyer did not perform one of the financial terms of the contract.

3.  Does your buyer's agent have an ego that will get in the way of a transaction?

This is a very interesting one because it is more common than you think. 

If you hired a buyer's agent worth their weight in gold, then he or she will almost always place their ego aside and do everything humanly possible to facilitate a closing.  No job is too big, too small or too dirty for a great buyer's agent to handle.  They will always be involved in one way or another in facilitating solutions.  They have a "can do" attitude always, even if the task at hand is not a typical agent task.  Here's an example:  Upon doing a walk through, the seller's agent forgot to remove some items.  The buyer's agent worth their weight in gold will either help move the furniture out or hire someone to assist.  They do this because, not addressing the items will result in contentious battle between the buyer and seller, resulting in ill feelings, delayed closing, or even litigation.

If you hired a buyer's agent worth their weight in manure, then he or she will almost always trip over their ego and almost never attempt to problem solve with things that are outside of "real estate" responsibilities.  Their go-to phrases are "that's not my responsibility" or "that's the job of the listing agent, not me."  

4.  Is your buyer's agent in it for the commission only?

Let's face it, commissions are important for buyer's agents.  It is what puts food on the table and pays the bills, but it should not be the number one reason an individual is in real estate.  My observations has been that the agents who value the relationship with the clients most and place doing the right thing above commissions are the most successful, well-respected agents in the community.  Buyers agents worth their weight in gold are no different.  They constantly explain to buyers different scenarios, even the ones that may terminate a deal.  An stellar buyer's agent will tell a buyer if a counter from the seller is unreasonable or that an inspection with poor results should warrant major concessions from the seller.

On the other hand, the buyer's agent worth their weight in manure does not care about the buyer.  The most important thing is making a commission and moving on to the next transaction.  It is not uncommon, although highly unethical, for buyer's agents to persuade a buyer to continue with a transaction even if it means overpaying.

Casa Ott Group hopes these 4 indicators are helpful for buyers looking to purchase homes in south Florida.  Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us, we are confident you will conclude our agents are worth their weight in gold, looking out for your best interests!