Once you’ve found a REALTOR® you like who specializes in the area you’re interested in, commit to him or her. Otherwise, you’ll waste time explaining your priorities to several REALTORS® and potentially end up viewing the same house more than once. Note: most good REALTORS® will request that you sign an exclusivity agreement before agreeing to represent you.
Do some digging.
Research various areas and construction styles to narrow down what you’re looking for. Also, make sure all the documentation and financing you will need to close a deal are in order.
State your case.
Educate your REALTOR® on your specific needs and wants. It’s a good idea to provide a list of features you absolutely must have, and a separate list of items that you do not want. For instance, if you need at least three bedrooms for you and your children, there’s no point in your REALTOR® showing you one-bedroom listings. At the same time, if you hate corner homes, say so -- you’ll save you and your REALTOR® a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
Keep the lines open.
Communicate with your REALTOR® regularly. Keep him/her up-to-date on what you liked and didn’t like about every property you see. If your needs, preferences or budget change, let your REALTOR® know so the search parameters can be adjusted.
Treat your REALTOR® how you expect to be treated. Call or e-mail if you’re going to be late for a showing or appointment. Your REALTOR® will be able to adjust his/her schedule, and still be willing to give you time in the future.
Everyone likes to dream, but you need to be realistic. If you can only afford a one-bedroom condo, then don’t waste time looking at a million-dollar penthouse. If you don’t know what you can afford, ask your REALTOR® who should be very familiar with current market pricing and be able to show you homes within your reach. Your REALTOR® may also suggest you get pre-qualified for a mortgage so you’re prepared to move quickly when you do find the right house.
Trust your REALTOR’s® judgment.
That mediocre bungalow your REALTOR® wants to show you may not be what you envisioned as your home, but if your REALTOR® wants to show it to you, give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Your REALTOR® may know something you don’t -- maybe with a minor renovation, it could turn into the home you always wanted.