What to Expect When Meeting a Buyer’s Agent for the First Time
Who will guide you on your home-buying journey? There are millions of licensed real estate agents in the US, but also significant differences in their credentials.
Most buyers prefer working with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) because ABR® designees have specialized knowledge and experience in helping homebuyers, which often leads to superior results.
So if you’re ready to start your journey, the first step is finding and meeting with a buyer’s agent.
Most agents call this initial meeting a buyer counseling session, and it’s essential for laying the groundwork for a successful real estate transaction. But each agent handles it differently.
How should you prepare for this meeting? Here are four of the most common topics to expect:
1. What do you want and need in a home?
Agents need a clear understanding of your “ideal home” to help you find it. Typically, this involves discussing and setting priorities among various wants and needs.
Of course, your priorities may change once you start seeing properties. But the buyer counseling session establishes your initial search parameters to get the ball rolling.
2. Are you ready to buy?
Most buyers finance their home purchases. But selecting a lender and securing a mortgage takes time! That’s why many agents want to ensure you’ve started the process and are pre-qualified, at a minimum, before you begin searching for homes in earnest.
There are several types of mortgage providers. Your buyer’s rep can offer recommendations based on their knowledge of local options and other buyers’ experiences, but the final decision is yours.
3. How will your buyer’s rep assist you?
Buying a home is complicated and expensive—and infrequently happens for most people. It’s possible that you don’t have any experience (or recent experience) with the buying process. As a result, it’s easy to be unaware of all the things agents do to assist buyers.
Your agent will want to explain their services and tell you about their experience helping other buyers. They may also discuss expectations—both yours and theirs.
These conversations are essential for helping you feel like partners in your home search and to avoid potential misunderstandings.
4. Do you want to work together?
By the end of your initial meeting, you should feel ready to embark on your home-buying journey! If so, your agent may ask you to complete some paperwork, potentially including a buyer representation agreement.
This legal agreement formalizes your working relationship, detailing what services you’re entitled to and what your buyer’s rep expects from you in return. In some states, buyers must sign a representation agreement before working with an agent.
But remember, buyer-agency relationships are based on mutual consent, so you can cancel the agreement if your buyer’s rep doesn’t meet your expectations. Ideally, you and your agent can discuss and resolve dissatisfaction before that happens.
In reality, most buyers stick with their buyer’s agent and would work with them again or recommend their agent to others. Happy house-hunting!