Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Emily Post Etiquette Guide for Buying a Home

The following is a guest post from Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty agent, Cara Ameer, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
As in life, there is proper decorum for going about many things, and that also includes buying or selling a home.  When looking at homes as a buyer, there are several unwritten rules to follow that will help ensure a smooth and successful experience, no matter what side of the doorway you are on.
Here our tips for buyer etiquette:
  1.  PREAPPROVAL – Get preapproved PRIOR to shopping for a home.  It can be misleading to look at a home you don’t know you qualify for – even if it is just one that you called off the “for sale” sign to see.  Remember that a seller and their agent took some time to prepare for the showing and have a reasonable expectation that the prospects coming through the home are qualified to purchase it.
  2. SCHEDULING – Work with your agent to develop a REALISTIC schedule of homes to see for the day.  If you are the type that likes to take your time when going through a property, let your agent know upfront so they don’t try to cram too much in at once.  On the other hand, if you are able to move through properties quickly, let them know that too.  Trying to see ten homes in one day is realistic, twenty properties?  Maybe not so much. Be respectful of showing time frames and the process involved to look at homes.  Each home is different – you have homes that are occupied, many with pets, children, sellers that work from home, tenant occupied, etc.  Creating a showing itinerary can be a logistical accomplishment in and of itself for an agent trying to navigate through a plethora of different situations and showing instructions.  Some homes require more advance notice than others, special instructions, etc.  Appointments trigger a flurry of communications between agents and offices trying to coordinate all details. When you go looking at homes, follow the schedule that the agent has – upfront communication and confirming the properties you plan to see before appointments are made can hopefully eliminate confusion about what is or is not going to be seen and allows the agent to plan everything out.  Give the selected properties a chance.  Driving up and deciding to nix it before you go inside is not good protocol.  Remember, there is a seller that took time to prepare for the showing and their home should be given an “at bat.”  You never know until you see it and you may need options, particularly in a low inventory market.

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