A great real estate agent is very patient and understanding, but we can all admit that there are certain things buyers do that drive us up a wall! Most buyers aren’t even aware that some of the things they do during the home buying process tests the patience of the agent working alongside them, but that’s okay. Buying a home is an exciting and scary journey, especially for first time home buyers, so we — the Keri Shull Team — totally get why buyers do these annoying things. We put together a list of the top 10 things buyers do that annoy their real estate agents, but we’d like you to think of it more like a list of things to avoid doing when buying a home. Depending on how much you like your real estate agent, consider this a What-Not-To-Do list.
Here are 10 of the easiest ways to annoy your agent when buying a home:
#1: Stand Us Up
Let’s face it, no one wants to be stood up. It’s embarrassing for the person left waiting for someone who will never show, and it looks bad on the person who left the other guy hanging! Real estate agents have feelings too. Picture your agent standing — and waiting and waiting — in the lobby of that condo building you wanted to see in person, and picture the looks on the faces of the seller and the seller’s agent when they realize you aren’t coming. If you make an appointment with your agent to see a property, make sure you keep it or risk facing the wrath of your scorned agent!
#2: Cancel On Us Without Notice
This is almost as bad as standing your agent up. Emergencies happen, and those don’t count when it comes to canceling on your agent with little to no notice. However, if you wake up and decide that you just don’t feel like seeing houses on the day you’re scheduled to visit properties with your agent, that’s a sure fire way to annoy your agent! Great agents have multiple clients looking to buy or sell a home at the same time, so be respectful of their schedules too. If they clear the whole day to tour neighborhoods with you, don’t cancel on them last minute. Your agent will thank you for it.
#3: Wear Shoes That Take Forever to Get On or Off
When you and your agent are scheduled to visit several homes, try to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Your agent may smile at you while you take an eternity to take your shoes off before touring a home, but inside they are counting the minutes. Time is of the essence when buying a home, so make it easy on yourself and your agent and avoid wearing your fancy, lace-up boots that require teamwork to yank one off of your foot.
#4: Ghost Us
In case you’re not hip to the slang the kids are using, “ghosting” someone means disappearing without a word. It’s usually used in reference to online dating when someone just stops messaging you back, but it can happen in the real world too. There is nothing more frustrating for an agent than spending weeks or months looking for the perfect home for a client only to have that client ghost us without warning. We take such great care of our clients, when we don’t hear from them we get concerned something is seriously wrong. We don’t know if they got hit by a bus, or had a job transfer. Suddenly, you’re not responding to our emails or calls anymore, and that’s super annoying for anyone! If you’ve changed your mind about buying, that’s okay — just tell us. Honesty is always the best policy.
#5: Forget to Mention There’s Someone Else Involved
For the love of all things real estate, please tell us right away if there is someone else involved in your home buying decision. Great real estate agents like us make it a point to establish the wish list right from the start, so we can begin narrowing down your wants and needs before searching for homes. If you forget to tell us that Mom/Dad/Husband/Wife/Sister/Brother is also involved in these decisions after we’ve compiled a list of homes to see, we have to start all over. We’ve seen too many home buyers get their hopes crushed when they find a home they love without including the purchase partner first. Save yourself the heartbreak and save your agent’s stress levels.
#6: Insist on Driving
It’s not uncommon to see five or six homes a day when you’re in the throes of your home search with your agent, and that can total up to a lot of miles behind the wheel. It’s imperative to get from neighborhood to neighborhood efficiently to stay on schedule, so please don’t insist on driving your own car. Your agent most likely knows the area better than you do, including where to park, so agree to be the co-pilot to avoid annoying your agent. Focus on getting to know the area by taking in the sights around you while your agent navigates. Let us risk the parking tickets; we insist!
#7: Fail to Have a Poker Face When It Counts
Negotiation is an art. A great agent knows that sometimes it pays off to play hard to get. The less the seller knows about how the buyer feels, the more power the buyer’s agent has to negotiate. Don’t be that buyer who can’t stop saying how much they love a home while they’re standing in it with the seller’s agent. When you’re alone with your agent, go for it! But when you’re at an open house, play it cool with a poker face, so your agent can get you the best deal possible.
#8: Be Indecisive
One of the key responsibilities of an expert real estate agent is to help their buyers make decisions about what they want in a home before making offers. In a market as fast-paced and competitive as ours here in the D.C. metro area, indecision can be the death of a deal. If you find the home of your dreams, don’t ask for a night to “sleep on it!” This is the most annoying thing an agent can hear when they know they’ve helped you find the perfect home for you. By the time you wake up and make a decision, the home may be sold to another buyer and your chance will be gone. Know what you want and stick to it, so you can move fast when you find the right home.
#9: Deliberately & Repeatedly Make Lowball Offers
Nearly every real estate agent has encountered a buyer who refuses to break away from their lowballing game. There are times when making offers under the listing price is the right move, but let your agent make that decision since that’s why you hired him or her in the first place. A great agent will never let you pay more than a house is worth. We know bidding wars can be frustrating, but most homes in these situations have been underpriced just to attract more attention. Trust us to rely on the real market value of a home instead of the listing price, and don’t lowball just for the sake of lowballing.
#10: Get a New Job a Week Before Closing
Yep, it’s happened before. In case you didn’t know that your mortgage pre-approval and financing are contingent on all of your information remaining the same from the day you met with the lender to the day you sit at the closing table, now you know. So don’t go quitting your job and accepting a new one a week before you close on the home of your dreams! It could set you back weeks and make you lose out on the home you thought you were going to spend the next 20 years of your life in. Also, your agent might have a conniption if you do this. Consider yourself warned!