REALTOR IN YOUR POCKET Podcast
Once you know your needs, wants and budget, it's time to go out and look at some homes.
Welcome to part 2 in my Homebuyer How-To Series! In this episode, I interview Buyer Specialist Katye Landry, who serves home buyer clients on my team at Royal LePage. She talks about her experiences working with home buyers, some of the common pitfalls and ways for buyers to avoid these on your own journey. She also talks about the tools that are available to buyers to avoid wasting time and energy, and not miss the right home when it comes along.
Katye, you’re what’s known as a buyer agent or buyer specialist. For someone who’s never heard of that or never purchased a home before, what is that? A Buyer Specialist or Buyers Agent is a Real Estate agent that specifically deals with Buyers. My main focus is to help people purchase homes. I do not work with Sellers.
What are the advantages of working with a buyer specialist? I would say the main advantage to working with a Buyer Specialist is that my main focus in helping people BUY homes. I don’t have my toes in both Selling and Buying so that allows me to be 100% educated and submerged in this process for my clients.
What are some of the perceived disadvantages of working with a buyer specialist, and what would you say to those?
The only thing I can think of that someone would be hesitant to work with a Buyer Specialist is that we tend to not be “lead agents” We work for a lead agent. This may make someone feel we are not as educated enough in the industry or that we are not a good agent. To this fear I would say it would actually be the total opposite. Buyer Specialists spend all their time focusing on the Buying process and will be able to give you amazing results because this is our focus.
One misconception that some people have when purchasing a home is that they will need to pay you, which of course isn’t the case. How does a buyer agent get paid when you help someone buy a home?
When it comes to our commission it is paid out to us at the end of the Buyer transaction by the Seller.
Last episode I interviewed a mortgage broker who talked about getting prepared to look for a home. Now, we’re going to talk about actually searching for one. Let’s start all the way back to when someone has decided to buy a home, let’s suppose that they listened to the last podcast and they have a good idea of what they can afford, what they want and what they need. Now they give you a call. What are the things that happen before they every set foot in a house? What does that look like?
Before we venture out to look at houses we would have a meeting to go over all the details that will come about with the home purchase. I try and treat each client like it is their first time buying a home. We go over questions and concerns they may have and then we set up a search with specific parameters that they would like to have in a house.
What kind of paperwork is necessary to work together with a realtor?
During each stage there are different forms to fill out. I walk my clients through each stage as they come. There are a few initial documents you find at the start of the buying process. They are Working with a Realtor and Buyer Representation Agreement. The Working with A Realtor explains the relationship I have with the Buyer and how I can help them. The Buyer Representation Agreement is a contract between myself and the buyer(s) for a certain length of time going over details of the commitment we both have to each other in the buying process.
Now this person has met you, you have decided to work together. You’ve got a search set up for them. What’s the plan of attack to find the right place?
Our next plan of attack is usually for the Buyer to go over the search and to let me know if they have any questions about specific properties. I then would advise to set up a day to go and view a few homes at the same time. Putting them together helps you not forget details if you space them out to far apart. It would also depend on the type of market we are sitting in as well. A Sellers market usually indicates we need to act fast to view listings so we may be seeing one at a time. A Buyers market tends to leave us with a bit more time to schedule showings.
What does a showing look like? How’s this different from an open house, which is something people may be more familiar with?
An open house is held by the listing agent, or an agent at their brokerage. This is an opportunity for potential buyers and neighbors to come and see the house on their own usually on a Saturday or Sunday. The listing agent is there in hopes to yes find a buyer for the home but also to pick up new potential clients. It can be great but there also can be a lot of pressure. If my clients would like to goto open houses I always recommend them telling the agent in the home that they are working with a realtor so they don’t get too hassled. Private showings give you a more personal experience as it will just be you and your Buyer Specialist going through the home. You can ask anything you’d like and not feel the pressure of that agent wanting you to buy that particular house.
What are some tips for doing “the search” part of buying a home?
I recommend getting very specific about your needs and wants. Make three categories. Must have. Would like. Dream need. This will allow you to narrow down exactly what you are looking for in a home. It will also allow me to better understand your needs. It is a list that I always bring my clients back to if we need to refocus.
What are some mistakes that you see people make?
The biggest mistake I’d say Buyers make during the process is forgetting the big picture. Forgetting that list that they created at the beginning of this process and getting off track. One of my jobs is to bring them back in to focus to allow the Buyer to not feel too overwhelmed in the process.
Any misconceptions that you find people have?
That they can Buy and Sell on their own. The fact is, yes they can. Given though quality Real Estate agents do this for a living, they are far more likely to make sure your rights are covered, you get a fair price and that you are not feeling alone in this big new adventure.
What are some ways that a buyer can really make good use of working with a buyer agent?
Ask all the questions! There are no silly questions when it comes to Real Estate. Don’t feel like you are pestering your agent. We are here to make sure that you are at ease and comfortable with your end goal and purchase. And Have fun!
To listen to episode 1 of the Homebuyer How-To series, click the button below!
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