As a would be homebuyer wanting to go see homes there are generally two initial questions you are likely to encounter when talking to real estate agents:
#1 – Are you working with a Realtor in your home search? The reason Realtors ask this is to find out whether you are already working with another real estate agent as agency laws prohibit us from assisting buyers who already have an agent. If you have a Realtor you are already working with – there is no need to seek assistance from other Realtors. Contrary to popular belief, calling the listing agent won’t get you a better deal, but it will leave you without representation in the largest financial transaction of your life. Not a wise choice, but if you do decide to proceed without your own agent, by law the listing agent needs your written permission to A: represent you, or B: Have you acknowledge in writing that you wish to go without representation. This form must be signed.
#2- Have you already spoken to a lender about your financing options? Sellers go through a lot of effort to keep their homes in show shape and to vacate the home so that buyers can view it. It is very reasonable for sellers to expect that this effort is made for QUALIFIED BUYERS ONLY. Would you feel comfortable with strangers walking through your home for the sole purpose of seeing it? Probably not. Lending is tough nowadays. You cannot be sure of your buying power without having a talk with a lender to get the details. This also protects you from surprises down the road – do you really want to fall in love with a home only to find out there is no way you can purchase it? And last, but not least, real estate agents are commissioned sales professionals. We do not get paid to open doors or show strangers homes. We get paid when homes sell. We have families to feed and that we like to spend time with. Any solid real estate professional will absolutely want to know that the clients they spend their time and efforts on are truly able to purchase a home.
A Realtor ready to hop in their car and show you a home with no questions asked, is probably not a Realtor worth working with.
Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.