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Question of the Day: What makes a great buyer's agent

Asked by Trulia, San Francisco, CA Thu Mar 8, 2012

How does a home buyer identify a great agent? What are some key things he/she does?

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A great buyer's agent is someone that at least took the time and effort to secure the Certified Buyer Representative (CBR) designation. That agent should be knowledgeable about their craft including that of the ever changing mortgage guidelines. A true buyer's agent should not show buyer homes without an initial consultation. During the consultation, the agent needs to educate the buyer on local market conditions, understand the buyer's goals and affordability, and educate the buyer on the service they will provide. it is during this crucial consultation that a bonafide working relationship is often established between agent and buyer. Particularly when you talk about a state like New York, (which has a very convoluted purchasing process) the buyer agents having their own external teams that the buyer can utilize such as a mortgage broker, real estate attorney and home inspector helps the process to run smoother and hence a more pleasant and rewarding experience for all concern . A great buyer's agent needs to have the skill of being patient, a strong negotiator, honest, genuine as well as easily accessible and responsive via in person, phone or email. Providing an after service/support too goes a long way especially during the first year of home ownership. What more proof can a good buyers agent have than testimonials to show that they truly deliver the service that they claim they would.

Buyer agents are not common in my neck of the woods but I truly believe each buyer deserve their own representation, it's the only way I work with buyers, it's the right thing to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent knows how to ask the right questions and listen to the answers. A great buyer's agent streamlines the buyer's search by zeroing in on the properties that fit what the buyer is looking for. We negotiate with only their interests in mind, and take them through each step of the buying process. We troubleshoot when the inevitable roadblocks come up and get them successfullly to the closing table. A great buyer's agent communicates constantly with the buyer, always updating them and explaining each phase of the transaction, answering all questions and even anticipating them.

This is particularly important here in NYC, where many purchases are co-ops, which is a particular kind of ownership requiring an extended application process. Co-ops have particular requirements for purchase, and a really good agent will screen carefully for where a buyer is qualified to buy. Co-op requirements are more stringent than bank requirements. The dreaded "board package" is really not difficult when an experienced agent walks the buyer through what is needed and assembles and submits it flawlessly. Similarly helping a buyer purchase in a new development has its own set of concerns and knowing what you can negotiate on, which the buyer would not know, is critical.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Listening to their buyers is very important if not all important. Great agents do this well.( allot of agents fall into the trap of trying to make a sale, and talking their way out of one.
They also know the best mortgage brokers, if needed, Boards that are reasonable, and they get to know, or, already know the managing agents for the buildings and the listing brokers for the buildings very well)
They are very responsive to the needs of their buyers, and know how to set up appointments that fit well into schedules.
They are prompt in their appointment's and great at rescheduling, scheduling.AND, they love their work. (Finding homes for buyers,and feeling accomplishment for making their clients happy. Just to name a few things.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent, represents the buyer's interests exclusively, works hard to help them find the most suitable property and the best value, presents and negotiates the lowest priced acceptable but competitive offer; stays on top of the whole process to make sure sure that everything proceeds in the most efficient manner.
Jolie Muss
Licensed Real Estate Broker & Brokerage
"The Upper West Side's Buyer Broker"
331 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023
Office: 212 721-3301
Website: http://joliemuss.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jojomuss
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/joliemuss - Wed Mar 7 2012, 02:45
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 11, 2012
A great buyer's agent listen to its clients, puts their interests first and make things happen, paving the way to pass obstacles and guiding clients to the outcomes they expect!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent will make sure his/her clients are well informed so that an educated decision can be made...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
There are many factors in being a great buyers agent but by far the most important is putting your clients interests before yours, a.k.a, your fiduciary duties. There is of course, getting to know your client and their needs, knowing the areas they are interested in and etc., but above all is your duties to your client.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A good Buyer's Agent, must posse the following quality, ability to listen what the clients whats, they must be knowledgeable about the market as well as the mortgage industry, and have patience.

Sheilynne Delgado
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyers agent loves the hunt and time spent with the buyer.
Scott B Stewart SVP
The Corcoran Group
Web Reference: http://scottstewartnyc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
The best buyer's agent listens to their buyer, makes a detailed summary of their buyers needs and wants to ensure that not one detail is forgotten, fully prequalifes their buyer (so there are no surprises or rejections), and provides the buyer with a "How Buyer's Brokers Work With Buyers". Added to that the buyers broker should be a "connector" so they can provide their buyers with every possible resource (mortgage brokers, lawyers, accountants, contractors, etc.) that they will need to ensure a smooth transaction. And the best buyer's broker's work doesn't end after the closing. They should be there for post purchas questions, advice or anything else the buyer may need.

Ross Ellis
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Member of Real Estate Board of New York
212.317.7828 direct
646.472.7875 confidential fax
770 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10065
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent listens, listens, and listens to what their client wants and needs. A great agent should manage their buyer's expectation by pre qualifying them and educating them on what they can and cannot buy and explain why and how.. This agent should ask all the riight questions and is able to enable an over the fence financially qualified buyer get the most value for their money. And most of all a great agent will help their buyer purchase a residential unit keeping in mind at all times that their client is buying their property as an investment.
Fern Hamberger
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
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