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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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Brenda & Ron Cunningham’s answer
A great buyer's agent should be an agent that is experienced. Experience brings with it knowing (from years of experience and thousands of transactions) what problems can arise so that you can be protected when the agent is writing the contract, negotiating the contract, negotiating the inspection repairs, reviewing the title report, the HOA report, the septic certification, the public report, etc. Many people think that all Realtors do is find the home. This is the easy part. You do want an experienced agent so that they know what questions to ask to help you narrow down the best areas that fit your needs. Experience can also help to avoid something that may be near to the home that would prefer not be there.

Keeping you well protected during the transaction is extremely important. This can keep you out of harms way, educate you to where you can check for issues that matter, help you to keep your earnest money during a cancellation rather than losing it, get you a better deal, and keep you aware of any problems that may or may not keep you from going forward with the purchase...

A good agent is also a good listener and cares about your desires. One that help you distinguish between wants and needs, and helps educate you to what you can get for the amount that you are spending. A good agent is also a good negotiator. Not a difficult person to deal with that will be abrupt and obnoxious to the other agent during negotiations. This will just backfire. It takes a certain skill to get what the buyer wants when the seller wants something else.

A good agent also prepares you for what is ahead so there are no surprises.

When looking for a good agent in the Gilbert area, call us. We have been Realtors here since the 1980s and love what we do!

Best Regards,


Ron & Brenda Cunningham
West USA Realty
***** Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as "One of the Top 50 Agents in the Valley" *****
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent will provide you with the resources, tools and information to make an informed purchasing decision. They will quickly figure out what you like and dislike after viewing 5-10 homes. They will ask you lots of questions to clarify exactly what you want.

He or she will not pressure you to buy each house they show you. A true professional will know by your reactions to a home when you are ready to buy. One question I ask my buyers at the end of each showing day is: Did we see anything today that you would be upset if you called me and I told you it had been sold? If so, consider writing an offer. If not, go home and think about them some more.

A great buyer's agent will explain the process thoroughly to you, answer all of those questions you have and make sure that you are informed all the way through the process.

Once under contract they will help you with getting all the inspections set up and help you through each decision point.

Working with a full-time agent gives you an advantage over part-time agents as they are not available to run out and show you new listings in themiddle of the week.

For more info check out my website: http://www.realtyremarks.com or call me at 602-390-87088.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Besides being INCREDIBLY GOOD LOOKING? :) Your agent should work for you. This is a job and you are the employer. Listening to what you want and need. Going that extra mile to make sure that "the job" is done correctly. Your agent should be on top of issues that arise before they affect you. The agents job is to make sure that your home buying experience is stress free. With that said, YOU as the employer have some responsibility too. Once you set out your job description, you have to ensure that is communicated to your agent. Make the goal obtainable. Your agent should be available on evenings and weekends.
There are many good agents and a ton of bad ones. Treat it like a job and if "YOUR" company is hiring, then interview and find the best "EMPLOYEE" for the job.

Thanks for your time

Jason Grandon
Equity Builders Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
A great buyer's agent will make the buying process smooth, with a happy ending, as much as it depends on this agent...In the end, a buyer's agent and a realtor professional relationship, which often becomes friendship, will be forged to last...through education, understanding, follow through and professional expertise.

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 20, 2012
The answer to the question is subjective:

A Great buyers agent will compel a buyer to say "thank you, I want to refer others to you so they have the experience I just had"

What experience causes a buyer to say this?

1) Communication = the number one thing a buyer wants
2) Education = the buyer wants to be informed and advised properly THROUGHOUT the process
3) Representation = the buyer wants the best interest for them to be met. Every person is different
4) Relationship = the buyer has to know they have the proper experience and trust with their Realtor.

As a buyer you should expect this from your Realtor. It's not just about jumping in the car to look at homes. Expect a consultation where you can interview your Realtor and they can interview you. If you are a fit you both decide this together and move forward from there. Then you'll have communication, information (education), representation based on the relationship you build from that meeting.

Since people have different personalities find a Realtor that fits yours and understands your needs, can they guide you to good decisions? That is the ultimate goal!

Laura Myers PLLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
A buyer agent is a person who understant what the buyer is looking for and the price that the buyer is interesting to buy. A buyer agent needs to be patient with their clients and listen to them. The agents who represents only the buyer are called buyer agents. They need to be trained and acive and have experience in real estate industry. I personaly work with buyers and sellers. I love working with buyers.
Niculina Norris
Conact me at: nnorris@westusa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 12, 2012
What makes a great buyers agent is simple. Besides having years of experience and being able to take your client through the entire process from beginning to end, it's not talking a buyer into buying a home they are not 100% sure of. I can't tell you how many times my clients have told me that they never felt any pressure from me to make a sale and always felt I was honest and that I had their best interest in mind. Also it's important to really listen to what they are looking for in a home and being careful not to show them homes that would not fit their needs.
Lorrie Feld, ABR, GRI, SRES
Keller Williams Integrity First
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
GREAT QUESTION: Not sure if there really is someone who is asking this for a reason, or, just Trulia's editors, trying to see who will answer. So, I will try to forge ahead. First of all, as an agent who has been in the business for 40+ years, I have been in contact with many agents. From newbies to seasoned agents to superstars. It usually comes across quickly in your contact which ones genuinely enjoy working with buyers vs. the ones who prefer listings. (Many even verbalize their preference). Most good buyers agents I have met are ones who know their market (or, know how to quickly get the right info on a specific area), and, most importantly, really do want to find the best buy for their clients. Where does the bread-winner work.? Is is important for he/she to be home by a certain time? What ages are the children? How important is the school issue? These questions can be important to a good buyers agent. Further, most buyers agents know the markets they favor so well, that, they have "little secret" listings that may be coming, or, at least they know values better than most. Most buyers moving from out of town appreciate this skill over most others. And, finally, most good buyers agents just are really good sales people !!
Cheers, Phil Griffith, Russ Lyon Sothebys International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Your agent should have built SYSTEMS to help guide you through the process, and be a full time agent.

The quickest way to find a full time agent is to look for a an agent that is a Broker.

Hiring a broker, is a lot like hiring a C.P.A. instead of an accountant to do your taxes.

Know any part time C.P.A.s?

In Scottsdale Arizona, good deals rarely last a week.

You need an agent who can MANUALLY search the Multiple Listing Service several times a day for the community or property you are looking for.

Setting someone up on an automatic search rarely works since by the time you get the notification, there are multiple offers on the property.

Terry S. Smith
Broker Associate
Arizona resident for 46 years
Grew up in Scottsdale, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
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