FishHawk Ranch Home Buyers Guide To Real Estate Etiquette
If you are a home buyer in the market to purchase a FishHawk Ranch home and are wondering about proper real estate etiquette, I have compiled a FishHawk Ranch home buyers guide to real estate etiquette for you. Most of the items in the guide are common sense or just plain courtesy but you would be amazed at how often these items are not followed by buyers, ugh! Not adhering to these simple courtesies could actually cost you thousands of dollars by offending or angering the seller whose home you want to buy.
Any strong offer in today’s competitive FishHawk real estate market will include a mortgage pre-approval. Be prepared and have one done before you start your home search. A pre-approval is a testament to your seriousness and strength as a potential buyer. Not only is it a must when making an offer it also will allow you to know exactly how much home you can afford.
You don’t need a pre-approval when you first contact a REALTOR® but be prepared, one of the first questions they will most likely ask you will be if you have a mortgage pre-approval.
Don’t be offended but don’t expect a real estate agent to clear their schedule and start showing you houses if you are nowhere near getting pre-approved for a mortgage. It is truly the first step in the home buying process.
For an in-depth breakdown of the home buying process please visit my FishHawk Ranch Real Estate Buyers Guide page.
Be Honest with Your REALTOR®
Your REALTOR® is your advocate. They have a fiduciary responsibility, to be honest with you. It is really in your best interest to do the same with them.
- If you are just beginning the process and are just really looking, tell them. They may have a client that is ready to buy ASAP and could miss out on a great house because your showing took priority.
- If you don’t like a house tell them why. This will help them narrow down a search for you.
- If you are feeling uneasy about something, tell them. An experienced REALTOR® has been through a lot of different situations. They may be able to talk you through something you are not feeling right about.
- Tell them exactly how much money you truly want to spend on a home. This may not be the same number as the mortgage pre-approval. This will also help narrow down a search to exactly the properties you are looking for.
If you are going to be late or need to reschedule an appointment, call or text your REALTOR® as soon as possible to let them know. It is common courtesy but in reality, there is much more involved than that.
- Preparing to show a home requires a lot of coordination and timing. Sellers may need to make child-care arrangements or adjust their schedules to make a showing possible.
- Sellers will typically leave the home for the period of time the showing is scheduled for.
- Your agent may have a number of showing appointments scheduled for you that are on a specific time schedule.
- Some sellers have limited times that buyers can see their home, and cannot accommodate an appointment if the buyer is even fifteen minutes late.
- Time is the one thing in life that you cannot get back! Be respectful of everyone’s time.
Again, if for some unavoidable reason you are going to be late, notify your REALTOR® as soon as possible so they have the opportunity to call those sellers and let them know. Remember that one of the houses may be the one you fall in love with and want to buy. Do you really want that seller angry at you because you were late for your scheduled appointment?
- Sitting on a bed, lounging on a couch, or using the bathroom are all generally frowned up while viewing a home.
- It’s okay to check the closets and cabinets to ensure the home has enough storage space to meet your needs, but please don’t go through someone’s private belongings.
- In most cases, the home you are viewing is a seller’s private residence so before you start taking pictures or a video please ask for permission.
Talk About The Home
Even though I don’t like the practice, sometimes the seller or the listing agent is present during the showing. Also, as technology is rapidly changing you could easily be monitored and listened to during the showing. Feel free to ask your REALTOR® questions while you are in the home but try to refrain from giving too many opinions about the home while still inside the home. You never know who is listening and you could be undermining your negotiating advantage with something you say. You are better off keeping your opinion of the home to yourself until you exit the home. At that point feel free to share your thoughts of the home.
Please remember that you may be viewing the seller’s private residence. Here are a couple of quick tips to help your REALTOR®, the seller, and ultimately yourself.
- Keep the crowd to a minimum. Try to limit the people viewing the home to just the decision-makers. You should not be inviting extended family, friends, and the friend’s kids.
- When viewing the home please don’t scatter in different directions. You should view the home as a group where the REALTOR® can be there to answer questions and keep an eye on everything.
- Keep an eye on your kids. It is really bad etiquette to have the kids running all over the house. Not only it is a safety issue but something can easily get broken.
I know these seem simple but I can tell you from experience these happen all the time!
Don’t Be a Home Stalker
Your REALTOR® is your go-between for communication between you, the seller, and the listing agent. You will certainly have questions about a home you are interested in. Please ask all of those questions to your agent rather than trying to contact the listing agent or the seller directly. Once under contract please do not just show up at the house unannounced. If you want to see the home schedule an appointment with your REALTOR®. Remember the home is not yours until after closing and the keys are in your hands.
Interaction With Your REALTOR®
Remember that real estate is a business and there is a true process to home buying. It typically starts with the mortgage pre-approval and choosing a REALTOR® to assist you with your home purchase. Once you have done both of those items remember these items:
- Once you hire a REALTOR® to assist you with the buying process, that agent should be your go-to agent for this transaction. It is their job to find you a home and to negotiate your sale.
- If you want to go out on a Sunday morning and look at open houses, contact your agent first. When at the open house let the REALTOR® working the open house know you have an agent.
- Do not visit any new home builders without your REALTOR®. If you do you could lose the opportunity to have them represent you. See the Can I Use a REALTOR® If I Am Purchasing New Construction page for additional information.
- While driving around if you see a home that catches your eye, write down the address and call your REALTOR®. They will schedule a showing for you. Do not call the agent on the sign or knock on the door.
- How many homes should you see? Good question! On a single day try to limit the showings to 5 or 6 tops. Any more than that and it starts to get really confusing. Ultimately seeing 25 homes is not very good buyer etiquette. It shows your REALTOR® that you really do not know what you are looking for in a home. On average most buyers view between 8 – 10 homes before making a decision.
- It is generally acceptable to request a showing between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM anything other than that is not looked upon favorably. Use your discretion, it’s understandable that your schedule may be tight, your REALTOR® and the seller will do everything possible to accommodate you, just be reasonable.
- Keep in mind that sellers may not always be able to accommodate an immediate appointment. Good buyer etiquette would be to give a seller 24-hour notice when requesting a showing. Once again all parties involved will do their best to accommodate showings with less notice.
- If your REALTOR® is going on a vacation do not call the listing agent to see a listing. Before your REALTOR® goes on vacation they should make plans for their absence. Typically they will have you call another agent they trust and that knows the area you are looking in well.
- Do not ever attempt to contact the seller directly. You should always go through your REALTOR®. You will look pushy, and it may upset the seller. It will certainly upset your agent.
- Last but not least if you are not a serious buyer and just want to visit homes, don’t waste a REALTORS® time. Instead, you are better off attending open houses or something like the Tampa Bay Parade of Homes. Once you feel you are ready to purchase call an agent and start the process.
Home buying etiquette is for the most part common sense. Having respect for sellers and the real estate agents involved in the process will go a long way to helping you buy the home of your dreams!
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About the author
The above FishHawk real estate buyer article “FishHawk Ranch Home Buyers Guide To Real Estate Etiquette” was written by Jeff Gould.
Jeff is a top-selling, nationally recognized real estate broker, REALTOR®, and local FishHawk Ranch real estate expert.
In addition to the FishHawk area, Jeff sells homes in the entire Tampa Bay area. Including Lithia, Riverview, Valrico, Apollo Beach, Brandon, and the rest of the Tampa Bay area.
If you are looking to sell or buy a home anywhere in the Tampa Bay area, Jeff is your local and trusted professional.
Jeff can also be reached via text or phone at (813) 421-3007.
Click here for additional FishHawk Ranch information or see other FishHawk Ranch Homes For Sale.
© 2018, Jeff Gould. All rights reserved.