Depending on who your real estate agent is and how much you like or dislike them, this is either a How-To or a What-Not-To-Do….
12 Ways to Annoy Your Real Estate Agent
- While touring properties, wear shoes that take 5 minutes to take on and off. We’re big fans of velcro (and isn’t that a hipster thing now too?)
- Cancel on us at the last minute. Sure, sometimes life happens, but there’s nothing worse than an agent freeing up an entire day to spend with a Buyer and having them cancel because ‘today isn’t going to work’. Good real estate agents have multiple clients and choosing to spend time with you often means saying no to someone else.
- Stand us up. Picture it: A new Buyer calls us and wants to see a specific property for sale. We confirm the appointment. We confirm again on the day of the showing. Then we hang out in the lobby of a condo building or our car for 45 minutes while we slowly come to the realization that you aren’t showing up. Didn’t your mother teach you better?
- Use a virtual bank and have no ability to access your deposit. During your first meeting with us, we’ll talk to you about the importance of having access to money for the deposit (usually 5% of the purchase price in Toronto). So when you find the house of your dreams and want to make an offer, please don’t tell us that your money is tied up and you need three days to transfer it! It’s the fastest way to a broken heart and losing out on the home you love.
- Get a new job two weeks before closing on your purchase. Your financing is conditional on all of your information being the same on the day you close as it was when the lender approved your financing, so don’t go making new purchases or changing your job. Also note: lenders will often not give a mortgage to someone during their probation period at a new job (usually three months in Ontario). Also: don’t make any big purchases before closing without checking with the bank!
- Ghost on us after spending weeks or months together. Ghosting doesn’t just happen in the online dating or Tinder world, and there’s nothing more frustrating than spending weeks looking at properties with someone and having them suddenly stop responding. If you’ve changed your mind about buying, that’s ok, just tell us. If you’ve decided you don’t want to work with us, be honest. Just don’t disappear into the abyss, please and thank you!
- Insist on driving your car when you are directionally challenged and/or bad at parallel parking. It’s not uncommon to see 6, 8 or 10 homes on the same day, so moving efficiently between them is paramount to a successful day. If you’re new to the city or the neighbourhoods, you’ll be exploring, hop into your agent’s car. Bonus: you’ll learn all about the neighbourhoods while touring the city with a pro.
- Forget to mention that someone else is involved in the purchase decision. Picture it: We’re deep into the home search process, narrowing your likes/needs/wants and neighbourhoods when all of a sudden, your Mom/Dad/Boyfriend;Girlfriend appears….and they inevitably have a different idea about what you should buy. Buying a home is a big decision, and having other opinions IS important…just make sure they’re involved from the start and that their role in your decision is crystal clear from the outset. I’ve seen too many people fall in love with a house only to have a parent or in-law crush their dreams at the last minute.
- Tell us you’re motivated to buy, when you’re not. Every agent has stories of Buyers they’ve worked with for years. Sometimes, there are real legitimate reasons for the buying process to take a long time: changing incomes, life circumstances, market conditions, unique needs/criteria. But some people are just Professional Buyers and don’t have any real intention of buying anything at market value. If real estate is just a hobby for you, please tell us.
- Talking too much. We love that you’re excited about the home we saw on Thursday, but please, please, please, don’t go to the open house on Saturday and tell the agent that. Our job is to negotiate the best deal for you, and that means the less they know about you, the better. Sure, you might think the fact that you’re seven months pregnant and desperate will make them feel sorry for you, but a savvy listing agent will only see dollar signs. Let your agent decide what personal information – if any – will help your negotiation position (and yes, they’ll need your permission to disclose anything personal).
- “Sleeping on it.” In a market as competitive and fast-moving as Toronto’s, taking a night to ‘sleep on it’ can often cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re lucky enough to find a property that isn’t trying to get a bidding war by withholding offers, jump on it! Timing is one of the secrets of real estate…and making an offer at 11 PM when everyone else is ‘sleeping on it’ could just be the key to landing your dream home. Now I’m not saying don’t do your due diligence and I’m not saying buy a house you aren’t 100% sure you want…but be prepared to move fast to get the house you want.
- Lowballing for the sake of lowballing. We sometimes come across Buyers who are adamant that they ‘won’t pay the listing price’, or ‘won’t get into a bidding war’. If a home is overpriced, I get it – of course, you don’t want to pay more than a house is worth! And bidding wars ARE frustrating…but most of the homes that get them have been purposely underpriced to attract attention. Standing by principles that aren’t based on reality is a sure-fire road to disappointment. Focus on real market value and what a home is worth to you, instead of the listing price.