Why Isn’t My Agent Finding Me What I Want?
It is a commonly held maxim in our industry that people who are looking for a house have a list of things they absolutely MUST have when they start out and almost never end up buying a house with all those features! Why not?
Mostly it is because a good agent (preferably one of the growing number of exclusive buyers agents) will suggest houses that might have other great attributes besides the ones on the “list” as a way to teach the home buyers about what their money can and cannot buy. So, for example, if the home buyers insist they need 4 bedrooms but do not like the homes in their price range, the agent might suggest they spend a day looking at 3 bedroom houses. Many of these homes will have an area that might serve as an office, or may have the option of later adding a fourth bedroom.
Another important feature to home buyers today is a very updated kitchen with granite counter tops. Who wouldn’t love that?
But a home in the right price range with a wonderful kitchen might be in a less-than-desirable school district or on a busy road. Could the homebuyers add the kitchen later when they have saved some more money? A good exclusive buyers agent should pose that question.
So why else might you feel that your agent is not finding you what you want? Maybe you have not clearly delineated it. Maybe you have slowly changed your criteria after looking awhile. Maybe you want something that is not on the market at this time. Maybe you cannot afford what you want. All things to discuss and work out with your agent. And be aware that agents in large companies are incented to favor their own company listings. They have special “viewings” of their new listings, they talk them up at company meetings and they are friends with many of their co-workers and want to support their businesses. And some listings have lower commissions than others. Many of those do not get shown as often. You want an agent who will show you everything.
Finding the right home, as most exclusive buyers agents know, is not just about looking online at photos. It is about learning how homes are priced, what features cost, what areas command premiums and why. So home buyers feel educated in making those hard choices rather than just ignored.
Most buyers view only 15 homes before making an offer–does that surprise you? It takes more than that to really make the buyer feel comfortable that they “get” what different options usually cost and so they can, in fact, agree that a particular home has good value or most of the things they want in their price range.
So allow yourself to be “trained” a bit and be flexible with looking outside your initial parameters–your “list”. Consider using one of the few true experts at guiding homebuyers– exclusive buyers agents. You will be amazed that the home you end up loving will be one that does not have everything on your list. Guaranteed!