It’s Not Like on HGTV, Folks
In our story of the experiences of our first-time home buyer, Hadley and her friend Sally, we have finally reached the stage where they are qualified for a loan, have stopped relying so much on the internet photos and are ready for serious home shopping.
Sally, an avid watcher of HGTV, cannot wait to go through the houses with her friend. She wants to make critical remarks about the decorating and check out what the sellers have in their refrigerator.
She knows that the agent will just be there to unlock the doors and say nice things about the houses—like the ones on HGTV’s House Hunters. “This is the kitchen”, they will point out helpfully. “Isn’t it nice?” Sally does not expect she will find much of what the agent has to say very helpful.
Hadley, on the other hand, our savvy homebuyer, hopes her agent, an exclusive buyer’s agent, will provide more value-added commentary. “Don’t you think she will tell us if the house looks like it is poorly constructed? asks Hadley of Sally. “I mean, I don’t really know what to look for and she looks at houses all the time.” “Dream on,” Sally retorts. “The agent just wants you to buy the first house so she won’t have to waste a lot of time before she gets her commission.”
With that set of expectations, the two young ladies meet their agent at the first house. Sally stands impatiently at the front door for the agent to unlock it. “Why don’t we spend a minute looking at the roof while we are far enough away to see most of it,” suggests the agent. “This home has a lot of square footage of roofing so a new roof will cost you more than some other styles of homes. And this roof appears to be nearing the end of its life. Notice the worn shingles near the edges. The roof also may not be the first one so you would have to remove all the layers in order to re-roof the next time. That is a requirement in this township.”
Sally is not interested in roofs. She wants to see how the home is furnished. “Can we go in now?” “Of course”, the agent replies. “Please follow a few courtesies while viewing homes with me. I am responsible for leaving them as we found them. So please do not unlock any doors without telling me. And we should stay together so if anything is reported to be “missing” I can state that you were with me the entire time. I would prefer that you not open medicine cabinets or desk drawers, also. Is that OK with both of you?” Hadley, impressed with the care the agent is taking with other people’s property, quickly agrees. Sally just wants to know if she can look in the refrigerator.
• An agent should provide a buyer with more than an open door.
• Most buyers think that finding the home is the most important thing the agent does, and if they find it first on-line, there is little else the agent can do for them.
• Good agents focus on the high-cost items when helping a buyer evaluate a home. Not the decorating or the refrigerator contents. The roof, the heating and air-conditioning systems, the windows and out-of-date or non-functioning kitchens and baths.
• Any agent that gives the impression he or she is rushing a buyer or not being critical of certain aspects of a home is not the right agent.
To avoid these issues and others when buying a home, use the services of an experienced, trustworthy exclusive buyer’s agent. Sage Realty is one of the ONLY exclusive agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Even if you are buying in another market, ask us to refer you to the best EBA in that area. If you are a first-time home buyer, your fears will be eliminated. And if you have bought a home before, you will have a completely different experience. Contact Sage today.