What do real estate agents really need to know about you?
When you’re house hunting, two things are a guarantee; Saturday’s become devoted to inspections, and you’re going to have to shoot the breeze with real estate agents at the same time.
As informative as many agents are, you need to exercise some self-restraint when it comes to the conversation to put you in the best position when negotiation time comes around.
What to reveal to a real estate agent is similar to what you should reveal on a first date. Let them get to know you a little bit: your interests, things you’re looking for in a property or the local community – but don’t walk around talking about how much money you have or gushing about how much you love a particular place.
The end of your house hunting journey will involve a negotiation, so you need to set boundaries around how much you reveal to an estate agent. As a guide, here are some do’s and don’ts around what to discuss to get the most out of your house hunting experience.
Keep to yourself
Don’t give them a timeframe: whether you’re looking to buy in a hurry or you’ve got more time up your sleeve, all a real estate agent really needs to know is you’re interested and shopping around.
No specific budget details: rather than sharing an upper limit, if you’re asked what your budget is, give them a reasonable price range, as they can inform you of upcoming sales in the areas you’re interested in. If your budget is $800K you might ask to see homes between $700K to $900K. This way they’ll show you properties above and below your budget, and you can keep your cards close to your chest.
That you’ve just missed out: you might be feeling a little raw about missing out on a house, but you don’t need to mention that. Try to leave your emotions at the door. The less emotional pressure you feel during the process, the more likely you’ll make the right decision in the long run.
How much you LOVE the place: keep that poker face on until you’re in your car and out of earshot. This will make it easier for you to play hard ball when it comes to negotiating a price. Because in the end, what we want is the dream home for the dream price, right?
If you’re interested, say so: we said don’t say how much you love a house – and don’t – but you have to show a little bit of interest. If someone else puts an offer in before auction day and the agent knows you’re interested, they’ll likely get in touch and give you a chance to get in the game. If you play too hard to get, you might run the risk of missing out completely.
Your must-haves and nice-to-haves: if an agent has a good idea of what you’re looking for, they can recommend properties that come up in the area, and you’ll get a first look. They usually have great tips on schools, shops and the local neighbourhood, so make the most of what an agent can offer you, and give yourself the best chance at building a happy life in your new home.
Want to see if you’re on track to purchase your new home? Try our home loan calculator today.