A new home is one of the largest purchases you'll make in your life. While searching for a new home can be complex and time-consuming, it's important to remember that real estate agents, sellers, and contractors all have a role to play in the process. In order to keep things moving as smooth as possible, there are certain unwritten rules buyers need to know before setting out to purchase a home.
Here are some tips on home buyer etiquette to consider while shopping for a home in the new year:
- Don't Be Late To Showings
When you're late to a showing, it can be a major inconvenience to both the buyer and your real estate agent. Agents often run from appointment to appointment, so a late arrival can throw off their entire schedule. Additionally, it's important to remember that a seller may be living in the home, and they might have to temporarily relocate to accommodate your schedule. Being late might put them out longer than anticipated.
- Stick With One Agent
Once you're serious about purchasing a new home, you should commit to one real estate agent. Remember, agents put in a lot of work without any guarantee of payment. If your agent can't make it to a particular appointment or accompany you to an open house, it's not an excuse to find another one. It's not fair to have a particular agent do all the leg work up front and then select a different agent when it's time for the closing.
- Be Mindful Of An Agent's Time
All real estate agents work on commission, so they're only paid when a home sale closes. Therefore, you should be serious about home buying and know what you can afford before working with an agent. It's totally fine to look at homes when you're in the "just browsing" stage, but just stick to open houses. The last thing you want to do is take up a significant amount of an agent's time if you weren't ready to buy in the first place.
- Get A Mortgage Preapproval Before Shopping
A mortgage preapproval is a statement from a lender that proves your ability to afford and finance a particular home. In many cases, a seller is unlikely to accept an offer without a preapproval, so it's highly recommended you go through this process first. Home shopping or making an offer without a preapproval can ultimately be a waste of time for all parties involved.
- Leave Your Kids At Home If Possible
It can be tough to arrange child care at a moment's notice, but it can be a good practice to have a babysitter on call during evenings or weekends while you're house hunting. Kids can be distracting during a showing, and it's not acceptable for them to run or play in the home. It's also not polite to ask a real estate agent to watch your kids while you tour the home.
- Avoid Multiple Showings
Revisiting the same property again and again can be inappropriate, especially if you're not planning to make an offer. In most cases, you'll want to avoid returning a second or third time. However, if you're serious about making an offer and want to return one more time to check things out, it's perfectly acceptable to do so.
Buyer etiquette is an important part of the home shopping process. By following these tips, you'll find the home of your dreams and make the experience as smooth as possible for all parties involved.