I hear it all the time…the dreaded words –
“I wish I had called you before.”
“I just didn’t want to bother you.”
“I know you’re busy…”
…after it is too late.
You feel you shouldn’t bother the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister, church member…)
Maybe you’re just trying to be considerate. But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should call the agent. Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. They’re exactly the opposite.)
It really isn’t a bother. But it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things. It may bother you too, after the fact!
1. You just want to check out a house.
- You see a house online. (Or a For Sale sign. Or you just stumble across an open house.)
- You’re not all that serious about buying a house.
- You’re only just starting to think about it.
- You have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek.
So, you don’t bother the agent you know to show you the house. Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or you just walk right into an open house.
Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice.
And that’s when you call the agent you know.
Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help (not legally and/or ethically). You see, now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know is forbidden by the Texas Real Estate Commission from even giving you friendly advice.
As innocent as it seems, when you see a house with an agent, you’re inadvertently making a big decision — you’re deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process. The agent who showed you the house or helped you with your offer can claim you as their client due to procuring cause. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy.
Please, call the agent you know and want to represent you. It’s anything but a bother. The bother for the agent is to have to bite his tongue and not be allowed to give you the help you want (and need) further into the process.
2. You want to know how much your home is worth.
Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling and you want to get a feel for its value. Sure, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home.
So, why bother the agent you know about this? Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. The responses are automated valuations, based upon online data and algorithms. No agent is involved who’s ever seen the inside of your home. No one takes into account your local market conditions. Does the true market report take time? Yes. Isn’t the investment you’ve made in home ownership worth a bit of your time?
Please, don’t base your decision on inaccurate value. Asking the agent you know to do an analysis and provide you with a report of your home’s true market value is not a bother. However, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions on an inaccurate value report once it’s too late.
3. You’re considering a home improvement project.
The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs. But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you pull the trigger and move forward, you really should bother your agent for their input.
Putting on an addition? That will probably increase the value. A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more. But will the value increase more than the amount you spend? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer in your market area? Is that important when you consider your future plans?
These are points your agent can discuss with you before you spend the money and endure the headaches of a huge project. However, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent, you might seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all. Your agent certainly won’t enjoy explaining to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000.
These are just three examples. There are more, but you get the point. So, reach out to your agent before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a bother. Ever. It’s a profession.