Q5. Buyer and Agent Relationship

All Agents are obliged to comply with the Code of Conduct for Estate Agents issued by the EAAB.

Typically, an agent will act on behalf of the Seller interests, however, it is important to always keep in mind the buyers’ interest as well.

A buyer can only expect you to:

  • Advise the buyer of the market value of the property and be able to point out all factors to justify the purchase price.
  • Present a written offer to the Seller and only on condition that the proposed purchase price is reasonable.
  • Disclose to the buyer any adverse factors that may affect the sale i.e. servitudes, defects, no plans etc. (However, an agent can only disclose this if it has been disclosed to us by the seller).

An agent’s expectations from the buyer are

  • That an offer is made in good faith.
  • That they are financially able to i.e. no judgements or adverse credit ratings and that he qualifies for the required loan.
  • That they do not withhold any information i.e. documents.

Things a buyer would need to do to purchase a property:

  • Start saving for a deposit as well as for registration and transfer costs.
  • Sell their current property if necessary.
  • Compile a comprehensive budget to ensure that they can afford the purchase.
  • Obtain a copy of their credit record to ensure they have no adverse credit issues – if they do, then they should sort them out before purchasing.
  • Make sure all their tax.
  • Get pre-qualified (either by the agent or bank or bond originator).
  • Assess what the home needs to offer (security, accommodation etc.).
  • Read up on things to consider when buying a home.
  • Get documents in order.

Showing property

As an agent, your obligation to each buyer is to:

  • Know what he is looking for

Accommodation requirements, price range, location, type of property etc.

  • Plan the appointment

Note: Select 3-4 at a time that will suit his basic requirements.

  • Show the worst option first and the target property last.
  • Plan the route.
  • Make the appointment with the seller and confirm that the property is still on the market at the advertised price (also if he has signed any offers).
  • Be prepared
  • Have offers, cost sheets, calculators, listing sheets etc.
  • Have a selection of other alternative properties if none you are showing are suitable.
  • Meet the purchaser
  • Confirm the appointment at least 2 hours prior.
  • Give him a general idea of where the property is to ascertain if he has already seen the property.
  • Meet at the office or a central point – whichever is easier (avoid a ‘two car’ situation but only if they agree to leave their car at the office behind a locked gate / or if not too late).
  • During the appointment
  • Try to find out what they have already seen and with whom and if they have seen anything they like (a good way to pick up stock!).
  • If you get to a property that he has already seen, advise the seller immediately and cancel.
  • Avoid pointing out features – rather ask questions – Point out only the benefits of the property.

 

Feature Advantage Benefit
North facing Warm & sunny in winter Saves Electricity to heat
  • Don’ts during an appointment
  • Be enthusiastic, but remain on the same emotional level as the purchaser.
  • Don’t talk too much.
  • Don’t crowd them – they need time to identify with the property – it will be their home.
  • After the appointment
  • Have your diary available to schedule your next appointment.
  • Get feedback from the buyers on the property.
  • Give this feedback to the seller immediately after the appointment.
  • Taking an offer.
  • Preferably take them to the office or other central point.
  • Avoid giving them too much time to ‘think about it.
  • Diary – to schedule next appointment.

Pre-qualifying a buyer

Questions you need to ask to pre-qualify a buyer. This stage should be done early on in your dealings before wasting your time effort and money.

Why you as an agent should pre-qualify your buyers:

  • Saves time and money.
  • Builds the client’s trust in you.
  • Answers objections in advance.
  • Gives you the tools to close.

 

WHY? Why is the buyer looking for a home?

(Currently renting, upgrading, downgrading etc, i.e. their motivation which is going to drive this process)

WHEN? By when would they like to have purchased? And why?

i.e. their house is sold, transfer etc. ideally you want to establish if they found a house they like, can they purchase it TODAY?

WHERE? Where is the buyer intending to move to?

Location/area – can depend on several factors like prestige area, proximity to schools, what the neighbourhood provides etc.

WHAT? What is their dream home?

What are the critical/minimum features are you looking for in a home? I.e. must have’s

What is their price range?

Have they been pre-qualified to purchase in this price range? Do they have bank approval etc?

WHO? Who is it that really wants to move or purchase?

Uncover, as quickly as possible, the person who has the final say.

Additional questions How long have they been looking for?

i.e. have they seen what is on the market, if so what, did they like what they saw, if not what did they not like about it

Once the above has been established, it is important to assess their REAL intent to purchase.

HOW How long have you been looking for?

 

WHAT What homes have you already seen?

What did they or did they not like about these homes?

Note: a buyer will decide based on elimination by comparing homes in a price range.

WHICH Which other agents are they working with?

If just started looking, get a commitment from them to allow you to take them to all properties you have on your books before they phone other agents i.e. explain the multi-listing system.

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