How many times has someone picked up their phone to go through houses to find the perfect home? It’s in the right neighborhood, with the right number of bedrooms, and the right price but they have not considered talking to an agent until this point because they are not ready to purchase a home. On many websites, there will be an option to click the button to ask a question of an agent about the home but be careful of which site your on and who that button is sending your information to.
The first item to consider is that when you decide to reach out to someone on the internet and inquire about a house is that the person to whom you are asking your question is not likely to be the agent representing the seller of the home. Many websites will be set up to advertise buyers agents who are there to serve the buyers in a transaction. Having a buyers agent can work to your advantage in that you will be represented by your agent who in most situations will be compensated by the seller, so it is at no cost to you. It is, however, worth noting that this agent may not have all the answers immediately available and may have to do some research to find out everything you are looking to know.
Another consideration is that when you provide your information on some larger sites, you may be providing your information to more than one person or corporate entity. Submitting your data to multiple agents can be problematic in that you will need to inform each of them of your intention to buy or not buy separately. The best example I can come up with is where a buyer is in the just browsing phase and logs into a large national site where their information is farmed out to several agents. This buyer will then be contacted by several agents who will each try to reach the buyer to see how they can help in buying their home. The buyer will need to inform each of these agents individually that they are not interested at this time and to either not call them or to call at a later date.
If you are already working with another real estate agent and have logged into a website to request additional information you need to, as quickly as possible, inform the new agents who contact you that you are represented by another agent. You can then tell them if you will contact them when your agreement with the other agent expires, tell them when the deal expires, or tell them nothing more than you have an active contract. It is the responsibility of the new agent to not interfere with the current relationship you have with your agent though if the new agent is the provider of a source of information you have requested, such as a website with listings, they may continue to provide you with the specific information for which you have asked.
The more upfront you can be with the agents who contact you the better they can assist you. With this website, we are set up to help people who are looking to move into a new home next month or people who want to look at houses and never walk out of their apartment. The trick is knowing what the customer wants.
One thing that agents request above all else is to be considerate of the sellers. These homeowners are trying to sell their homes and are in a stressful time of their lives. Please understand that they do not want to have people coming to look at their home who are not interested in purchasing their home. It builds hope where there is none, gets them excited, and displaces them, all with no promise of even a consideration that the buyer will also possibly purchase the house. Many of the qualifying questions the agents ask are to protect the sellers and ensure that the buyers are ready to buy when we decide to displace the buyers and intrude upon their homes.
Lastly, understand that much of the information you find online will not be all the information you need to decide upon a home. There will be additional information researched by your agent and uncovered during a home inspection. All of these processes will ensure that you are choosing the right home. The use of online search tools is to help you narrow down the search and to become familiar with the market before you start the process of going from door to door.