My Agent Can’t Help Me

I got a call yesterday from an out of town buyer, “Joe”,  who wanted to know about his rights after an I don't know the answer inspection.  He had already written a purchase agreement on a West Bank home and the inspector uncovered some items that the seller had not disclosed.  Joe had several questions about how to handle this situation and wanted my advice on how to proceed.

Unfortunately, I could not help him.

Since he already has an agent who showed him property and wrote his offer, I referred Joe back to her.  His response? “This is only the third contract she has ever written and she doesn’t know what to do”.

While I have all the sympathy in the world for Joe, there was nothing I could do beyond advise him to go to his agent’s broker for assistance (something the agent should have done if she was over her head!).

All too often, out of town buyers and military relocations have no way of determining if the local agent they are choosing to work with is knowledgeable about an area and savvy enough to get them to a successful closing.

When people decide to sell their homes, they generally spend some time researching and interviewing agents to find one that specializes in their neighborhood and has the skills to best represent them.  They ask friends and family for referrals to agents they have used and been happy with.

So why, as a home buyer, would you not spend a little time doing that same research to find a good buyer’s agent?

If you don’t have anyone local to give you a referral to a great West Bank REALTOR, here are a few tips for choosing an agent to represent you in your next relocation home purchase:

  • While you are cruising through all of the online listings looking at homes in the community you want to live in, note the names of some of the active, local agents and google them.  Which ones are easy to find and which ones are invisible?  Even a new agent should have a website with community information on it.
  • Search online for information on your favorite West Bank neighborhoods.  Is there an agent who is providing good information about it?
  • Once you have a few names, give each of them a call or send an email and explain your wants, needs, budget and time frame for relocating.  How do they respond to you?  Do they answer the phone or never call back?  Do they respond quickly to email or is it the next day before you hear from them?  Above everything else, you need to feel comfortable communicating with your REALTOR and know that they will be available to you.
  • Narrow your choices to one agent and work with them exclusively. Many people think that by working with multiple REALTORS they will find a home faster.  Not true.  All agents have access to the same information – it’s what they do with that information that sets them apart from each other.

If you have questions about relocating to the West Bank of New Orleans, it would be our pleasure to help.

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  1. Another way people can ensure their needs will be met, especially in a relo situation, is to hire a Certified Exclusive Buyer Agent or a member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Because EBAs only work with buyers, they can specialize in buyers’ needs. In addition, Certified Exclusive Buyer Agents (CEBAs) must meet minimum experience requirements so a buyer can be sure their agent has more experience than just two previous contracts.

    The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, a nonprofit association, also has lots of information for buyers including questions to ask prospective agents on its website at http://www.naeba.org.

    Kimberly Kahl, CAE’s last blog post..ROR Sitemap for http://www.naeba.org/

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