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How to Get What You Want from the Realtor

Time's Up
You are not the only one who should be on good behavior during this journey. The Realtor is also expected to be available, to return phone calls and e-mails promptly, to have paperwork prepared by deadlines, and to give you honest, sound advice. Violations of these courtesies are definitely reasons to seek another Realtor. In addition, there are some red flags particular to the industry that should make you reconsider your affiliation with this person:

  • The Realtor continues to show you properties over the price limit you have set.
  • The Realtor consistently tries to talk you into properties you are not interested in ("It has such potential!").
  • The Realtor grumbles when you haven't made an offer by the third or fourth house (first-time buyers should view at least ten homes).
  • The Realtor tries to pressure you by telling you there is another buyer out there who wants to make an offer on the same house. (In a hot real estate market multiple offers are common, so don't fault the Realtor if this is the case.)
  • The Realtor consistently embellishes details on prospective houses to get you to view them ("beautiful wood paneling" turns out to be the inexpensive plastic stuff).
These are the cheap tricks of someone who is more interested in making a commission than in satisfying your needs. Don't fall for them.

House Beautiful
The best time to buy a house is when you're not in a big hurry. That may not always be possible, especially in a hot real estate market. Most markets are not red hot, however, and if you don't get the first house you make an offer on, there will be another. Try to enjoy the process. Get your creative wheels turning – what color would you paint that room? How would the light change if you took out that wall? How would the yard look with a row of tulips along the fence? Would you feel comfortable walking your dog alone at night in this neighborhood? Take the time to dream a little and try on the different homes you look at. You've got your Realtor to do the hard stuff.

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From Say the Magic Words by Lynette Padwa. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, go to Amazon.

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