Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, a real estate agent makes you feel like you have a supportive and knowledgeable friend. It's important to tell them all the important details about the property you are selling. If you are looking to buy a home, then you should be able to communicate all the features that you consider high priorities. Still, some people say things that are potentially offensive to a real estate agent. Avoid these common mistakes.
“But I looked up the property values online, and… ”
There are many great online tools for comparing neighborhoods and trends, but nothing currently available online compares to the experience of an informed real estate agent. Property values can be ballpark estimates or based on sales from decades ago. By all means, do the research and share your impressions of different neighborhoods with your realtor, but make sure that you respect their experience and training. Don't assume the results you got from a search engine will trump the advice realtors are trying to convey regarding the local market.
“Your job must be so much fun!”
Viewing and touring new properties all day may seem like a lot of fun, but there is also a lot of paperwork and other training that goes into becoming a real estate agent. Saying that anyone's job is “fun” tends to imply that the job would be easy for the speaker. One doesn't typically refer to the work of airline pilots or astronauts as “fun,” since it's acknowledged that a lot of training is necessary. Since some homeowners can sell their home without an agency, some people underestimate the amount of work involved.
“I don't want to sell my property to anyone who is [insert race, gender, or religion].”
The dynamics of neighborhoods sometimes change over time, and some ethnic groups congregate in different parts of town in many cities. There are a lot of different factors that go into the way a population distributes itself across an urban area, and some patterns are established over long periods of time. People who have lived in one neighborhood may feel resentment toward newcomers of a different demographic, but it is not okay to ask a realtor to participate in discrimination. In the wake of the national Civil Rights Movement, equal housing legislation passed into law at the end of the 1960s. Your agent will show the property to any buyers who might be in the right financial market to make the purchase.
Ultimately, most of these suggestions should be obvious. Still, realtors encourage open and friendly communication, and it can be easy to forget common courtesies. Given the amount of money tied up in long-term mortgages and real estate transactions, it makes sense that everyone should be on their best behavior. Unfortunately, the Golden Rule isn't always effective enough for some people who struggle to imagine themselves in different careers or different demographics. To avoid stumbling into a faux pas with a realtor, just remember these examples.