Real estate agents hear this all the time… “I wish I had called you before. But I just didn’t want to bother you. I know you’re busy…” …after it is too late. There are times when you might feel like you shouldn’t “bother” the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister…) Maybe you’re truly trying to be considerate. But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should. Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into doing something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. Most are the exact opposite.) So, let’s go over a few times that you should “bother” your real estate agent. Because it really isn’t a bother. In fact, we’ll get into why it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things.
1. You just want to check out a house.
You see a house online. Or a For Sale sign. Maybe even just stumble across an open house. You’re not all that serious about buying a house. Maybe you’re only just starting to think about it. Or, maybe you have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek. So, you don’t want to “bother” the agent you know to show you the house. Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or just walk right into the open house. Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice. And that’s when you call the agent you know. Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help. (Or at least shouldn’t…) Because now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know can get in a lot of trouble for even giving you friendly advice. As innocent as it seems, when you just want to go see a house… you are inadvertently making a bigger decision than you think — you are deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process. Even if you just go see a house with another agent, and before you even make an offer you decide to have the agent you know write up the offer and represent you… the agent who simply showed you the house could claim you as their client. It’s called “procuring cause”. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy. You’re better off calling the agent you know to show you the house in the first place. You won’t be considered a bother. What will bother him is to have to bite his tongue and not give you the help you want further into the process.
2. You want to know how much your home is worth.
Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling. It might be because you want to get a feel for your net worth. Nowadays, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home. So, why “bother” the agent you know about this? Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. They are “automated” valuations. They are based upon data and algorithms. They have never even seen the inside of your home. They do not take into account your local market conditions. And if you base your hopes, dreams, and decisions off of an inaccurate value, that can hurt you quite a bit. Again, asking the agent you know to do an analysis and give you a true market value… not a bother. But, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions off of an inaccurate value once it’s too late.
3. You are considering a home improvement project.
The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs. But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you just pull the trigger and move forward, you really should “bother” your agent for their input. Putting on an addition? That will surely increase the value. A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more. But will the value increase more than the amount you spent? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer down the road? Does that even matter, given your future plans? All questions and thoughts your agent can get into with you. Before you spend the money and go through the headaches of a huge project. On the other hand, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent… You could seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all. Your agent doesn’t want to break the news to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000. There is no joy in that. There is nothing that can be done at that point. That’s just three examples. There are certainly more. But you get the point… So, reach out to your agent before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a “bother”.