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St. Louis homeowners know that the process of finding and securing their dream home takes some work. While these buyer rules apply to prospective homebuyers across the country, St. Louis buyers can up their chances of a successful purchase by following proper etiquette. Everything from working with your agent to attending open houses has guidelines to help you maximize your experience. Here are some of the most important:
Sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement
Though a legal agreement can feel like you’re taking a plunge, this agreement is really in the best interest of both you and your agent. It signals that you’re serious about your search and outlines what you can expect from your broker. Proper buyer etiquette means working with only one agent at a time, and this agreement is a commitment to do so. You’re not completely locked in though, and should something go awry with your agent, you’re still able to break the agreement and find a new agent to work with.
Utilize Your Agent
You’ve selected your agent for a reason, and you’ve agreed to work with them, so make sure you do. It might sound obvious, but some prospective buyers will (often unknowingly) work around their agent. For example, you see a listing you love online and reach out to the listing agent. The proper course of action would be instead to reach out to your own agent who will then make the call from there. It can seem like a lot of in-between steps, but these steps ensure everyone’s best interest. Trust your agent to do the work for you, and they’ll let you know what actions you need to take and when.
Follow Open-House Etiquette
Open houses are often a major part of the home-buying search, and following proper etiquette in these settings is important. When in doubt, talk to your agent and they can help give you the specific guidance you need. In general, being on time, removing (or offering to remove) your shoes, and asking before taking photos are all great practices to follow. It’s also smart to avoid lingering, showing up with a large group of people, or making excessive multiple visits. Ask your agent if it’s customary in the area for prospective buyers to go alone or with their agent so you can plan accordingly.
If you’re going to make an offer, you want to be pre-approved. Even if you’re earlier on in your search, it’s one of the best ways to get prepared. And this way, when you do find your dream home, you’ll be ready to go. It also signals to your agent, the listing agent, and sellers that you’re a serious buyer and are capable of making the purchase.
Finally, if there’s anything you don’t understand, ask. This is a pretty simple tip, but it can really help buyers have a smooth experience. Whether it’s signing a piece of paperwork or inquiring about a proper protocol, let your agent be a resource to help better inform you throughout the process.
The housing search in St. Louis can be exciting, and the more prepared you are, the better your chances of finding that perfect place. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been through the process before, it’s always smart to brush up on the etiquette so you can put your best foot forward.