My email head
"Here are five excellent tips presented on "e-PRO Talk"
an email forum of the National Association of Realtors."

Tips For Working Successfully
With A Realtor

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Buyers who haven't demonstrated their financial ability to purchase a home won't be a high priority for most top agents. That's why a simple loan pre-approval letter, preferably from a well-respected local mortgage broker, is a must. A pre-qualification letter is helpful, but not nearly as strong a motivator as a pre-approval letter.

2. Be loyal. Agents admit they work harder for loyal buyers. Don't work with multiple agents in one area at the same time. If you decide to switch agents or if you're house hunting with two agents in two distinct areas, disclose the situation to both agents. If you visit an open house, sign the guest book and write in your agent's name and telephone number. If you spot a new for-sale sign or a new listing on a Web site, ask your agent to get the details. If you decide to check it out yourself, mention your agent's name.

3. Know your own priorities. Some agents get frustrated with buyers who seem clueless about what they need and want in their home. Before you start house hunting, make a list of your priorities and discuss each item with your agent. Write down the non-negotiables that you must have and the amenities that you'd like to have, but could forgo if the other minimum requirements were met. When you start touring homes, be as specific and direct as possible in communicating what you like and don't like about each home.

4. Be open-minded. Agents work harder for imaginative buyers who can see beyond dead landscaping and hideous wallpaper. The perfect home for you could be hiding behind a decor you can't stand. Ask your agent what it would take to upgrade, remodel or redecorate an unappealing home that happens to be in the right neighborhood and the right price range.

5. Be ready to act fast. Some buyers want to move into their new home within a couple of months. Others won't be ready to start packing for two years. People who are planning to move sooner rather than later will be a higher priority for most real estate agents. Buyers who aren't encumbered with a home they need to sell also get more attention. If you intend to move quickly, make that intention known to your agent and act on it.

I'd like to add the following:
6. Be responsive. Keep in touch with your realtor. A serious buyer who wants some action should respond to mailings, demonstrate that you appreciate what your realtor is doing. Don't be afraid to contact your realtor every couple weeks to both demonstrate your seriousness and to be kept on top of his or her responsive list. We all have many occasional customers who very seldomly respond no matter how many emails, mailings, or phone calls we make. After so many failed contacts, they are forgotten. Responsiveness is another "Key to Success". dfk

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