by Brandon Scott 

The sun shines through the open window, you hear the sound of a robin outside – greeting you to the warmth of the light with an oh, so gentle tune. You leap from the bed, refreshed from your sleep the night before; and, as if gravity is no longer a law, you make your way to the bow window of your apartment. Loudly, you profess, “Today will be the day I purchase a home.” End scene.

As we all know, that’s not how this happens, that’s not how any of this happens.

In fact, the decision to purchase or sell a home is usually thought out or it is the result of some life event. Either way, you find yourself in the position and you’re riddled with questions, rhetorical insight, fear from the neighbor down the hall that over shared how Sharon bought a home and all of the problems she’s having. Internally, you’re a duck on water, calm and steady on the surface but, underneath, you’re paddling like the dickens.

Those feelings are real and, even I went through those overwhelming emotions for my first home. But it’s important to allow yourself to feel those emotions, that sense of anxiety, but avoid lingering there. Here are a few feelings and ways to confront them.

The fear that you are making the wrong decision / moving too fast

As a realtor, my job is not just to sale homes but to inform people about the transaction and guide them. My personal motto is that, ‘I have two ears and one mouth, and I use them in that proportion.’ Or, I listen more than I speak. A buyer or seller is naturally curious and will ask their share of questions, so being able to put myself in their shoes to ensure that they understand the full dimensions of the process is the first step to calming anxiety.

Understanding the reason(s) a buyer or seller is motivated to move is important. And, your agent should spend time getting to know you, your needs, wants, and the reason you’ve decided to purchase a home. Notice I said nothing about the amount of home that you’re going to purchase. Money should be handled by the lender, an agent should focus on the people, their needs and making the right connections.

While sitting down with a realty agent, there should be a natural conversation, an energy that reassures you. You should leave the conversation feeling more informed and deposited into.
The power of being a real estate agent is that everything that comes from a seller or a buyer’s mouth should empower the agent to better meet and serve the needs of their client. A real estate agent should be a force to put the “customer” in “customer service”.

Understanding the Process Step-by-Step

Underscoring parts of our previous discussions, the realty agent should be your resource for information related to your home purchase process, and beyond. Here, the beyond piece is where I will spend most of my time.

Any reasonable person should expect that an agent will define the process for them. And, if you’re not in DC, Maryland and Virginia then use me as your resource to get the answers you need. But, either way, it should go without saying that your realtor should explain the process to you in detail. In fact, the google will do the same thing if you put in the right search terms.

Your realtor should provide you with resources and access that scales beyond the traditional scope of defining the process. Being a real estate agent is about relationships and the power of those relationships is being able to leverage them to benefit the client. This means third-party resources, contractors, other professional, market information, and more should be areas of information the real estate agent fills.

Flex your muscle, your brain that is

Have you ever asked someone for directions and they began with, ‘if you go down here, pass the old McDonalds. Ease to the left, past the Oak tree shaped like a person, and you can’t miss it. Typically, you don’t have much faith in those directions or that person. The same is true with real estate. Being sure that you have the latest and greatest information means your real estate agent is proactive with sending market statistics, reports, analysis, and even going the extra mile to write articles and make videos are all signs of someone that’s looking to provide value during and after your transaction. A home seller or buyer should feel that they have enough information to make an informed decision; that even means having information to talk you off of a ledge. For example, deciding you want to list your property for $50,000 above the highest previously sold property because, ‘you just got that feeling’, is not a sound approach. But you can be dissuaded from taking this type of action by ingesting the information that your real estate agent provides.

In the DC, Maryland, Virginia region there is certainly limited property inventory, and now is the ideal time for renters to begin collecting information so they can make a plan. For sellers, it is a good time to better understand what this most recent wave of homebuyers have done to the property valuations in their area market, and the regional market. Identifying if now is the right time to renovate based on the potential for forced appreciation or to sale as-is and take the money and run…into a new home. And, for buyers, now is the time for you to reflect on home values and why you want to make the move to purchase a home. Realize that the process is, just that, a process and the more that you know the better your chances are of weeding out a real estate agent that can empower you versus those that dapple in the real estate arena.

Brandon Scott is a licensed real estate agent in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. His license hangs with Coldwell Banker Dupont-Logan, DC. He’s been involved in the mortgage finance industry for the last 16 years in various fields. You can reach him by email at [email protected]. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel at RealTeaDMV