How to Go Look at a House — Get Your Foot in the Door
So, you’ve gotten pre-approved for a loan, you’ve been looking in the neighborhood you want to live in and now you are ready to go see some houses. SO FUN! How do you get in? Well, here is a really crazy thing — you just call the number on the sign or the listing. Seriously! Anyone who is listing the home for sale, whether it is the owner or a listing agent, really wants a qualified buyer to go see it. It sounds so simple, right? Well, let me give you a little script to help you make the right step in.
“Hi, my name is Vali, and I am interested in setting up an appointment to view 1432 Rainbow Ct. I am not a Realtor but I will be representing myself in this purchase. I am fully approved for a loan at this amount with Rocket Mortgage. When would you be available to show me the home?”
Most likely the agent will be a bit confused. Typically when someone calls off the sign or Zillow listing they are thinking, “YES! I am about to make double the $$!” If they show any hesitancy in showing you the property, there are a couple of things you can say:
“I understand that you are representing the seller, and I appreciate you working so hard for your client to get them the best value for their home.”
“Do you have an email address that you can give me so I can send over my pre-approval letter before our appointment? Now when did you say a good time to meet would be? My schedule is pretty open all weekend.”
Once you have the appointment, SHOW UP. On time. Without too many crazies with you. I have a huge family. Way too many kids and siblings and parents. This first showing appointment is not the right time to bring them all. I understand that sometimes you just can’t get a sitter for every showing, and that’s fine. Maybe consider taking turns with your partner as you look at the home. Don’t be the hot mess that this agent or seller is worried about. Be cool.
Check out this download with DOs and DON’Ts while you are at a showing. It will help you with etiquette as well as making sure you don't unintentionally sign up to be a client.
A couple of side notes —
If you find a home on a website (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Redfin, etc.), make sure you figure out who the listing agent is. All these sites will have ads for preferred agents that advertise with them. Look around a bit and find the listing agent. If you click on their name, you will find their phone number, website or email address. Contact them directly.
If an agent is really difficult, you have every right to call the local Association of Realtors and report them to the Ombudsman. A listing agent would be in violation of their fiduciary duty and in violation of the code of ethics for not showing a home to a buyer that is electing to not be represented.
Remember — It is 100% your right to go look at a home you are interested in if you are qualified to purchase it. Don’t be afraid to ask. You are saving yourself THOUSANDS of dollars right now. So be brave, make the phone call and go see that house you want to see.