House hunting? You probably need a broker to help with your search. A great broker can find you a place to live but also sometimes winds up acting as your best friend, your mom, and your therapist all in one. For a successful end result, you really want to make this complex relationship work; we'll let you in on what your broker might really be thinking...
I hate looky-loos because I work on commission
When you're a broker there are no guarantees. They have to do all their work before they see a dime so please don't waste their time if you're not serious about finding a place. Engaging a broker just to "see what's out there" isn't cool. By the same token, if you love to stop by open houses on the weekends just to gawk, go for it. It's fine to look, just be polite about it and don't eat all the cookies.
I'm not a magician
Just because you'd like a mansion at the price of a studio apartment doesn't mean it exists. A broker can make your life easier by sharing their knowledge of the current market, organizing your housing search, and getting you access to exclusive properties, but they can't find you unrealistic properties. If you'll only settle for a unicorn apartment, you might need a reality check.
Please, please tell me everything right up front
Brokers work hard to find you a listing with everything you asked for in a home within your budget. What they can't do is read your mind. Don't assume that it's obvious you want a dishwasher; remember to ask for it. It's important to bring up all your needs/wants right away so your broker doesn't waste their time and YOUR time showing you listings that won't work for you. Here's how to know if your broker really knows what you're looking for.
Lowballing makes us both look bad
Real estate negotiation is a skill and it's your broker's business to know how to get the price down in the right way. Chances are, that way doesn't include starting with an insultingly low offer because you want to get a steal. Sellers know the value of what they have. Negotiation is part of the game but wasting everyone's time with ridiculous offers just makes your broker feel silly.
If you're happy, refer me to your friends
Many brokers get a lot of their business through word of mouth so the biggest way you can repay them for all their hard work (besides, you know, the money you paid them) is to talk them up to your friends and family.
Okay brokers, did we get this right? What do you wish your clients really knew?
Re-edited from a post originally published 7.23.2015 - LS