What do you typically discuss at the first meeting with a buyer?
At the first meeting with a buyer, I usually go over the following:
- Agency Documents:
- Definitions of Working Relationships
- Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract
- Professional Services Provided
- Your Real Estate Goals
- Receiving Property Lists
- Analyzing Deals
- Writing Offers
Of course, I don't go into crazy level of detail for each of those steps. The initial meeting is more to give people an overview of the process and to provide them with some additional resources.
How long does the first meeting with a buyer take?
The first meeting with a buyer can vary in time quite a bit. I'd say most last about an hour. Sometimes, they can go two hours. It is unusual for them to go much shorter than an hour.
Do you have a “first meeting” for each purchase?
I do not usually have a formal “first meeting” for each purchase, but I will usually get together with a buyer when they're thinking about their next purchase and go over some of the core ideas like their goals, financing and property lists again.
Where do you typically have your first meeting with a buyer?
I work from home and do not have a formal office to meet with buyers so I usually meet my buyers at a restaurant to have our first meeting.
Do you adjust your first meeting with buyers to fit the buyer?
Yes. I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me thinks my first meeting should be more consistent to make sure I cover the same things with each person. But, people have different levels of knowledge, different pressing desires and certain expectations.
I tend to cover their most pressing desires and reference resources like the Northern Colorado Real Estate Advisor book I wrote to cover the areas we did not spend as much time. Having a book with a lot of the information I want to convey written out in long hand, allows me to be more flexible with our time together but still give them a resource to have the important information available to them as a resource.
How do you meet with a buyer that is not local?
For a buyer that is considering buying in our local market, but who is not local to start with I will usually do two things. First, I will send them a copy of my Northern Colorado Real Estate Advisor book and then also do a phone call where I do the first meeting over the phone.
Do you require a buyer have representation documents signed before you meet with them?
No. I do not. The first meeting goes over the representation documents. I do ask that buyers have representation documents before we go out and look at homes so I know what my relationship is with them. Our internal office policy is to get agency documents when we set up property searches and that usually happens.
What do you give buyers at the first meeting?
Normally, at the first meeting I am giving them a copy of the Northern Colorado Real Estate Advisor book and a copy of the Nomad book.
The Northern Colorado Real Estate Advisor book includes a copy of all the paperwork including a copy of the agency documents to have me represent them, a copy of the contract and all the addendums and disclosures.
The Nomad book is a basic overview of the Nomad process and it is essentially a reprint of the following resources:
More posts: Nomad Book
How much detail do you go into at the first meeting with a buyer?
It is largely determined by the buyer. Some buyers are detail people and want all the details up front. I accommodate them. Some buyers just want the big picture and don't care about the details. I accommodate them as well.
Do you explain how you're paid at the first meeting with a buyer?
Yes, I almost always go over that I prefer to represent them as a Buyer's Agent and that as a Buyer's Agent I am paid by the Seller but that I represent them in the transaction.
Our agency documents here in Colorado consist of a Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract which covers the uniform broker duties and the additional duties of a buyer's agent. I often go over those.
Do you explain the duration of your agreement with buyers at the first meeting?
Yes, I usually explain to them that our agreement is good for a year or when we purchase the first property, whichever comes first. If they need more time, we can extend.
I usually also cover that if they're not happy with my service, they can cancel at any time with written notice (an email is fine). I include this cancellation policy in my additional provisions section of the Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract since the default cancellation policy in that agreement is very pro-agent. I often explain to them that I want them to be happy working with me and if they're not, I'd rather not force them to continue with an unhappy relationship.
Do you discuss “off market” deals at your first meeting with a buyer?
It depends on the buyer, but sometimes. I work with a lot of real estate investors and many of them are concerned with off market transactions, so with them I do often end up discussion off market deals (properties for sale outside the MLS).
With more traditional buyers that haven't considered For Sale By Owner (aka “off market” deals), I would not say I automatically talk about it.
Can buyers cancel their Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract with you?
Yes. My philosophy is that I want my buyers to be happy and if they're not, I don't want to continue to force them to work with me.
So, I add to our additional provisions of the Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract a section that allows a buyer to cancel our agreement at any time with written notice. It specifically states that written notice can be via email.
Do you discuss different brokerage relationships at the first meeting with buyers?
Yes. I explain that real estate agents can represent sellers, buyers or act as referees (what we call transaction brokers). I prefer to represent them as buyers in the transaction so I can discuss strategy and negotiate on their behalf and still–in almost all cases–be paid by the seller.
Do you discuss Uniform Duties of Real Estate Broker at first meeting?
Usually, but not always. I do provide them a copy of the Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract in the Northern Colorado Real Estate Advisor book which has a section that goes over the Uniform Duties of Real Estate Broker. And, they'll sign that document when we work together.
Do you discuss additional duties of a Buyer's Agent at the first meeting with a buyer?
Again, just like with whether or not I discuss the Uniform Duties of Real Estate Broker at first meeting… usually.
Do you discuss the different ways brokers can be paid with buyers at the first meeting?
I often will cover that I am almost always go over that I represent them and their best interests but I am almost always paid by the seller. I do explain that in the rare cases where I am not paid by the seller I will let them know and we can discuss strategies on how I can get paid.
Do you discuss that brokers of different experience levels can cost the same with buyers at the first meeting?
Yes, I have an analogy that I use to describe that real estate agents processes, checklists and experience level varies but that the price is usually the same. The analogy is that “what if a shiny, high performance Lamborghini cost the same as a beat up, barely running junker car?” I then explain to them that's what happens with real estate agents. Since the cost of my service is paid for by the seller in most cases, you should get the best real estate agent since the cost is exactly the same whether you pick an amazing agent or a brand new agent with no experience.
What are most buyers most interested in at a first meeting?
Having done lots of meetings with buyers over the years, I'd say most buyers have questions about financing and their goals (which is where I'd group discussions of the Nomad model).
Are most buyers asking a lot of questions about Nomad at the first meeting?
Yes, most buyers are asking questions about Nomad and wanting to know how it might work for them at the first meeting. The exception is for buyers that have attended several Nomad classes and have a good understanding of the big picture of how Nomad works. Often the folks that have attended several Nomad classes, have already though about Nomad and how it might apply to them so I get less questions about Nomad then.