How-To Be a Buyer's Agent
FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, we will start with the most important topic of agent safety. This is a MUST-WATCH training session for agents of all levels! There is NO COMMISSION CHECK that is worth you losing your life!
On this page, we have assembled some training videos that are super important to watch. We will start with Basic Matrix. Since it may have been a while since you took your new agent orientation and Basic Matrix class, here are some video refreshers.
Next, we have some videos about how to use Showingtime to schedule appointments for showings. Practice on a friend or family member first! Never do a showing without a CONFIRMED appointment, even if it says vacant. If the agent isn't using Showingtime, you will have to request an appointment from them by phone/text.
Following that section are videos about how to use the Supra lockboxes to get into the homes. Don't embarrass yourself by not knowing how to use a lockbox at your showing. Again, practice on a friend or family member first!
Then we have a few great videos about how to show a house to a buyer and some best practice tips.
***** AGENT SAFETY *****
AGENT SAFETY - DO NOT SHOW HOUSES UNTIL YOU'VE WATCHED THIS VIDEO! YOUR SAFETY IS TOP PRIORITY!
How to create your first Buyer Representation Agreement & eSign
A 20 minute walkthrough of how to create a Zipforms Buyer Rep Packet (or Tenant Rep) and get it signed in less than 5 minutes! Easy peasy! (It takes longer to talk about it than do it!)
... forgive the bad edit job
Have Renters? Consider rent-to-own programs?
Here are two great resources you can sign up for to set up an approval portal for your renters to see if they qualify for rent-to-own. You represent the company in the purchase of the house and get the buyer agent commission. Your clients are excited because they get to move into a house that they love and picked and they are on their path to home ownership. They will move in as renters initially and then they have the time to get financing, get credit fixed, increase income, etc. and buy the house from the program. It's a win win!!!!!
Home Partners of America - https://www.homepartners.com/how-it-works/certifiedagent
Divvy - https://www.divvyhomes.com/agent
How to get info on New Construction
Here are two great resources you can sign up for to get new construction information!
How to use MLS Matrix
When you have a buyer ready to set up a search, go ahead and give the search process a whirl, then set up a time with Rachel to have her look over your search to make sure it's optimized to get your buyers the best search results. Don't send out searches until you feel comfortable you know what you're doing and you've had some guidance.
Also, check out the video about understanding the MLS status definitions (Active, Active Option, Kick Out, Pending, etc.)
PRO TIP!!!! - When you are setting up a search for the buyer, just know that they'll likely also be searching on other sites like Zillow. You'll want to warn them that if they do that, their contact information is going to be sold to a bunch of agents who will bug the heck out of them. The best way to keep their privacy if they want to seach on Zillow is for them to search while connected to you as a Zillow My Agent connection. This will have them connected to ONLY you for 1 year. It's kind of like a friend request. Here is how to set up (or update) your Zillow Profile and then here is how to send them the My Agent connection request
Rachel shows you how to use NTREIS
Schedule Showings with Showingtime (formerly CSS)
DO NOT SHOW A PROPERTY UNLESS YOU HAVE A CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What is Showingtime?
Showingtime is the company used by most agents to manage the scheduling of showings on listings.
How to Schedule Single Showings & Showing Carts for Multiple Homes
This is where the button is in our MLS (different from video tutorial)
Do all listing use the Showingtime appointment scheduling service?
Most agents use Showingtime, but not all agents use it because there is a monthly fee for the listing to be enrolled in the service. It makes it much harder for agents to show the house and also for the listing agent who has to manage all of the showings themselves. If you come across a listing that does not use Showingtime, you'll likely need to send a text to the agent with your name and license number to request the showing appointment.
Sometimes appointments are set up directly with the agent because the seller wants their agent present at all showings. You will see this more in high-end homes. Follow the agent's rules.
Also, sometimes a listing is not set up properly and you can't add the house to the tour using the button pictured above. First try, to use the MLS number to add the house to the showing cart in the Showingtime website after you have others set up as shown in the video above. If that doesn't work, you may need to call Showingtime for assistance in requesting the appointment.
What number do agents call to schedule showings on listings?
SAVE THIS NUMBER AS A CONTACT IN YOUR PHONE --> Showingtime (817)858-0055 You may need it while you're out and about.
Before the Showing
You must make appointments first. After you hit the Submit Requests button, the appointments status will be:
Go & Show - GREEN - usually used for vacant properties that don't require approval of the seller GO SHOW
Requested - YELLOW - a notification was sent to the seller and the listing agent requesting the appointment. DO NOT SHOW
Confirmed - GREEN - status will change to confirmed after the seller or listing agent approves the request GO SHOW
Declined - RED - status will change to declined after the seller or listing agent denies the request DO NOT SHOW
DO NOT SHOW A PROPERTY UNLESS YOU HAVE A CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
During the showing
ALWAYS follow the showing instructions exactly!!! Also, if there are signs posted at the door for booties, gloves, etc. you must respect the requirements of the seller.
RING THE DOORBELL BEFORE ENTERING and announce yourself so you don't startle anyone who might be in the house.
Report any issues with the house to the listing agent, like safety hazard, toilet leaks, etc. just out of courtesy. Sometimes when no one is living in a home, they may not be aware of issues especially seasonal ones like not having a heater on to keep the pipes from freezing.
Make sure you stay with your buyers at all times to ensure that they don't open any locked doors or windows without your knowledge which creates a security risk for the seller. Also, make sure that they do not touch the personal belongings of the seller or sit on furniture, etc.
When you leave the property, be sure to lock up all doors and following the showing instructions for lights, etc. Click the button on the Showingtime App to complete the showing which will alert the seller that you are done and they can go home.
FEEDBACK: After you show homes, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not ignore "feedback requests" that you will get via emails from either Showingtime or Supra. Please share constructive feedback because it will get shared directly with the seller to help them with their sale.
How to use the Supra Lockbox
Watch the tutorial videos for tips and actually how to open the box.
If the "Update" button at the bottom has a red X over it, press the button to get the software to update your eKey.
Hit the "Obtain Key" button
Type in your 4 digit passcode that you set up at the association
When it starts chirping, push up on the black part under the lockbox to wake it up and see the red light start flashing
The app will show "Communicating"
NOTE: Sometimes your phone will ask you if you want to add this as a Bluetooth device. You'll need to say yes to get it to finish the process. Not sure what causes that, but there's no harm.
When your phone makes the jingle sound, you can press up on the black part under the box again to lift it and the key container will come down into your hand.
RING THE DOORBELL and announce yourself as you enter
Set the black keybox on the ground inside the door
When you leave, lock all the doors then put the key back in the container and slide it back up into the lockbox. You'll see the green key stickers facing you when you slide it up into the box. DO NOT force it in backwards!
How to Show Homes
Here is a virtual tour that I created myself during COVID's no-showing period. Don't laugh! :)
When giving a tour to buyers in person, you won't need to describe things, you'll just follow the buyers around a little to hear their feedback and look around for any types of property condition items that might be questionable.
When giving a virtual tour to out of state buyers, it will be more like this video where you are describing what you are seeing. You can use services like Apple Facetime, Facebook Messenger Video Chat, WhatsApp, Google Duo Video Chat, etc. to have a video call with the buyers. Practice at your house with someone before you go to the listing. Also make sure you know how to flip the camera from your face to the rear camera so you can watch what you are showing them.
Showing Tips: (practice 4 showings with a spouse or friend before you show real buyers)
Charge your phone to 100% before you leave. You'll need it for GPS and also to open doors and look up information.
Have either your printed out MLS sheets or GoMLS app on your phone to look up the showing instructions
Make sure your Supra app is updated and you know your passcode
Turn on all the lights in the home to allow the buyers to see the house in it's best lighting!
Successful agents don't agree, but you can schedule your tour one of two methods:
Most efficient route based on the mapped areas to tour homes - this is good because it is the most efficient use of time and gas/mileage
Save the best for last - put what you know to be the worst home on the tour at the beginning and then get better and better with each home saving the best home for last so the buyer can walk away from that last home thinking "wow, I'm ready to buy"
Ring the doorbell or knock loudly before entering and announce yourself. Even if the home is vacant, this is a great safety tip to make sure you don't surprise anyone in the house.
If other agents are in the home, it's proper etiquette to wait for your scheduled appointment time to enter. Do not enter early. If they are staying past their scheduled appointment time, you may politely ask if they are done because you have an appointment time now and your buyers are on a tight schedule. Be mindful of your time when showing and make sure your buyers are finishing their walk-through by the end of your appointment time slot.
Wear the right shoes.... DON'T WEAR HEELS!!! Also, don't wear thick tennis shoes. Wear flat dress shoes that allow you to walk safely in the grass or uneven surfaces. Also wearing flat shoes will allow you to feel any variations in the floor for possible signs of foundation movement that you can ask about. You can often feel these dips as you walk around, but if you wear thick tennis shoes or heels, you won't feel it.
Dress the part. If you want your clients to think you are a successful agent who is going to get it done for them. Look the part! Dress professionally, wear a nice nametag and be prepared. Make sure your car is washed on the outside and not covered in dirt.
Most people do NOT take people around in their cars anymore. Most showings happen in a caravan style with the buyers driving in their own car. This allows you time to think between showings or return a missed call. It allows the buyers to discuss the house together while they are driving to the next showing.
Always print or save a PDF copy of the MLS listing before you show the home to screenshot the information. Occasionally agents have been known to make changes to commission or other details during the time the home is under contract and it becomes a dispute. Protect yourself by saving a copy.
Also, to the right are COVID showing tips:
Wear gloves in the home
Use hand sanitizer between showings
Wear a mask at all times while in the home
Ask buyers not to touch anything in the home
If there are instructions to wear gloves, booties, etc. from the seller, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! You are going into someone else's home and you need to respect their space and needs for safety. Don't judge!
Ask your sellers to leave all lights on and open all doors to minimize the amount of touching needed by people touring the home.
How to create your first contract offer then eSign
A detailed walkthrough of how to create a Zipforms Contract Offer and do it right!!!!!
Lots of details, but we go through all the steps
Are the buyers, purchasing the home via Video Conference only? If they are never going to see the home before they buy it, there is a required disclosure for the BUYER TO SIGN when buying "Sight Unseen"
After you get under contract... it's time for kickoff!
Use the CFG Texas Transaction Checklist to fill in all of the contract dates & understand the timelines
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE and the deadlines are windows for the buyer to get out. You want to know when all of those windows are closing to give your buyers an option to get out of the contract without penalty! For example, get the HOA docs to the buyer ASAP because they get a free 3 day out after they receive them. Know these key deadlines and manage them closely!!!
Send a kickoff email (sample below) to title with your Transaction Coordinator CC'd
Attach a copy of the fully executed contract, survey, T-47, etc.
Tell status of the survey per the contract (here are the options)
Also attached is survey and T-47 (if you have it).
Buyer has not received survey & T-47 from seller
Survey is attached, but buyer has not received T-47 from seller
New survey will need to be ordered and paid for by the buyer
New survey will need to be ordered and paid for by the seller
Send a kick-off email (sample below) with copy of the fully executed contract, survey, etc. to your client. Remember the rule that everything you receive is considered received by your client. Don't delay in passing along any documents to the client.
Hand it off to your Transaction Coordinator and get out of the way :) The TC will
Get the transaction setup in your eXp Skyslope account within 48 hrs of going under contract for compliance. If this is a CFG lead, that is reflected the commission split in SkySlope on the Commission tab.
Ensure that the Survey & T-47 are received
Ensure that the EM & Option Fee is receipted by the title company
Help coordinate getting the inspection ordered & getting the report back
Tracking status of title work to send to buyer
Tracking status of HOA docs to send to buyer
Tracking status of the loan approval to ensure a timely closing
Tracking status of the lender's appraisal dates & completion
Communicating the Home Warranty selection by the buyer to the title company
Communicating the Home Insurance selection by the buyer to the title company
Ensuring the buyer receives wiring instructions prior to closing and understands the procedures
Coordinates the closing date and time with title, lender, clients, and you
Ensures that the title company receives a copy of the Commission Disbursement Authorization (CDA) from eXp found in Skyslope prior to closing so that commission checks are cut properly
If you are giving a commission rebate to the client, this form must be filled out and the letter received upon Broker approval must also be sent to title
After closing, obtains a PDF copy of the signed closing settlement statement (CD), eXp commission check, and your commission check to upload to Skyslope within 24 hrs of closing for compliance
Email Subject: Under Contract: 123 Main Street, Providence Village, TX
CC: Transaction Coordinator, Listing Agent, Listing Agent Assistant if applicable
Good morning! We are excited to announce that this property has gone under contract. Copied on this email is the listing agent and my transaction coordinator to keep communication open and help the transaction run smoothly.
Please keep my Transaction Coordinator copied on all emails sent to me.
I have attached the copy of the fully executed contract.
Survey status: ______________
Please order the title and HOA docs.
Please contact buyer directly to give payment instructions for submitting Option Fee & Earnest Money as outlined per the contract.
Please return the contract receipt page after you have received funds from the buyer.
Here are the transaction contacts.
Buyers Agent: me 469-555-1212
Buyer: firstname.lastname@example.org 214-444-1212
Transaction Coordinator: Name email phone
Lender: name email and phone
Sellers Agent: John Doe email@example.com 214-555-1212
Seller's Agent Assistant: if applicable
Sellers: Type Seller Names here from contract
Email Subject: Congratulations! You're Under Contract: 123 Main Street, Providence Village, TX
CC: Transaction Coordinator
Good morning! We are under contract and I am very excited to be a part of your journey. Here are the next steps so you know what to expect to make this process smooth and easy. I have attached a fully executed copy of the contract for your records.
The title company will be reaching out to you to collect payment for the Earnest Money and Option Fee electronically. The title company will be coordinating the transaction all the way through closing and funding. The initial funds must to be delivered by the third day after the contract is executed (not counting Saturday, Sunday, or holidays when the title company is closed). The effective date on the contract is day 0, so they need to be delivered by _____________.
An inspection will need to be scheduled before your option period ends at 5 PM on _____________. You can use your own inspector or use one of the inspectors that other clients have used in the past. You won't need to be there for the entire inspection appointment, but usually the inspector has you come for a brief meeting about 30 minutes before the end of the appointment to discuss the findings and answer any questions you have before the official report is sent over. If you are unable to attend, the report will be sent to you from the inspector. We want to try to do the inspection as fast as possible to allow for time to negotiate repairs with the seller if needed. We do not recommend asking for smaller cosmetic repairs, but do recommend addressing major health and safety issues with the seller, but this is all up to you. We will discuss your options in more detail upon receipt of the inspection report.
If you are getting a home warranty, you'll need to select which company you want to use. Let me know if you need recommendations.
You will need to get a homeowner's insurance policy issued before closing, so please reach out to your insurance agent. If you need a recommendation, let me know.
If this home is in an Home Owners Association (HOA), the title company will be sending you the documents from the HOA upon receipt. I highly suggest that you actually READ the documents to understand the HOA rules and regulations. These are the rules that you will live by once you own this home. Please do not ignore them. If you do not feel that you can live by those rules, you have only 3 days from receipt of the HOA docs to cancel the transaction. This would include looking for things like pets, rentals, etc. and how that affects your use of the home.
If you are getting a mortgage to buy this home, please respond quickly to anything that the lender is asking you to complete including signing disclosures, paying for appraisals, submitting documentation, etc. Any delays in getting these steps completed will delay your loan and then will delay your closing which puts stress on EVERYONE and could cost you money to extend the contract IF the seller agrees to extend.
If you are getting a mortgage to buy this home, please do not make any life changes that will impact your income, credit scores, assets, or debts. They will likely re-pull your credit prior to closing and if you have changes to your credit or your debts, you may no longer qualify. They usually will verify employment just before closing, as well. Please wait until after closing to change jobs, buy furniture, cars, or open new lines of credit, etc.
Final cash to close will be coordinated by the title company and funds can be sent via wire. They do not typically accept personal checks or even cashier's checks.
WATCH OUT FOR WIRE FRAUD: Before closing, the title company will be reaching out to you directly with instructions about how to wire funds to title for the closing. It has happened that scammers have managed to get a hold of transaction information and may spoof emails that look like the title company. For example using a number 1 instead of a letter l it the email address for tit1e and you may not notice it. Upon receipt of the wiring instructions, please call the title company directly at ____________ to verify that it was them who sent the instructions.
After the closing, your lender will review the closing documents to make sure they have everything they need to fund the loan. It sometimes takes an hour or two after closing. Once the loan funds, you will be able to get your keys to the house!