Meeting with your new realtor for the first time can be exciting and overwhelming. This is especially true if you are a first-time buyer or seller. Whether you are purchasing your first home or selling the one you have, preparation is key when meeting your realtor.

Understand Your Goals

Before meeting with your realtor, understand your goals. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How soon would I like or buy or sell my home? When you have a timeframe in mind, your realtor can create a timeline that suits your needs.
  • Know your budget ahead of time if you are buying a new home. If you are selling, know your target price range.
  • Create a list of features that are most important for you when searching for a new home. If you are selling, your list should include the unique features of your home. 

Do Your Research

When buying a new home, familiarize yourself with the local real estate market. Are houses in your area selling for the amount you would like to sell for? How saturated is the current market? How long does it take a home to sell?

Research marketplaces like Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Homes.com to get an idea of the current local market.

If you are selling your home, look at current listings to get an idea of pricing, trends, and availability.

Before choosing a realtor, consider several factors such as online reviews, recent sales, and areas of expertise. This knowledge can help you have an informed discussion with the realtor you choose.

Gather Necessary Documents

For Sellers

If you are selling your home, there are important documents you need to provide your realtor. 

  • You must prove that you own the residence and it’s free of any encumbrances by providing your deed and title.
  • Have your last mortgage statement available to show your realtor including the current balance and lender information.
  • Prepare to have your last property tax record available.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) Documents, if applicable, detail all the information about HOA fees, rules, and regulations.
  • Recent utility bills help give potential buyers an idea of what to expect.

For Buyers

If you are buying your home, make sure to bring:

  • A pre-approval letter from your lender showing you have been pre-approved for the mortgage.
  • Proof of available funds you are using for a down payment and closing costs.
  • A wish list of must-have features for your new home.

Prepare a List of Questions

Prepare a list of questions to ask when interviewing realtors to help you better assess your options. This list will provide you with valuable information to narrow your selection to the best fit for you. Some of the questions you should consider asking are:

  • How long have you been a realtor? What do you specialize in? These questions will better help you understand how much experience the realtor has.
  • What is the state of the current market? What trends are you currently seeing? This helps you establish how fast and for how much your house could sell for.
  • What is your market strategy for selling my home? How will you help me find the right home? These will better assist you in knowing what marketing strategies the realtor plans on using.
  • Ask the realtor about their fees and commission rates.
  • Ask how often the agent will communicate with you and how the agent will communicate with you.

Know What to Expect

Understanding what to expect and what will happen at your first meeting can help you feel more at ease. Typically this meeting will include:

  • Introductions: Just getting to know each other.
  • Discussion of goals: A detailed discussion of your goals for buying or selling your home.
  • Market Analysis: Your realtor will provide you with an overview of the current market conditions in your local area.
  • Strategy Outline: Your realtor will overview their strategy to help you achieve your goals.
  • Next Steps: Your realtor will guide you through the next steps, including any actions you need to take.

Be Honest and Open

Honest and open communication with your realtor will better help them assist you with your needs. Discuss your specific preferences and concerns. If you have any deal breakers, communicate them clearly with your realtor. Never hesitate to ask for clarification if you are unsure about anything.

Financial Preparation

For buyers, have a clear understanding of your financial picture. Prepare copies of your credit score, a list of debts, and your overall financial health. Obtain a pre-approval letter from your lender to show you are a serious buyer. This will also give you an idea of what you can borrow.

For Sellers: Home Preparation

When you sell your home, you must prepare it for the market. Ensure to have your home ready for showings before even meeting your realtor. This includes:

  • Decluttering your home to make it appear more spacious and inviting.
  • Addressing any repairs or improvements that are obvious. Also, consider making improvements to increase your home value.
  • Last, consider the staging of your home. You can do this with the assistance of your realtor, or you can hire a professional.

Have Realistic Expectations

Setting reasonable expectations is essential when you meet your realtor for the first time. Remember that the real estate market can be unpredictable, affecting how fast or how much your house may sell for. It may take some time to find the right buyer. Your realtor can help you with a reasonable timeline to further manage your expectations.

Stay Organized

Keep track of all your documents and important information in one spot. It can be beneficial to create a dedicated folder or digital storage system to keep track of important documents. Staying organized helps you stay on top of deadlines and time-sensitive tasks.

Follow Up

At the time of your first meeting, the realtor may ask for some additional documents. Make sure to follow up promptly. Responsiveness is important for a smooth real estate transaction. Your realtor will likely provide you with a summary of the meeting and a plan of action for future steps.

Building a Relationship

The relationship you build with your realtor should be a partnership. Trust and rapport are essential for success. Always be respectful, communicative, and professional. Your realtor will do the same in return, fostering a productive relationship.

Preparing for your first realtor meeting is an important step in your home-buying or selling journey. Have an understanding of your goals, do your research, and gather your documents to prepare for an informative meeting. Always be honest and communicate with your agent, setting realistic expectations. Make the most of your first realtor meeting with the right mindset and set yourself up for success.

First Realtor Meeting Preparation Checklist