For the remote buyer, an agent needs to conduct a deep-dive interview at the start of the process to fully understand the buyer’s needs and wants. For instance, how important is proximity to public transportation? Are they willing to pay a premium to be near Long Island Sound?
How much land is important? Is 0.25 acres adequate, or are they more of a 10-acre family? Will their children be attending public or private schools? These lifestyle questions will help the agent guide the buyer toward particular neighborhoods or private associations.
The buyer is expecting their agent to be their eyes and ears on the property and the neighborhood, so a conscientious agent needs to focus on details a buyer may appreciate but may not show up in marketing materials, including the flow from room to room, quality of appliances, condition of house, size of closets, etc.
To help research and convey all this nuanced information, the agent will assemble a top-tier team and technology. The agent will schedule all the potentially requisite inspectors, including specialists with expertise in oil tank testing and removal, HVAC service providers, masonry, pool maintenance, roofing, and any other items that could become an expense down the road. The broker will be able to recommend a seasoned lawyer to facilitate rapid document exchange for the buyer, who is making decisions from a distance.
A savvy agent will also explain the local transaction protocols and town ordinances. For example, what are the steps necessary to add a bedroom; whether a binder must accompany the offer; how big a property can be built on that neighboring lot; flood zone issues, and more.
The technology an agent should employ to present the property and key info about it might include virtual FaceTime or Zoom tours of the house and grounds. These should cover more than the standard professional photographer’s shots to encompass opening closets, exploring the basement, and inspecting the water heater, boiler and other systems. A live video tour is also helpful to get a feel for the neighborhood and community.