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Research is a significant key when it comes to house hunting, but you may also find that knowing the right people can give you a competitive edge.

Research is a significant key when it comes to house hunting, but you may also find that knowing the right people can give you a competitive edge.

Although a real estate agent works for a seller, it doesn’t mean you can’t use their skills and expertise to your advantage. Remember, the agent wants to sell their properties and to an extent, this could give you an upper hand.

By having a strong relationship with a real estate agent, you may have more power than if you were to hit the property market on your own. Some of the benefits of having a strong relationship with a real estate agent include:

• Be the first to hear about new properties that come onto the market.

• Access to any off-the-market deals

• First chance at making an offer on a property

• Access to someone who has thorough local knowledge and who can answer questions

So how can you get on a real estate agents hotlist? Open home inspections are a great way to make contact with a number of different agents as you can give your name and contact information each time. By keeping in contact with a number of real estate agents, you will likely have more exposure to more property opportunities than if you were house hunting by yourself.

However, you need to be careful when you do get on the hotlist because if you are not genuinely interested in buying, agents may blacklist you. Then, when you are ready to buy, they may not take you seriously. On the other end of the scale, you do not want to become a pest and contact the real estate agent too much. A weekly phone call to follow up on any outstanding offers or new listings is sufficient. You may also want to check whether the agent has a mailing list where they send out regular emails detailing new properties etc.

Tips to stay on the hotlist

• Don’t waste a real estate agent’s time with unreasonably low offers. If you are making offer way below the market value, agents won’t take you seriously and may stop contacting you.

• Don’t meet with the seller without letting the real estate agent know. They may think you are trying to sneak around behind their back.

• Have a clear idea about what you want. If you keep changing your mind every time you speak to your real estate agent, you will get nowhere fast.

• Don’t occupy an agent’s time if you are not ready to buy. Only contact an agent when you are ready to hit the market running and keen to make offers.

Although having one or multiple real estate agents on your side can give you a competitive edge, it does not mean you should stop doing your own research.