Brett Stomps | Windermere

How to Maximize Your Buyer’s Agent

Get the best bang for your buck by knowing how to maximize your buyer's agent when buying in the Columbia Gorge.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Expanding Once More on Agency Agreements

In previous articles, I’ve written about buyer agency agreements; what they are, and the parts you should know about. This includes the Dangers of Dual Agency and the differences between Exclusive and Non-Exclusive Agreements.

The Untapped Service

I’ve been writing these articles partly because buyer agency agreements have been fogging the lens of the true benefits and services that a buyer’s agent can provide. So, to continue the recent theme, I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about how to maximize the use of a buyer’s agent (at least, those here in the Columbia River Gorge who I am familiar with).

The idea is, look, if you are going to have to sign a buyer agency agreement with your agent, and you might have to pay their commission directly if a seller won’t, then you better know how to maximize your agent and get what you want out of them.

From my perspective as an agent, most buyers do not utilize their agent’s full potential.

Properly onboard with Your Agent

Many buyers begin looking online for properties without first hiring a dedicated agent and without first getting pre-approved. This is jumping the gun, and buyers miss out on a lot of helpful “getting started” conversations with their agent. These conversations help identify gaps and points of interests that an agent can fast forward a buyer through.

Additionally, to stand out from other agents, agents offer specific services that they’ve curated for your benefit. For me, some of those items include:

These “tools” are designed to improve your success and experience with me. Whether that is through education, assisting with due diligence, or helping expand on your opportunities to find property, I’ve created these “tools”, to help you out.

And yet, so many buyers that I talk to today are trying to blitz the marketplace and ask questions later. And look, I am here to get you out of the mud the best I can when you find yourself knee deep in it – but, if you give your agent the right of way to direct the process, and you make the decisions, I promise you, it’s going to be a much cleaner journey.

So, maximize your agent by onboarding with them. Learn what they have to offer.

In parallel with onboarding with your buyer’s agent, I often find that buyers do not communicate enough with their agents (and vice versa).

Why is this important? Well, from my perspective, buyers are putting too much trust in their buyer’s agent. They have one or two phone calls with the agent, tell them their needs and wants, and then assume the agent will diligently look for them forever.

Hein lies the problem with this lack of communication:

  1. The buyer’s search criteria changes, and they don’t tell their agent.
  2. Agents tend to help buyers who are in the best flow with them.
  3. The agent emails and calls the buyer, but the buyer does not reply (or not quickly enough)

Number two is probably the most interesting to expand on. That is because each agent in the Columbia Gorge (if they’re any good) works with dozens of buyers at once, and they’re likely talking to new buyers on an almost daily basis.

If you do not make yourself known to that agent by staying in flow with them and taking the steps they recommend, you will not get the best service in return. There are enough buyers in the Columbia Gorge, and simply, not enough properties to go around. It is the buyer who stays in touch with their agent who will receive the best service.

To maximize your agent, you need to develop a relationship by communicating often and proving to them you are interested in buying and making the time for it.

Check Your Expectations

When hiring an agent to assist you, the agent’s goal is to help you find property that you genuinely want to buy. Now, some agents will start off strong, and later become distant. Why is this?

This is usually because buyers are too difficult to work with and/or want something too unrealistic. To the buyer’s agent, who only gets paid when a buyer closes on a piece of property, working with buyers who: 1) does not have the finances to buy what they’re after, and 2) wants something very rare, become a buyer who isn’t worth the time. This is because there’s no clear pathway to the agent getting paid, which they must to in order to remain in the industry and save up for retirement.

This can happen at any price range, and generally occurs with buyers who do not align their expectations with the market’s reality.

If you are hell bent on finding your unicorn, it’s best to talk with your agent and find a path going forward that works for both of you.

Follow Your Agent’s Instructions

One of the next pieces of working with a buyer’s agent that I see most is when the buyer is not prepared to purchase real estate and does not do anything about it.

It’s no different than what other industry professionals face. The Doctor can’t get their patient to take their medicine, the physical trainer can’t get their client to do their exercises, and the CPA can’t get their customer to document their expenses. For the agent, they can’t get buyers to spend a little time onboarding with them and to best prepare themselves to what’s to come.

So, to keep this simple, if you want to position yourself in the best place to purchase the property that you dream of, follow the instructions that your professional recommends and ask questions if you don’t agree with them or understand.

When you hire a professional, listen and follow their instructions to be successful. Your agent has seen hundreds, if not thousands of transactions. They know the pathway to your success.

Don’t Be Shy

Agents are hardy business owners who have had to learn to be adaptable in order to survive. Because of this, agents have learned, networked, and developed systems, to handle the ever changing terrain which makes buying real estate so hard to begin with!

If there’s ever a moment when working with your agent that you need something, don’t be shy, tell them what you want. Almost every broker that I know here in the Columbia Gorge would want to do a good job and receive your referral business. This is especially so, during a transaction, the last thing your buyer’s agent wants of you is to close on a property you are unhappy with.

Additionally, there’s a time and place when to rock the boat of a transaction to get what we want, and while most agents are going to ask questions on how they can help get you want you want, if you don’t tell them, they might just run with the status quo.

Agents are resourceful. If you need something, start by asking them first.

In Closing

There’s certainly a lot more to expand on with this conversation, and I am sure I will come back to it at some point. For now, these are the top suggestions that I have to give buyers wanting more out of their agents.

To learn more about how to maximize me as your buyer’s agent, give me a call, or read my buyer’s representation guidebook.


The information provided on is intended to be educational and accurate. However, information on does not substitute as buyer and seller due diligence when transacting real estate. Buyers and sellers are advised to work directly with a licensed real estate professional, seek additional professional services when applicable, and to inquire at the state, county, and city offices for their due diligence.