If you’re looking into buying a new home, hiring a realtor is definitely in your near future. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median age for first-time home buyers is 32 years old with a median $72,000 annual income.

Every July, National Independent Realtor Month is honored in the U.S. Our readers and followers have asked about the finer points of the realtor and client relationship so we’re sharing modern manners for a better overall experience in a two-part series.

Both realtors and clients share common values – open communication and trust; but there are also factors that set them apart. Clear communication and mutual respect of one another’s goals is crucial in having the most beneficial realtor-client relationship. The following 5 tips are what realtors wish their clients knew ahead of time.

  1. Communicate Properly & Be Specific:You’re driving through a neighborhood and see a house that’s for sale, so you call the realtor for more information. Avoid asking about the “brown house” or “the one in the corner.”  These calls are frustrating for both you and the realtor if multiple listings are similar. Be more specific when calling in regard to the house for sale on 123 Berry Lane and have a list of questions ready for the realtor, such as ”how many square feet and does it have a pool?”
  2. The Dream Catchers: As someone who is searching for a home, it’s important to have a budget and let your realtor know. Refrain from requesting to see homes outside of your budget. It not only wastes your realtor’s time, but can spoil your experience of quickly finding your new home.
  3. Excusez-Moi? Realtors may encounter clients that speak a different language. Be able to find a way to clearly communicate, like bringing someone who is multilingual or finding a realtor who also speaks the language. This ensures all questions are answered and information is not misconstrued. Check your local board of realtors, such as Austin Board of Realtors or the National Association of Realtors for more information.
  4. Time-Conscious Buyer: Don’t be one of those clients that cancels a home-viewing thirty minutes prior to the appointment. Not only will this irritate your realtor, but define what type of client you are. Honor commitments made with your realtor and if you absolutely have to cancel or reschedule an appointment, make sure it’s 24 hours in advance.
  5. Compromise: Not every house is perfect, so as a client be prepared to compromise. Talk with your significant other or roommate beforehand on home preferences so you don’t give your realtor conflicting lists of 10 “must-haves.”

Realtor Matthew Ornstein with Hinson-Matthews loves it when “clients have thought about what they expect in their new purchase. If there are certain needs or wants that home buyers need, then we need to know about it so we can find the best houses that fit our clients wants and needs.” Trust that your realtor is providing you with the best matches in the current market, as long as you communicate your wishes.

All in all, if potential home buyers implement the aforementioned modern manners, not only will it make an efficient home search, but also make both you and your realtor happy!

Sharon Schweitzer and Paola Guevara co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Paola Guevara is a 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Access to Culture. She’s lived in Mexico, France, and different states throughout the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. She recently graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas with a major in International Business and a focus in French. Connect with her via Linkedin.