Essential Home Buyer Education Agents Often Overlook

Offering home buyer education isn’t a luxury—it’s essential. Yet many agents fail to inform their clients properly. A survey revealed that more than half of home buyers didn’t understand how their agent was paid. This article will explore why agents often avoid discussing commissions, the issues this causes, and how to provide home buyer education your clients need.

Unconscious assumption that because we know something, other people must know it too

Why do agents neglect to explain necessary transaction components to their clients, especially buyers?

When agents spend all day immersed in real estate transactions and jargon, some things seem obvious to them. However, these things are not obvious to the general public. Agents know how they get paid, what a “listing” is, and the work involved in earning their commission. This knowledge isn’t necessarily shared by consumers. This is what is commonly known as the “curse of knowledge.”

Agents should stop talking to clients as if they’re fellow agents and assuming they know these things. Clients pay agents to guide, educate, and make them feel secure in their decisions. If clients knew everything the agents did, they could handle the transaction themselves.

Transparency is a matter of trust

Imagine a scenario where someone wants to buy something and considers hiring an agent to broker the deal. The agent: “I’ll find the item for you, then there will be a period of negotiation. And at some point, I’ll take my fee.”

How would a client feel about that? They might assume they are covering the fee or perhaps think the seller is handling it, but that’s not entirely clear. This ambiguity leaves room for complications.

Clients would likely feel more confident about proceeding if they knew exactly how much they were paying and what they were paying for. This transparency is a matter of trust. Even if the buyer doesn’t end up loving the home they bought, they should feel that the transaction was handled thoughtfully and every dollar was accounted for.

Demonstrate your value

The Curse of Knowledge can alienate an agent from their client. But an even bigger issue arises when agents fail to explain what they do and how they get paid—they fail to demonstrate their value.

Especially in light of the NAR lawsuit, there’s a misconception that agents merely tour some houses and take a significant commission from people who could have handled the transaction themselves. While agents know this isn’t true, convincing clients requires following a crucial rule: Show, don’t tell.

Applying this principle will transform the nature of an agent’s business, but it must start at the buyer consultation.

Buyer Consultation

Here’s the plain truth: the initial consultation is the most important part of working with buyers. It’s something to study, practice, and refine continuously.

The biggest mistake agents make is turning the consultation into a sales pitch. If done correctly, there’s no need for convincing. Instead, the consultation should focus on these goals:

  1. Give an overview of the upcoming process.
  2. Provide an introductory home buyer education, including how you get paid.
  3. Understand the client’s finances.
  4. Gauge the client’s expectations.
  5. Set your own expectations for the client.
  6. Explain why they need a buyer’s agent and the risks of not having one.
  7. Showcase your market knowledge and how it will help win offers.
  8. Assess their level of commitment.
  9. Secure your buyer-broker agreement (if part of your process).
  10. Lay out the next steps.

Arrange these goals in an order that feels natural, but aim to cover as many as possible.

As stated initially, providing comprehensive home buyer education isn’t an optional service—it’s a necessity that helps agents convert, retain, and work effectively with their buyers. In an increasingly competitive market, agents must also be more competitive. Real competition lies in the buyer consultation; the agent with the best consultation wins.