Do You Have a Personal Real Estate Agent?
If you’re planning on buying a home, you may have already done some shopping around on your own. Perhaps you’ve checked out a few open houses or called the number on a For Sale sign to schedule a private viewing of that property.
Yes, you can do all of that on your own, if you have the time and expertise. However, statistics prove that you’ll be more successful in finding your dream home at the right price with your own personal real estate agent.
Your Real Estate Agent Works for You
A real estate agent, especially one who knows the local market well (like I do), can help you find and buy your ideal home, quickly, and make the entire process go smoothly for you. During a viewing, your real estate agent will give you the inside scoop on that property, so you know the full story. Your real estate agent will also point out desirable features, and potential “issues”, that you might otherwise miss.
When it comes time to make an offer, your real estate agent will present and negotiate it on your behalf. If you don’t have your own real estate agent, you would have to deal directly with the seller’s agent, who is legally obliged to work in the seller’s best interests – not yours.
Bottom line: Your own personal real estate agent is there for you, every step of the way. At least, that’s how I work with my clients.
What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent
When buying a home, you want a real estate agent who…
- Takes the time to understand your needs and goals, so you have a true partner in your home buying journey.
- Explains everything clearly and answers your questions, so you’re never in the dark.
- Has expertise and a track record of success in the local market.
- Knows how to find great properties in your price range.
- Will alert you to new listings, quickly, so you get the jump on those opportunities.
- Will advise you on the best price to offer for the home you want.
- Will prepare and present the offer, and skillfully negotiate such things as price, conditions, closing dates, etc. so you get the best deal.
- Will save you potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring you don’t overpay for the property you want.
- Will recommend reputable home inspectors, movers and other professionals you may need.
Not every real estate agent offers all of these services. My clients say that I do. They also tell me how much they appreciate my professionalism, expertise and accessibility.
Why Use a REALTOR® When Buying a Home?
A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home buying process.
Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR ” ®” trademark on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.
REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments of most people’s lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $250,000. If you had a $250,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a certified professional accountant? If you had a $250,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be wise to work with a professional REALTOR® when you are buying a home.
If you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are more reasons to use one:
- Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power – that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders – banks and mortgage companies – offer limited choices.
- Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
- Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know: First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
- Your REALTOR® can help you with negotiations and inspections. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The purchase agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the property evaluation. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.
You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property title. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title search company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
- Your REALTOR® can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
- Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
The best way to select the right real estate agent, is to meet with him or her in person. Ask questions. See if there is a good fit.
To schedule an appointment with me, please call or email. If it’s more convenient for you, submit the form below and I’ll get back to you.