Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations! You are ready to buy a home!  The right real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and help you to find your dream home.  Remember you will be spending a lot of time talking to and working with your chosen real estate advocate, so make sure your choice is someone you trust, someone you can collaborate with, and someone who will be there for you when the going gets tough.

Here are just a few things that your real estate agent will be helping you with:

  1. Determine your buying power with your lender – that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you provide us with some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, we can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you.  Most lenders, banks, and mortgage companies offer limited choices, so matching you with ones who can suit your needs is important.
  2. Assist you as an active participant in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market. It may take some investigation to find all available properties. Therefore, you need an advocate who is in the field every day, actively searching on your behalf.
  3. Assist in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Your agent can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, property history, and more including information on the local market as well as supply and demand.
  4. Provide due diligence during the evaluation of the property.  Your REALTOR can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports.  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 attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
  5. Negotiate on your behalf.There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment.  The purchase agreement should provide a period of 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.

The following are some questions to ask any agents you are considering working with:

  1. Are you a REALTOR®?
  2. Do you work full-time?
  3. How long have you been representing buyers and sellers in this area?
  4. Do you represent the buyer or the seller?
  5. Are there any fees and who pays them?
  6. How much time will you be able to spend with me in my home search?
  7. How often will you communicate with me and how can I contact you?
  8. Do you have access to the Multiple Listing Service in your area and surrounding areas?
  9. Are you able to show me all the homes listed in my price range, including those listed by other agencies?
  10. Are you able to e-mail me new listings immediately as they come on the market?
  11. Will you show me the comparative pricing and sales for any neighborhood or area that I may consider purchasing a home in?
  12. Can you help me with local attorneys and home inspectors?

We would be happy to answer all of these questions for you and we are positive you will be pleased with our answers. Contact us to learn more about how we can work together to find the home that is right for you!