Victoria Carter Homebuyer's Guide STEP FOUR: PARTNERING WITH THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT

A good real estate agent is a partner in your home search, someone with whom you’ll be working closely. When selecting a realtor, there are many important considerations, and you will need to spend time to develop a strong relationship with the realtor you choose.

  • Advantages of Using an Agent
    Your agent can give you valuable insight into the market and provide access to a large number of available homes through the Multiple Listing Service. Working every day in the local housing market, your agent is an invaluable source of advice on pricing, features, and trends.
  • A Good Agent Does More Than Just Show Homes
    An agent can put you in touch with lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, and any other professionals you need to complete your purchase. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations – chances are your realtor knows qualified professionals in all of these areas.
  • Choosing an Agent
    A good agent is experienced, with a strong knowledge of the local market and a willingness to put in the time required to help you find the right home. If an agent doesn’t have the time, interest, or commitment to develop a thorough understanding of your needs, look for one who does.
  • Working with Your Agent
    Once your search begins, make sure to take advantage of your agent’s knowledge and experience. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or request market data to help in the search.Establishing a good working relationship with your agent is a major step toward a successful and low-stress home buying experience.

    • Who Represents Whom – Understanding Agency
      Agency is a relationship where one party (the agent) represents the interests of the other (the principal). At one time all real estate agents represented the property seller. This is no longer the case – agents can now represent either the buyer or the seller. Your agent, therefore, should be acting as a “buyer’s broker” and representing your interests exclusively.
    • Use Your Agent’s Experience
      Most professional agents are extremely knowledgeable about the local real estate market. This is a valuable resource, so use it well. Your agent can help you decide which communities are right for you – and are within your price range. As a realtor, your agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service as well as data on recent sales and closings in the area. This information can be very useful when you are researching the markets, so make sure to include your agent in your planning sessions.
    • Communicate
      Even the best agent is not a mind reader. Tell your agent what you want in your new home and where you would like to live. Be honest about your price range. Discuss whether you are willing to consider a house that needs work. Talk about home size, style, etc.
    • Be Accessible
      Speed is often important, especially when dealing with booming markets or particularly attractive properties. Make sure your agent understands that you want to be contacted at once if something promising becomes available. Provide phone numbers (home, office, cellular) where you can be reached at various times of the day.
    • Assert Yourself
      Agents are salespeople – they typically have strong and outgoing personalities. Don’t forget, however, that it is your home search. Don’t let your agent take charge of the process and show you only a handpicked list of properties. Insist on reviewing the multiple listings and on making your own decisions about what you want to see.