First Time Home Buyers - Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Buying a new house is very stressful. Buy one for the first time, and that stress level skyrockets! There are so many things that go into buying a new home: finding the right one, choosing a real estate agent, going through the loan process, and so much more. Choosing the right real estate agent is the start to all of it. It is not always an easy process, but we are here to give you some insight on what your real estate agent does for you and why it is important to choose a good one. In the end having a great real estate agent can make a big difference.
So, what do we do and how do we help you? Let’s start with the basics. We can help you find a local mortgage lender who can prequalify you for a loan that best fits your needs. This will determine how much house you can afford. Using this knowledge, we can help you decide the size and features you need in a home and develop your home search criteria. Once we have the criteria for what you are looking for and know your budget (loan approval amount), then we narrow down the houses to find the ones you want to look at. We will visit the properties and find out the good, bad, and potentially ugly for each one.
Once you find a house you love, we work together to write an offer for the house. We will prepare a query of similar homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood to help you determine the price you should offer. We then prepare the purchase offer and present it to the seller’s real estate agent. If the seller responds with a counter-offer, we work with you to develop a successful negotiation strategy and response to get the best deal for you.
Once that part is done and we have a ratified contract, we will help you through the loan application process with your mortgage lender, set up home inspections by licensed professionals, and handle any re-negotiation of price or terms following the inspections. As the transaction progresses, we ensure that both you and the seller are complying with the terms of the contract. We also work closely with the title company or attorney who is responsible for preparing title work.
One concern new home buyers have is how we get paid. We are paid by the seller’s agent. Here’s how it works: a seller enters into a listing agreement to sell their home with a real estate agent. This agreement determines the commission amount which they agree to pay to the agent when their home sells. The seller’s agent agrees to split a portion of the commission with us, your buyer agent.
First-time buyers often wonder how we can be loyal when we're being paid (indirectly) by the seller. Divided loyalty is never a problem for us. We develop relationships with our buyers during the home search and we have no working relationship with the seller. In fact, we rarely meet the seller, if at all. Moreover, the key to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals come from our happy clients, not the seller who already has an agent. We work hard to make our clients happy and ensure that they have what they need during the buying process. This is a happy, but often stressful time, and we do what we can to help alleviate some of your stress.