Why do you need a Real Estate Agent??
When looking to buy a home, you should expect competence, efficiency, and ethics from your agent. According to All America’s Real Estate Book by Carolyn Janik and Ruth Rejnis, good agents take the time to qualify buyers and show properties in their price range. They plan showing routes carefully and have pre-inspected most properties. They have a thorough knowledge of financing options, are up on the latest housing trends, and share data on the local housing market and home sales with prospective buyers. Adhering to a strict code of ethics, good agents avoid high-pressure sales tactics, refrain from showing properties that do not fit your needs or goals, and alert you to problems about the condition of the property. And they show respect for other agents and real estate firms by not talking down about them.
Finding a Real Estate Agent
Begin the search for a real estate agent by asking for recommendations from someone that you know. Friends, relatives, co-workers, or neighbors who have recently purchased a home can give you a firsthand account and attest to the agent’s professional abilities. Sometimes an agent you contact will refer you to another one who works more closely with buyers and sellers in your neighborhood. Once you have a list of names, interview at least three agents and ask questions about their community knowledge, professional experience, and commitment – some agents work full time, others only work at nights and on the weekends.
The Role of a Buyer’s Agent in Home Buying
A buyer’s agent represents the buyer exclusively. Thus, he works to protect your interests in the transaction and helps to negotiate the best purchase price and terms.
Using an Agent to Purchase a Newly Built Home
Agents can be used to purchase a newly built home, and in fact, some builders pay agents to find prospective buyers. But you also can use a buyer’s agent to help negotiate the price and upgrades on a new home. An agent can be particularly valuable directing you to newly built developments that match your needs, as well as helping you select reputable builders who are financially sound and respond promptly to buyers’ concerns. Builders normally require an agent to be present on your first visit to the site. This is a sensible procedure that allows the agent to be paid a commission should you decide to buy. Otherwise, if you find a development on your own, make a first visit without the agent, and later make a purchase, the builder may refuse to pay the commission – even if an agent became involved in the process at some point.
While more buyers now use the Internet to gain access to listings, or available properties for sale, it is still a good idea to use an agent. The agent brings value to the entire process: he or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in the real estate transaction.