Often first-time homebuyers begin their housing search by paging through Zillow or Trulia. When a home strikes their fancy, they call the number on the listing. They tour the property with the agent only to be disappointed that it looks nothing like the picture. Does this sound like you?
What many first-time homebuyers don’t know is that it costs very little to hire a real estate agent, but not hiring the right agent can cost a homebuyer time and money.
The real estate agent representing the buyer is called a Buyer’s Agent. The Buyer’s Agent is compensated through commission earned on the sale of the property. This commission is paid by the agent representing the seller, known as either the Seller’s Agent or the Listing Agent.
The right Buyer’s Agent can open countless door for a homebuyer beyond just literally opening doors to a property. By engaging a Buyer’s Agent at the start of your search, you are placing your home buying purchase in the hands of an expert to guide you through the process. A good Buyer’s Agent will have recommendations for all the players needed in the real estate transaction from a mortgage lender all the way through to a handyman to help you keep your home in perfect order after your closing. The Buyer’s Agent will be working on your behalf to manage all parties involved to ensure a seamless closing.
When looking for a Buyer’s Agent, I always recommend starting with your network. Ask those you trust who have previously bought a home who they knew and used to help them through the process. The best real estate agents build their business through trusted referrals. Remember, like attract like.
Meet with the recommended real estate agent and ask questions like:
- How many Buyers did you represent last year? – Ideally, you would want to engage a Buyer’s Agent whose business is focused heavily on helping buyers rather than sellers. There are nuances to each side of the business. Make sure your agent is most qualified on the buy side.
- What is your plan to help me find my first home? – A good agent will want to learn about you and your housing needs before even taking you on as a client. Pay attention to the answer to this question. If the agent dives in by saying, you send me homes you’re interested in seeing and I’ll set up the tours, you are not in the best hands. The Buyer’s Agent should be guiding the real estate search by listening to your needs and selecting the best properties to show you. The best agents recognize early on if they are a great fit for you. Remember, just because the agent is licensed in your state, does not mean they are an expert in the particular area you are looking to live.
- Are you a full-time real estate agent? – It’s not uncommon in the residential real estate industry to find a Buyer’s Agent who is a part-time agent with a full-time job elsewhere. Communication is key and as a first-time homebuyer, you will have many questions that come up along the way. If your agent has conflicting obligations in his/her schedule during the day, the chances of your questions being answered in a timely manner could be affected. Keep this in mind as you select someone to represent you.
Always Remember: Buying a home is one of the largest and most important purchases you’ll ever make. It is essential that you are represented by a Buyer’s Agent who is experienced, professional and has your best interests top of mind. After all, if the majority of the costs to hire a Buyer’s Agent are paid for by the Seller, why wouldn’t you want to engage the absolute best?
If you are interested in learning more about how to find a real estate agent, please reach out. VERY specializes in guiding buyers through the most significant purchase of their lives with ease. We’ve built our business on word-of-mouth referrals and are proud of the lasting and memorable experiences our clients have had and continue to talk about for years to come.