For First Time Buyers: Low down on Real Estate Agents
Buying your first home can be one of the best financial moves of your life but also one of the most complex. The real estate agent you work with can make all the difference in how good of a deal you get, keeping your deposit money safe and closing on time.
While real estate agents may often be some of the most hated professionals on the planet they certainly aren’t all bad. We here at CT Homes work with real estate agents all the time as they often bring us business and buyers for our homes. However, there are a few things first time home buyers need to know about working with agents
First off, it can be wise not to lock yourself in. Some Realtors have very complex buyers agreements, read them carefully. Generally you can have more than one agent looking out for you and you can switch agents if necessary but you could still owe them fees if you buy a home they showed you.
It is much better to interview real estate agents carefully upfront. What to look for?
- Local market knowledge
- Time in business
- Happy to explain everything in detail (10 x if you need it)
- Won’t rush you. Will take time to find a good match for your personal needs
- You share synergy and it’s a good personality match too
- They are hungry and will work hard for you
If the seller has a real estate agent representing them it is wise for you to be protected too. The listing agent isn’t your friend. Despite ‘transactional broker’ arrangements their goal is to sell that property and get best terms for seller. This can cause conflicts of interest around deposits and offers.
Lastly (and this will infuriate many real estate agents) know that while the seller pays the commission it can make a difference. Will your agent be willing to cut their commission slightly to make the deal happen if you are a couple thousand dollars off what the seller wants?