7 Steps for Buying a Home: Finding and Working with an Agent

7 Steps for Buying a Home: Finding and Working with an Agent


Real Estate Agent

There are all kinds of people out there who are willing to sell you your next home. Brokers, licensed realtors, a homeowner, your neighbor, or a friend are points of contact for buying a home. However, most buyers retain the services of a licensed realtor as they rightfully expect that this person knows the local market very well and will act in their best interests. Let’s take a look at some things to consider when choosing your real estate agent.

Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask Prospective Real Estate Agents

Who are you representing? Some realtors are agents for the seller, others act as agents for the buyer, while some are dual agents — representing the buyer and the seller equally. You will want to make sure that you receive at least partial representation. Of course, when the realtor shows you homes she has personally listed you will know that she is acting as a dual agent. Realtors are required by law to state in which capacity they are serving you.

What types of buyers do you represent? Some realtors specialize in high end homes while others enjoy working primarily with first time homebuyers. If you want to buy a condo and the agent works primarily with single family residences, will you feel comfortable enough to have this realtor represent you?

Where is your primary territory for buying and selling homes? If the agent’s office is in one town and the homes you are interested in are in the next town (or county) do they know that market well enough (i.e., neighborhood reports, home values, schools, businesses, etc.) to offer adequate representation to you?

Do you charge a fee? Real estate agents should never charge a fee for their services. When they sell you a home, they receive a portion of the seller’s commission. Business etiquette says that it is fine to send a “thank you” note to the realtor for the work that they do on your behalf and a small gift is not out of the question. What real estate agents really want from you is referrals for future business!

Do You Like Your Agent?

Of course, the one question you have to ask yourself about any real estate agent is this: do you like him or her? Oftentimes, it takes interviewing two or three agents before deciding which one you will work with. A good rapport, an understanding of your needs, and an agent who is truly interested in satisfying you is essential to a successful home buy. Without a good relationship you may find the home buying process to be a big disappointment.

Links To Empower You

Finally, the following resources can help you find the home you want while working with an agent:

Happy home shopping!


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Categories: Home Buying

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".