You’ll find plenty of resources out there to help you see what’s on the market. Newspapers, trade magazines and websites are all handy tools to get a feel for the housing market in your area. But for the best, smoothest, most trouble-free home buying experience, nothing comes close a professional, qualified and licensed real estate sales associate.
Why use a licensed real estate professional? First and foremost is because they provide expertise while looking out for your personal best interests. That comfort and protection is priceless in a real estate transaction that is likely the biggest single purchase you will ever make. Your sales agent is legally bound by a stringent code of ethics designed specifically to help protect your investment. Your agent is also up-to-date on a long and ever-changing list of laws, regulations, contracts and practices. That’s vital expertise you can’t find on a website.
Online shopping is a great way to start a home search. But a sales agent can help you dig much deeper into a home you are considering for purchase – the least of which is the price itself. Online estimates are just that – estimates. Those estimates may also utilize old data which could result in pricing that is substantially inaccurate. Your agent KNOWS the local market, has access to extensive and fresh data, can create a comprehensive market analysis and help you determine the most appropriate purchase offer – ultimately saving you time, aggravation and money.
Shopping for homes online is fun. Yet finding the right home at the right price on your own can quickly drive you to insanity, especially in a hot real estate market where homes are selling at a frantic pace. That dream home you see online may already be pending with another buyer. You might not know that but chances are, your agent does.
Of course, finding a home is just the beginning of the process. Your agent can be your best resource for negotiating your best deal. And then the real “fun” begins. The typical sale and purchase contract is likely 20 pages in length, at minimum. And that doesn’t count the endless number of complex forms, addendums and riders that may end up attached to a deal.
As a buyer, there’s another great reason for hiring a sales agent to assist you. That expert works for you at no cost! That’s right. Your agent works for you for FREE because the commission is paid entirely by the Seller.
So what should you look for when hiring a licensed sales associate? Here’s a few essential factors to consider:
Knowledge – how well does the individual know your particular market area and the recent history of home sales in that market?
Experience – how long as the individual been a licensed agent and how many homes have they negotiated?
Trust – How do you feel when speaking with the individual? Do you have a mutual trust and understanding of what is expected of one another?
Personality – You will be spending a great deal of time working with your agent. Are your personalities a good fit and will you be able to form a good “team.” You’ll want an agent that can walk the fine line between being a polite professional and a tenacious adversary ready to fight for your best interests.
Honesty – Is the agent reputable? The individual should exude honesty and be able to tell you what you need to hear – good or bad – not just what you want to hear.
Work Ethic – Is the individual ready to go to bat for you… go the extra mile for you… and be easy to contact when you need advice or help? Will that agent be ready to act quickly, follow up quickly and push hard for you?