Friday, June 12, 2015


Step Two

Now that you have a whole week to conquer your home buying fears you learned about in  Step One, it's time to move on to step two:

Hire an Agent

We all have a wealth of information at our fingertips at all times, any one can go online and search for information on any subject they're interested in, including homes for sale in their area or any area they wish to live. Because of this, many people don't think having an agent is necessary anymore, but agents do a lot more than simply show you homes.

The Seven Main Roles of Your Real Estate Agent

1. Educates you about the market. An agent you choose should be able to explain clearly how the market works, including fluctuations, buyer's markets, seller's markets, and how to negotiate in both.

2. Analyzes your wants and needs. Your agent should ask you a very detailed list of questions regarding what you're looking for in a new home. It is not uncommon for a buyer's wants to change as they begin looking at homes, so be sure to update your agent when you have changes of heart. 

3. Guides you to homes to fit your criteria. Many buyers are often concerned that an agent will try to force properties on them that don't fit their needs. If step two was performed correctly your agent should have a decent idea of what you're looking for, but sometimes there can be a miscommunication. If you don't like the properties you're being shown be sure to tell your agent. If they continue to show you the wrong properties do not be afraid to change agents, and definitely DO NOT settle on a home you don't want. Remember, no agent can force you to buy a home you don't like, it's up to you to make that decision, never feel bad about saying "No" to the wrong home. 

4. Coordinates the work of other needed professionals. There are typically two dozen different people involved in the purchase and sale of a home, and they all must work together harmoniously to bring a sale to close. It's an agent's job to coordinate all these people to ensure the transaction goes smoothly. Your agent should be able to tell you where you are in the process at all times, but keep in mind that with so many people working together it is possible for your agent to be in the dark once in awhile, and it's not always their fault. When one or more individuals involved fail to do their job it can take a little while to figure out what went wrong and get everything back on track. 

5. Negotiates on you behalf. Your agents loyalties are to you and it's their job to ensure you get the best deal possible. Of course, this has to be done honestly. It is illegal for any agent to lie to you or on your behalf. 

6. Checks and double checks paperwork and deadlines. One of the most common reasons for a home purchase to be delayed is incomplete/incorrect paperwork. It's the agent's job to ensure everything is filled in correctly and submitted on time. You, the buyer, also play a role in this step and must work cooperatively as a team with your agent. Your agent should explain to you all the deadlines involved in the transaction. When your agents asks for paperwork from you it is important you get it to them in a timely manner. Waiting until the last minute results in your agent rushing to meet deadlines and can result in mistakes and major delays.  

7. Solve any problems that may arise. When problems arise (and they will) it's your agents job to deal with them calmly and in a timely matter. Once in a while a problem will arise that your agent may not know how to deal with, in which case they should reach out to their broker or other agents for help. 

Now that you know what an agent's core responsibilities are, you need to know how to find one who can handle these responsibilities professionally. Here are 7 questions you should ask your agent during the hiring process. 

1. Why did you become a real estate agent? 

2. Why should I work with you?

3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?

4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?

5. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?

6. What are some of the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would         you handle them?

7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
These are just some basic questions I believe you should ask, but I always suggest you come up with your own list of questions that are important to you. I also suggest interviewing a couple agents until you find one you're comfortable with, it will make the entire process much more enjoyable.

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