What to expect from a real estate agent when buying a home
If you are thinking about buying a home, chances are you have questioned whether you need a real estate agency or not. Trying to buy a home without a real estate agent can carry risks and lead to issues that you may not be aware of. There are plenty of good, honest agents out there who focus on what is best for their clients.
A real estate agent can be invaluable when you are trying to buy a home. Each agent is different, which means each may take a slightly different approach to the home buying process. However, there are certain things that every real estate agent should do for you as a buyer.
The following is a list of critical things a real estate agent should perform for home buyers. If you find a potential agent that says he or she won’t do the things on this list, keep looking.
Get you pre-approved
A good real estate agent has unprecedented access to a network of trusted agents, lenders and other professionals involved in the home buying and selling process. Your agent should be able to connect you with a trusted lender who will take you through the pre-approval process so you can get to shopping for your home.
You want to be pre-approved so you know how much you can spend, so if you aren’t already – talk to your real estate agent about getting it done.
Find the Right Property – provide information on location, neighbourhood and local school system
After determining what clients are looking for and what they can afford, the agent will schedule appointments to tour homes that fit the bill. The agent can also explain the ins and outs of various properties and neighbourhoods to help buyers decide which home is right for them by explaining the pros and cons of various options.
Negotiate the offer
One of the biggest perks of having a great real estate agent is their ability to negotiate the best price for your home purchase and that includes the preparation of all necessary forms when making an offer and/or counteroffer. The best negotiators know the value of what they are attempting to buy or sell, which is what makes respected real estate agents so useful. This is where the agent’s experience in negotiating deals can save you money and help you avoid pitfalls. The agent should have in-depth knowledge of the factors that affect the value of a home.
Recommend other professionals
A real estate agent should also be able to refer you to reliable real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more. And, just like real estate agents, some professionals are better than others.
For instance, your agent should know the best home inspectors in the area and help you choose one that you can depend on to give you the true state of any home you are interested in buying. Additionally, your realtor can also advise you on any additional inspections that may apply to the home you are looking at, including radon, mold, water, lead paint, etc. This can also help expedite each step of the process and move you to a successful sale all the faster.
Attend home inspection
Even the best home inspectors can miss things, and even the most knowledgeable inspectors can fail to accurately convey the information they find to you as a buyer. Your realtor should be at the home inspection to hear exactly what the home inspector finds. Make sure you find out up-front if your agent will be at the inspection. If they say it is not their “policy” to go, insist they be there. How can there be any negotiations if the agent doesn’t REALLY know what the issues are!
Negotiate any home inspection repair requests
If the home inspector’s report or appraisal brings new issues to light, a good real estate agent can advise you on how to proceed, and then act as a buffer between you and the sellers or their agent.
The agent again will be your “negotiator” to make sure any serious problems are dealt with by the seller. This could be in the form of a price reduction, a repair or a seller’s concession at closing. One of the roles of a buyer’s agent is to also let you know when you are asking for unreasonable home inspection requests. There is always a give and take when it comes to home inspections. Buyers need to remember the purpose of a home inspection is not to make a perfect home. Nearly every home has issues large and small. If negotiations become heated or hostile, it’s extremely helpful to have an experienced professional keeping calm and offering productive solutions.
Skilled real estate agents will direct you what to keep your focus on and what to let go.
Communication is the key
Everyone needs to be on the same page for a home purchase to go smoothly. Your real estate agent will be responsible for keeping everyone informed, including the seller’s agent and your attorney.
The agent is best qualified for this duty because he or she knows how to measure the importance of information, and knows who needs what and when to keep the ball rolling.
There are some real estate agents who are lousy communicators. There can be lots of reasons for this from being a part-time agent to just not realizing how important it is to people. Whatever the reason some agents just don’t get it!
Stay around at the end
You only need to make it through the closing to finally get your home. But there are a surprising number of details involved in a closing, all of which need to be wrapped up before you officially become the owner of the home. Your real estate agent should be present at closing to ensure that all your interests are protected.
The best real estate agents do a lot for their clients. As a buyer, you should have high expectations from your real estate agent. You are making a huge purchase that could quite possibly the biggest of your life. Make sure you hire an agent you will like enough to consider a friend when all is said and done. On the other side of the coin make sure you are a buyer that a real estate agent enjoys working with. A great relationship is a give and take!