You have decided to pursue home ownership and buy your first, second, or last house. Congratulations! Now what? Your first step should be to consult a professional that can help you make sense of the real estate world. A real estate agent will guide you through the unknown.
What should you expect when you call an agent? Guidance and help to facilitate your home search should be the first thing. A great agent will take time to ask you a few questions about where you are in your search for your first house. An agent should ask:
• How long you have been looking for a home?
• Are you working with any other agents?
• Did any other agents show you property?
• What did you sign with them?
• Are you in an exclusive agreement with another broker?
• Do you have a pre-approval letter from your lender?
• Did you see anything you liked?
• What kept you from buying?
Assuming that you are not in an exclusive agreement with another party, the agent you are speaking with will most likely request to set up a consultation appointment. This first meeting is critical for both you and the agent. You will be requested to bring a copy of a pre-approval letter from your lender; if you do not have one, the agent will request it prior to viewing homes. This will provide the agent with valuable information to better serve you by narrowing your search and plan a strategy for finding you the right home.
The agent will share with you what he/she can do for you to find the right property at the right price. You can benefit from this meeting by learning about current market conditions, the search and buying process, obtaining answers to your questions and getting acquainted with the agent to determine if you want to work with him or her.
When deciding who should represent you, you may want to consider calling an agent who has an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation. An agent with this designation has specialized training in the business of representing real estate buyer-clients. An ABR® has knowledge of the market along with training to help negotiate the best deal for buyers. They will have an expertise in listening and communication skills.
Once you’ve found the property that is right for you, your agent will advise you in formulating your offer and help you make your best initial offer. Over half the buyers today are using a buyer’s agent, and having one that is an ABR® will give you an advantage as you come to terms with the seller’s agent. Once the contract has been signed, the agent will continue to be an advocate for negotiating repairs or conditions that surface during the inspection.
You can rest assured that your ABR® agent understands your specific needs and will locate appropriate properties to narrow your search, saving you time. An ABR® a licensed real estate professional who is committed to maintaining their professional edge by staying current on the latest issues and trends in buyer representation. You will be served, not sold.