Are you ready to begin your home search? You’ve got your preapproval letter from your loan officer, so you know how much you can afford. If you are preapproved for a VA or FHA loan, you understand that the home you choose must meet certain criteria because these loans are government backed loans. You gather up all the real estate books at the grocery and spend a fortune in gas driving all over the county trying to figure out where these homes are located. With so many houses advertised and so many real estate companies from which to choose, will you need to call them all to gather information about each of the homes you like?
No. You only need one agent, no matter how many homes you want to see. Actually, you should choose an agent before you even begin your home search and here’s why.
Trust - you need to find a agent you trust to look out for your best interests. You do not want someone who will slam dunk you into a house just for a check because they have a car payment due soon. You need to be able to trust the agent you choose to always think of what’s best for you.
Confidential Information - you need to feel comfortable confiding personal information to your agent. They need to know information about you that is confidential. You need to feel that your agent will keep your information confidential. If the agent you’re spending time with is telling you confidential information about other people, you may have some concerns about sharing your confidential information with them. Negotiating skills - the negotiating skills of your agent are priceless. When you are writing an offer to purchase a home, you want to have an experienced negotiator working for you. Writing an offer is more than just arriving at a price. You want your agent to look at the whole picture - inspections, closing and possession dates, financing contingencies and earnest money deposit. It may seem like a small item when your agent asks the seller to leave the propane in the tank when you take possession. But, if you take possession during the winter and the seller has had the propane company come and suck the propane out of the tank and you don’t have any heat or hot water, it suddenly becomes very important to you. When you are writing an offer to purchase, you want to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
Experience - you want someone who has handled every kind of situation that may come up during your home purchase. You want someone with the knowledge to handle the situation and get it resolved quickly.
Most agents are able to show you not only their own listings, but those of all the other agents, too. This enables you to view the homes you are interested in without the inconvenience of moving from agent to agent. This is the basis of our Multiple Listing Service.
Through the Multiple Listing Service, the real estate companies provide each other with complete information on all homes for sale, so you can work with one agent to obtain details about any property you choose. This reduces the tedium of explaining your objectives over and over with different agents.
Loyalty is very important to your real estate agent. When they feel you are being loyal to them, they will work harder for you. When a great property comes on the market, the agent makes sure their loyal clients know about it. If you’ve been bouncing around from agent to agent, you may not have the opportunity to buy that great home. Each agent may assume the other informed you about the house, so you’ll miss out.
Your agent will take the time to locate specific homes that may fit your needs and help you eliminate those which are unsuitable.
Finally, your agent will set appointments for you to view the homes you’ve selected. Taking time to select an agent first will save untold hours of searching and frustration. You’ll find the right home and your decision will be easier than you expected.
Kathy Henne is a RE/MAX realtor, she can be reached at (937) 778-3961 or visit www.KathyHenneTeam.com for more information.