If you don’t have any experience with a home purchase, you’ll definitely benefit from selecting a real estate agent.
First ask around. Your neighbors, or friends, or even people working in area businesses that you might frequent, will likely give you their honest opinions and advice on who to select. Start there and you’ll learn a lot right from the start.
Next, contact one or several of the names that were mentioned, and setup an appointment to interview your prospective real estate agent. You’ll find out a lot about their approach and the personalities that may or may not fit your personality.
Important considerations when you’re meeting with these agents are:
You need someone who has the experience to walk you through your home purchase from start to finish. You are going to need to find someone you’ll be able to spend a lot of time with since its their job to help you find one house among dozens. Its really helpful if you genuinely like your real estate agent.
Thats why its important to pick your real estate agent very carefully. Don’t get into your first interview and decide you’ve found the right person right off the bat. Give each agent you’ve planned to meet with, the chance to establish credibility and present their unique approach of helping clients.
Lets first address an important myth that a lot of buyers are misinformed about.
Buyers do not pay their real estate agents’ commissions.
The real estate agent that represents you as a BUYER, receives their commission at closing, paid by the seller.
The selling agent has negotiated a commission fee with the seller, which is traditionally split with the agent bringing the buyer. As a Buyer, its important to know, you do not pay real estate commissions in your closing of the home. Buyers do have fees at closing, but those fees will involve title fees and mortgage fees from your lender.
The first thing you will need to know about your realtor is how experienced he or she is. This can be be determined in a number of ways. Your agent must be registered with the State of Idaho Real Estate Commission. You can look up the agent on the Idaho Real Estate Commission website to make sure his or her license is active.
If you don’t want to go that far, you can simply check out the real estate agent’s website. Most agents have websites these days, so that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, you might want to think twice about a real estate agent who does not have a website. Also important is to review the website to see if it includes a multiple listing feed. This will give you the chance to sign up for automatic listing notification of your preferred location, number of rooms and bathrooms, etc, to stay in touch with homes that are being listed in the area you’re shopping. Its a convenient and easy way to get updated listings automatically sent to your email address.
Although you might generally want a Realtor who has a good number of years of experience, don’t discount a new agent. Often, newly licensed agents are super motivated to establish their reputation and what they don’t know, they can find out from their broker. New agents want to please and will work hard to make sure their early clients become walking word-of-mouth advertisements for their efforts and real estate career going forward.
What may be even more important is, you need someone who is familiar with the area. That can help save you a lot of heartache in the future. A Realtor with a good grasp of the towns or communities you’re interested in can offer distinct advantages over an agent who doesn’t seem to know that much about the area.
You also want to make sure that your Realtor is someone who has good references. A Realtor should be able to give you a few references or testimonials that will help you to feel more comfortable about doing business with him or her.
Decide whether you want a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. Sometimes, it can seem like some real estate agents are on the side of the sellers. After all, their fee comes from the sellers in the area of Central Idaho. Typically if buyers choose to be represented by a sellers agent, that agent is going to be a dual agent, meaning, they represent the seller, and they represent the buyer. When you’re dealing with a dual agency situation, its important to have that trust that the agent is adhering to the privacy and confidentiality for both sides. If possible, its safest for a buyer to use a buyers agent. A buyers agent has no affiliation with the seller at all, and may even work for a totally different brokerage. Make that decision early on, because buyer’s agents can be more difficult to find. Reviewing the Idaho Agency Law document in advance will help you to ascertain the differences between a buying agent and a selling agent, and confirm your rights as a consumer.
When you talk to the agent on the phone to set an appointment, be cognizant about your vibes and if you feel comfortable in your conversation. If you have problems communicating with the agent, or you feel that the agent is talking more and not listening to your priorities, that could be a difficult thing for you to deal with, particularly when problems arise. Make sure that you and the real estate agent can get along and communicate well, so that everything goes more smoothly.
Now that you have a few things to consider when choosing a Realtor, remember them. Think about all the information laid out here, and ask yourself whether the person you’re considering has all the qualifications you need. If you choose the right real estate agent, you’re that much closer to choosing the home you’re dreaming of.