Helpful Advice Choosing The Best Realtor as a Homebuyer
Why it matters who you hire as a homebuyer
There are many reasons why it matters what realtor you hire as a homebuyer. Let’s go over a few of them here. Even though a realtors services are free to you as a home buyer because the seller (listing side) pays the commission, you still want to make absolutely sure that you are working with a realtor that has market knowledge, is skilled at negotiating on your behalf and will always be looking out for your best interests. Here are some tips for help choosing the best realtor looking out for your best interests.
When I say “market knowledge” I am talking about a realtor that works full time selling real estate and is current in the market conditions of the neighborhood you are looking to buy a home in. It’s very important that you work with a realtor that is knowledgeable in these areas.
- schools-school ratings can affect resale if schools are important to other buyers even if you have no children in school. Some home buyers’ number one concern is having their child in a top rated school.
- Neighborhoods-some neighborhoods are sought after because of the schools, some because of the community, some because of the location. Typically the more sought after the neighborhood, the more competitive the market is and things tend to move a little bit faster. You will want to act quickly when you are looking in these neighborhoods because waiting to go to the homes open house could be too late. More tips on finding the perfect neighborhood HERE.
- Local Amenities/Location-They always say location is important when it comes to real estate. It can be very important when it comes to resale. If you own the home on a corner lot of a busy street, or a street that is used daily as a main pass through, it may turn off some buyers when you go to sell. If you are not near public transportation, stores, parks, schools, this can also be a turnoff to future buyers. It’s important that your realtor know the location so they can inform/educate you about the neighborhood and its surroundings along with plusses and minuses of each neighborhood.
- Walkability-It can be a huge + to have a home that has great walkability. Being able to leave the car at home and walk to the grocery store, work, park, public transportation or the school can be a huge benefit when it comes time to sell.
Once you have found the home that fits your needs, it’s time to negotiate the sale. It’s important to have a skilled knowledgeable negotiator at this point.
- Offer price-It’s important to do your homework on the recent market activity around the home. Research the latest active, pending and sold homes that are similar and figure out a fair offer price. Certain homes in certain areas command a higher price than they would just 2 miles away simply because of schools, community & walkability. An experienced real estate agent will be able to help guide you and help you present a competitive winning offer!
- Inspections-Once your offer is accepted, one of the next steps would be home inspections which can include a full home inspection, sewer scope, radon testing, tank scan etc. An experienced agent will know which inspections are needed for the particular home you are interested in. Your real estate agent will have some recommendations for you when it comes to home inspectors and will be able to coordinate all inspections before your inspection contingency deadline. Your agent should be attending the home inspection or at the very least have someone from their team attending to get 1st hand knowledge as the inspection is happening and be there to answer any questions the inspector might have. This is one of the many areas that an experienced real estate agent will shine. An experienced agent will be able to advise you whether to negotiate or walk away from the deal because repairs needed are too extensive.
- Close/Escrow-Your realtor along with the title company will work to make sure all timelines are met and title is clear.
Your Best Interests
It is very important that your realtor works in your best interests at all times. It is a realtors job to inform you about all the different processes, steps and timelines of buying a home so that you can make an educated decision. This knowledge only comes with experience by having done it. In my short time selling real estate, I have found that time on the job does not always mean the most experienced or best agent! However, the amount of transactions your agent has directly been involved in is much better information when it comes to measuring experience selling real estate!
Take the time to interview a few agents and check them out online as well (although reviews can be modified by showing you only their 5 star reviews). Are they full-time agents and current with today’s market? Things change constantly in real estate and if your agent is only working part time at it, you run the risk of working with an agent not current with the day to day market trends. I have met agents that have been selling real estate full time for 20+ years and nobody has ever told me they know it all. Are you willing to risk one of life’s biggest investments with someone that sells real estate part time??
Take the time to interview realtors before you decide on one. After all, this investment will more than likely be one of the biggest financial decisions you make. Make sure your realtor is knowledgeable, will be available and easy to reach when you have questions.
Do your research and confirm that your realtor is a full-time, current, practicing agent. This way, you will be sure that they are capable of guiding you through the process. Ask them “Do you typically help homebuyers?”, “Are you familiar with the area I want to buy in?”, “Do you have suggestions for me as far as pre-approval?”, “Can I speak to some of your recent clients?”. These are just a few of the questions you should ask. Check HERE for more on what to expect from your realtor.
More Home Buying Resources:
How to Interview a Buyers Agent When Buying a Home – Via Kyle Hiscock
Nine Things a Real Estate Agent Should Do For Home Buyers – Via Bill Gassett
10 Steps to Buying Your Home | Home Buying Checklist – Via Sharon Paxson
Why You Shouldn’t Hire Friends and Family in Real Estate – Via Debbie Drummond
8 Tips for Buying a Luxury Home – Via Xavier De Buck
About the author:
My philosophy is simple: clients come first. I pledge to be in constant communication with my clients, keeping them fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process. If you’re not left with an amazing experience, I haven’t done my job. Success is not measured through achievements or awards but through the satisfaction and repeat/referral business of my clients. My goal is to be your top realtor choice when it comes to buying or selling real estate. Having spent most of my life in Portland living in Northeast, Southeast, Bethany, Hillsboro, Beaverton, downtown and St. Johns, I’m very knowledgeable of the many different neighborhoods our city has to offer.