Many buyers do not fully understand the home buying process and what role a real estate agent plays. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that buyers ask or don’t fully understand.
What does it cost as a buyer to use an agent?
The compensation that a sales agent receives typically comes from the seller’s proceeds. In other words, there is no cost for a buyer to use an agent in a traditional agent/buyer relationship. In a buyer agency agreement, there may be some cost to the buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded so that the agent is compensated from the seller.
Can my agent give me information regarding properties from other companies?
Yes, if that other company is a member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – which most real estate companies are. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed in MLS so an agent likely would not be able to provide information regarding them. However, with a buyer agency agreement, your agent may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.
What if I find a property on my own?
You should contact your agent and not the property owner or the agent listing the property. Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your agent in gathering information regarding the property.
What type of information will my agent need from me?
An agent will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you. For example, number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms are common criteria. Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc) and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through!
An agent may also ask you for other information such as hobbies or activities you enjoy, children’s names, birthdays, etc. This type of information fosters more of a “friend” relationship than a “business” one and makes the home buying process much less stressful.
Can I go to open houses without my agent?
You can go to open houses without your agent. However, you need to make sure that you indicate you are working with an agent already. If you don’t, your agent might not be able to help you write an offer on that property in the future.
How can I find out about new properties?
Your agent should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it be via e-mail, phone calls, etc. Clients with e-mail capability can receive automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as new listings are entered.
What if I am unhappy and want to switch agents?
Let the first agent know that you are unhappy and the reasons why. See if you can work out the issues with them. If not, tell the agent you no longer want to work with them and find another agent.
When purchasing real estate, a sales agent can be an invaluable resource if you remember your responsibilities:
1. Work with just one agent
2. Make sure you tell your agent everything
3. Always tell other agents you are already working with an agent
4. Consider your agent a friend
If you have any questions regarding purchasing a home or would like me to be your agent, please give me a call. I want your home buying experience to be as easy and enjoyable as possible and will do everything I can to ensure you find the home that is right for you.