Buyer’s Agent - What's that?
If at some point of your life you decide to relocate, as 97% of people do, you will most definitely need help from a professional. But what kind of professional help do you need? The property market is teeming with all sorts of agents, advisors, consulting assistants who are willing to sell their services to you. Who do you actually need? In this article we will present some main clues for you to understand which property professional you need to contact to successfully buy/sell a house/condo at the most reasonable price.
Buyer’s Agent or Realtor?
Basically, you need a realtor or a listing agent if you are selling your property and a buyer’s agent or a selling agent if you are planning to buy a house or a condo. But there are some questions to be answered then:
- Why do I need any help if everything the agent does is helping me buy or sell property?
- What if I need to buy a house and sell mine at the same time? Do I need to hire two teams of expensive professionals?
- How can I find a buyer’s agent that I can trust with my property?
Let’s get deeper into each issue and make things more clear for you as a relocator.
Why do I need to hire a buyer’s agent or a realtor?
The times when it was enough to just look into some adverts in a local newspaper to find yourself a new house are long gone. Unfortunately along with them are gone the times when you could have just placed some photos of your property in an advertisement and waited for the buyer of your house to suddenly appear. Well, technically you can still do that if you are patient enough to wait for years or have enough time to search through all the houses for sale in the neighborhood where you are willing to relocate. Be prepared though for the zero efficiency of such activity for most of the houses for sale are empty and the sign on the front yard would still refer you to the agent who is selling the house.
That brings us back to the importance of professional help when buying or selling property. Not only do they obtain a full database of the houses available for sale and meeting your needs and budget, a highly qualified agent will assist you with all legal and financial paperwork, negotiate the offer and advise a good home inspector to make sure you are buying what you are buying and not what looks like a nice house. By the way, if you are selling a house a decent home inspection is also important as it will minimize all the maintenance issues and give a full picture of what your home is really worth.
How to find a good agent?
Being such a serious matter, the search of a buyer’s agent is trusted by the most of the property buyers to a pure chance. Two thirds of the first-buyers would sign a commitment with the first agent they come across. Do not do that. What you see first does not always mean the best. Half of the home buyers would follow the recommendation of a friend or a relative. Try to avoid this mistake. What worked for one might not work for the other. You have to be sure you can trust the agent and feel comfortable to share your expectations and needs. Sometimes you will have to interview three or five agents to be able to understand who you want to work with.
Here are some ideas for the first conversation with the agent:
- Find out what kind of property the agent specializes in and what neighborhood they are mostly familiar with. Your agent must be a 100% pro in the area you are relocating to.
- Make sure your agent is available at proper hours and you won’t lose a great house just because they are only available half day on Wednesday.
- If the agent has less than two years of experience or a non-proven track of sold houses, it can be a red flag and a signal for you to keep looking.
Remember: you can always trust our team of professional agents who are ready to assist you in your search for the perfect house or a condo.
Be prepared to meet with your agent
Once you have decided which agent you are working with, start your home-hut. Here is a quick thought before we go to the next issue: your buyer’s agent will need to know what kind of a house or you are willing to buy and what is your approximate budget to be able to find you a perfect match for a house/condo. And it is sometimes hard to estimate your budget decently, it is easy to overestimate or underestimate it. So, a good advice would be to ask for a mortgage pre approval letter from your bank and show it to your agent. That will make things so much easier and help tremendously to identify the circle of appropriate available houses.
Another important thing when you negotiate with your agent is to make sure you are on the same wavelength and they completely understand what kind of property you are looking for. In that case you won’t have to look through dozens of available houses when in reality there might be only a few that perfectly match. That'll save you a lot of time and nerve.
I need help with buying and selling property.
It is the most common situation actually when people are looking for a house while trying to sell the one they own. Do you have to hire two reams of agents or apply to two different agencies? No, you don’t have to. Many agencies offer both listing and realtor’s services. But those will have to be two different transactions, a transaction brokerage in other words. Otherwise it will cause the conflict of interests so, if this is your case, make sure your agency is eligible to provide both buying and selling services and ask them for a transaction brokerage.
Beware of the dual agents though! Based on the laws of the State of Florida …A real estate licensee in this state may enter into a brokerage relationship as either a transaction broker or as a single agent with potential buyers and sellers. A real estate licensee may not operate as a disclosed or nondisclosed dual agent. What it means is that your agent cannot represent both a buyer’s and a seller’s sides when we are talking about one and the same property. Trusting your agent is important. But this trust does not have to be based on their word of honor only. Make sure you have access to all the licenses and can contact a couple of their clients for some feedback.
All that plus some luck will help you relocate to the house of your dreams as soon and painless as possible.
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