Finding the “Right” Real Estate Agent

The “Dumb Little Man” blog posted a list of Ten Questions to Ask when Choosing a Real Estate Agent, which I found interesting, especially for people selling their homes.  I also think asking the right questions are important when using a real estate agent to assist in the purchase of a home.  What would some good questions be?

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    melissadel said,

    HHG: You couldn’t be more correct about needing to ask the right questions when choosing a REALTOR to be your buyer’s representative.

    First, it’s important to recognize why you would need a buyer’s representative in the first place. Historically, real estate agents have always represented the SELLER of a home, whether they were the listing agent or not. The buyer was, generally, left to his or her own devices.

    You need a buyer’s representative …

    (A) so you are the agent’s CLIENT, not just a CUSTOMER (an important distinction). You want to be free to discuss your needs, wants and particular issues. When you are the client, the agent owes you his fiduciary duties, which include, but are not limited to confidentiality and loyalty.

    (B) because the agent will (or should) do everything in his/her power to get you the best house at the best price possible, and under the best terms. Without buyer’s agency, the agent’s allegiance is to the seller and he cannot do anything the improve the buyer’s negotiating position (e.g. he can’t help you).

    and

    (C) there’s no downside for the buyer. As sellers are generally responsible for the payment of commissions, there is typically no out-of-pocket expense for a buyer to hire a buyer’s agent (be sure to carefully read any contractual paperwork before signing, however, as some agreements state that a certain commission is required and if a particular listing doesn’t offer that commission, the buyer is responsible for making up the shortfall).

  2. 2

    melissadel said,

    Things that you should consider before hiring a buyer’s representative are:

    (A) to what lengths will he or she go to find the RIGHT house for you. Will they limit their searches to what’s posted in the MLS (multiple list system), or will they get more creative to find you just what you’re looking for?

    (B) how much experience do they have?

    (C) what sort of education do they have (beyond the classes required to get a real estate license)? Have they earned the ABR (accredited buyer’s representative) or CRS (certified residential specialist) designations?

    Aside from these things, it’s also very important to find a agent with whom you feel comfortable. You want someone whom you feel with be honest with you, and with whom you’re going to have a good time (this is important because you’ll likely be spending a lot of time together!)

    I wish you all the best of luck in your quest!!
    Melissa DelGaudio


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