Once you’ve assessed your spending qualifications, you will need to find a real estate professional. As with any major journey, you need a capable, competent guide, one who clearly is able to lead you through the steps that ultimately will bring you to your final destination – your new home.
Choose an agent with whom you feel comfortable. One who is responsive to your needs and the needs of your family, one who complements your personality, and one who is prepared to be with you throughout each step of the home-buying process.
A few simple guidelines for finding the ‘right’ agent are:
• If you already know the neighborhood in which you would like to live, find an agent within that community.
• Seek an experienced agent with a known reputation – look at credentials, track records and awards received.
• Seek someone who is a member of the Board of Realtors®.
• Find someone who is continuing their education – a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Residential Broker (CRB), a graduate of the Realtors Institute (GRI) or an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – this shows the realtor is interested in the business long-term and is willing to invest in their career.
• Seek referrals from your family and/or friends.
• Interview, at least, three agents before you make your final decision.
There are two “sides” to every sale. The seller’s side is represented by the listing agent. The buyer’s side is represented by the selling agent. The selling agent also is referred to as the buyer’s agent. Usually, real estate commissions are paid by the seller. For this reason, the selling agent, although representing the buyer, has certain duties to the seller. If you, as the homebuyer, want to have a real estate agent represent only your interests, you will need to hire and pay commission to your own real estate agent.
These real estate agents are generally referred to as buyer’s agents. If you call on a single classified advertisement in a newspaper, an ad in a home selling magazines or a listing on the Internet, you most likely are calling the listing agent.