Getting a purchase closed in today's market is complex. The real estate market has changed greatly from only a few years ago. Buyers face many more hurdles including stricter financing, low housing supplies, higher mortgage rates, and rising prices.
To negotiate today's challenges, you need a real estate sales professional to help you close the deal. A good real estate professional understands current market conditions. He or she has house-by-house neighborhood experience and can help you obtain the right home at the best price and terms.
Your agent can help you find a home quickly. Not only do real estate agents have access to the local multiple listing service, they also share knowledge of homes coming onto the market with their colleagues. Your real estate professional will tell others about your requirements for a home so they can also be on the lookout for you.
In fact, networking is one of the biggest industry advantages. Many homes are bought and sold without a sign ever going into the yard. But, for buyers to be shown the latest homes on the market, or to hear about homes about to come onto the market, there has to be a strong relationship between the buyer and the real estate professional.
If you want to be the buyer positioned to make first and best offers on the most desirable homes, make certain your agent knows you are committed. How do you show you're serious? There are several ways.
Get prequalified with a lender. Share your financial records so you know exactly how much home you can buy. Your agent won't go over your limit because it would be a waste of time to show you homes you can't afford to buy.
Work with only one agent. You can do this by signing a buyer's representation agreement, if it's customary in your area. If not, show your loyalty by telling other agents you may meet at open houses or socially that you are represented and give them your agent's name.
Don't shop for homes without your agent. If you want to look at open houses or builder homes, invite your agent to go along. If your agent can't go, make sure you register your agent's name with builder sales reps and open house sellers' agents.
Be loyal. Real estate professionals work primarily on commission. If the deal of the century is about to come on the market, who do you think your agent will tell first - the buyer with five other agents or the buyer who is loyal? If you're playing agents against each other thinking you'll get people to work for free and that you'll have your pick of homes to choose, you're wrong. Agents talk, and they'll find out they're working for the same buyer. If you want great service, show appreciation, confidence, and commitment.
Once you find the house you want, the work really begins. You'll have to navigate negotiations, loan approval, seller's disclosures, inspections with environmental and structural reports, and so on. From helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of material facts, your agent can help protect your interests.
Buyers and sellers are natural adversaries. Agents must be skilled negotiators and problem solvers, as well as anticipate problems before they happen. Pride, ignorance, or stubbornness can get in the way of a fair deal for both sides.
Your agent will share your risk, and will make sure you go into any home purchase with your eyes wide open. Take advantage of the greatest homebuying resource available -- your own real estate agent.