Many people interested in making a real estate purchase, especially first-time buyers, find the home buying process confusing at best, even overwhelming at times. Not every buyer is fully aware of the role a real estate agent plays during a buying transaction. These are some of the most frequently asked questions from buyers, so you can be a bit more prepared and aware of your options:
What does an agent cost for the buyer?
Usually, there is no cost for a buyer to use an agent as the agent will be compensated by the seller during the transaction. Some buyer agency agreements indicate small initial costs to the buyer, but typically even such agreements are designed so that the agent’s fees are paid by the seller during the transaction.
Will I be limited to purchasing properties listed by my agent’s company?
No, not at all. Your buyer’s agent can help you get information on any property listed by any company that is a member of MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which nearly all real estate companies are. FSBO (For Sale By Owner) properties are not listed with MLS, so your agent may not be able to provide you with further information on the property. A buyer’s agent can still help you to navigate the purchase of an FSBO property, so even this is not a limitation of your options.
What if I find a property I like on my own?
Great! Rather than contacting the property owner or seller’s agent, you should always contact your buyer’s agent first when you find a property that interests you. Give your agent the address and MLS listing number is possible, so they can gather more information on the property and help you arrange a showing.
What information does my agent need?
It’s important to tell your buyer’s agent all about the qualities in the property you hope to find that are important to you. Examples of such a ‘wishlist’ are the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, garage type or size, location, and your budgeted price. Be sure to let your agent know as well which preferences you’re flexible about, in case your search is a bit too specific and your agent has difficulty finding enough properties for you to go through – options are important! If you’ve chosen the right buyer’s agent for you, it should be easy and comfortable to have these conversations with your agent. Real estate transactions are much more successful when your agent is a friend to you since you’re trusting them to assist you in one of the biggest decisions you may make in your life.
Can I attend an open house without my agent?
Yes, but it’s crucial to let the seller know that you are working with an agent already. If you fail to clarify this, your agent likely will not be able to help you with writing an offer on that property in the future.
How can I find out about new properties?
Let your agent know what works best for you when receiving new listings to consider. Realtors are flexible, so whether you wish to receive email updates with new properties, or want to catch up in person or on the phone at regular intervals, your agent should be able to accommodate your preferences for this part of the process. Email updates are popular, as this is the fastest way to learn about new properties as they are listed.
What if I am unhappy with my agent?
It’s important to have a good, friendly working relationship with your buyer’s agent. If it’s not working out for you, speak up! Let your agent know that you’re unsatisfied and tell them the reasons why. It is possible you can work out the issues, which is also preferable to the agent so never be afraid to ask. If that doesn’t help, simply tell the agent you no longer wish to use their representation, you may want to ask for a referral to a new agent.
If you still have questions regarding the basics of buying a new home or property, or you would like to see if I’m the right agent for you, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 519-993- 5656. It’s my goal to make your real estate buying experience as easy and pleasant as possible, and I’ll do everything I can to make that happen and help you find the right property for you.