How To Select A Real Estate Agent To Purchase A Home

There are four simple reasons the time is right to buy a home NOW!

1.  The inventory to select from is high.
2.  The interest rates are very affordable.
3.  New legislation created a STIMULUS package to encourage home sales.

  4. The buyers market could soon be turning into a sellers market. 

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On November 6, 2009 the President signed an extension for the first-time home buyer credit of $8,000. The legislation also INCLUDED a move up buyers credit for a $6,500.
With basic principles of supply and demand incorporating the stimulus package, the real estate market should get ready to rock again! Today’s buyer is going to receive financial advantages to BUY NOW.
The extension and new credit apply to home purchases occurring between November 6, 2009 and April 30, 2010. Purchases signed by the April 30 deadline have until July 1, 2010 to close. Military personnel serving abroad have an extra year, with the tax credit set to expire June 30, 2011.


   If you are a buyer, looking to connect with a professional Real Estate agent to help you find your dream home, there are a few questions you should ask before deciding who you want to work with.
You should interview an agent you select to work with just like you would if you were hiring an employee to work for you in business. 

Knowledge IS power.  As a buyer, you make any sale work.  The loan or cash you bring to the transaction enables the closing to take place. Nothing happens in real estate without a buyer.  Working with the right agent is of utmost importance to represent you in the transaction.  My suggestion is to talk to at least three agents to compare and find the one who fits and relates to you and your needs. 

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lives, so connecting with the right individual who you want to make your Real Estate agent for life is very important. 

  The Real Estate agent you select to work with could possibly be a friend and confidant for a very long time.  Selecting the agent with the same care you would pick an attorney or account will make your home buying journey much easier.  

  Start your agent selection process on the Internet. puzzle
Read Real Estate blogs.  See what the agent is talking about and how they present themselves as a professional.  See if they know about the area you are interested in and how much information they are sharing with the public. Determine if the person you want to interview looks like an authority in real estate.

  Google the Real Estate agents name.  See what cyberspace says about the possible candidate. READ all the information. 

  Check websites.  Look for references and testimonials to select the three candidates you want to interview.  Do they have an interactive website site to start looking for homes or a place where you can get free information about the home sale process. 

  Once you have selected several agents to interview discuss the home sale process and how you fit into the transaction along with how they will work with you and communicate. Consider using the 12 points below to start your discussions. 
Each state may have different variations on regulations with reference to disclosure of agency and who a real estate agent works for. Each agent will discuss specific answers to questions based on State Law.

  1.  Discuss agency in your state.  
Ask the agent to explain buyer agency and seller agency so you understand who works for you and  how the representation process works. 

      a.  Do you sign a buyer agency contract? 

      b.  How long is the contract?

      c.  Can the contract be terminated and what are the details.

       d.  Get a copy and go over ALL of it untill you understand what it means.

    2.  Discuss Loan Pre-approval process.
As a buyer you should be pre-approved BEFORE you go out to look for a home.  You should not get in the car to even look for a home until you know what you can qualify for. It would be a waste of everyone’s time to contract or start looking for a home if you are not pre-qualified to purchase.

3. Discuss property requirement, information.
Make a list of what the home MUST have for you to buy and a list of what the extras you LIKE to have.  Be realistic in your wants.  Describe what the bare minimum you would settle for includes. 

      a.  Location:   Are schools important?  Is public transportation part of the decision? Proximity to family? 

      b.  Condition:   Will you take something that needs work?  Can you replace carpet or paint?  Do you need something ready to move in?

      c.  Terms:  Do you need some seller financing or are you pre-qualified for a traditional loan?

      d.  Home Specifics:  Bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, garage size, zoning, basement, construction, style

  4.  Discuss the sale timing.
Do you need to wait for a lease to expire, school to get out or any event which plays a part in your ability to close prior to July 1, 2010. This applies to buyers looking for the current tax credit.

  5. Discuss the showing process.
When will you go look at property.  How many homes will you look at a time.  How will the homes be presented to you before you go to look? Who will show you the homes.

  6. Discuss the offer price determination process.
How will the value of the home you selected be evaluated.  Will you get a market analysis of the home and information on what is going on in the area?

7. Discuss the process for the offer to purchase.
What are the steps involved in writing an offer.  How much earnest money is needed?  When will it be deposited?  When is an inspection preformed and where do I find an inspector.  How long does it take for an answer to the offer?

  8. Discuss potential property deficiencies. 

  How does the resolution process take place after an inspection?

9.  Discuss the loan processing and appraisal.
After the contract is accepted and the inspection completed what happens and how active is the agent going to be in the process during that time frame. 

10. Discuss Insurance and utilities.
How do you select an insurance agent is there a report on the property to aid in obtaining the insurance.  What utility changes have to be completed prior to a closing.
11.  Discuss the closing process.
Will closing documents be provided for review a minimum of 3 to 5 days prior to close of escrow.  Can the buyer discuss closing questions with the Buyer’s agent, accountant and/or attorney?

  12. Discuss the day of closing and possession.
Is there a final walk through prior to closing.  How long will the seller have to get out of the home? When will the buyer get the keys?  How does the title actually transfer?

  The agents you interview may have much more specific lists for you to review about the buying process.  Some agents will have a professionally prepared presentation on why you should select them and their company to represent you on the purchase of your new home. 

  Remember, buying a home might be the biggest investment of your life.  Take  the decision seriously, select someone you feel comfortable with on a communication level.  Do not pick someone who makes you feel uneasy.  Do your Internet homework.  The transaction cannot take place without you, the buyer!
Select a Real Estate Agent for life.  Someone you can trust and create a lasting friendship and working relationship with who you can refer your friends to in the future. Your new Real Estate professional will be there for you when it is time to move again so pick the right one and make the next selling job, easy!

  You will know the right agent when you meet them.  You will connect and it will just feel good! Real Estate agent and contract

  The time is right to buy now! 
Start your search and celebrate the American dream of home ownership!

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About Carra Riley

Fun loving classic writer who is a life long learner. Helping people connect the dots as a consultant for small business and real estate along with custom workshops and seminars.