Select Your Agent
Finding the right property begins with finding the right buyer’s broker. A good buyer’s agent has the skills to help you identify the best criteria for your search. Sometimes what a buyer thinks they are looking for at first will bear little resemblance to the home they end up falling in love with.
A good agent offers value to this stage of the process in two ways: (1) skill in asking the right questions to help you clarify what you’re really looking for and (2) knowledge about the region—not only houses and prices, but neighborhoods and communities—so they can help you actually find what you’re looking for.
Your broker can also help you determine your price range, and give you guidance on how to get a pre-approval (or at least a pre-qualification) for a mortgage.
Once You Know What You’re Looking For
The Internet is a powerful tool to find and preview—albeit virtually — a huge number of properties. It’s a great assistant to a buyer’s broker, but it’s no substitute for an expert’s savvy and advice. A real estate listing will never give you the full lowdown. (It’s an ad, after all.) Remember the “First Rule” of real estate: location, location, location.
Use the Internet for some of your searches—it can save a lot of time. But use it wisely. Your buyer’s broker can give you access to listings you otherwise wouldn’t have via MLS (multiple listings service), and properties for sale by owner as well. (While some agents offer MLS searches on their websites, it’s important to understand there is no single comprehensive MLS out there—what they are offering are listings from a single database. There are actually thousands of databases; thanks to reciprocal arrangements, your buyer’s broker can find properties you can’t.)
Once you have identified some potential properties, have them investigated and evaluated more carefully by your buyer’s agent. Using the detailed criteria developed with you, your agent can use their own knowledge of the property and additional resources to help you vet the list of potentials down to properties you both agree are worth your valuable time to view in person.
Note: a buyer’s agent can provide these services to you whether the property is listed for sale on a local multiple listing service or is for sale by owner.
This web resource will help you better understand what a buyer’s broker is—and how they can save you time and money.
Note: The terms “buyer’s broker,” “buyer’s agent,” and “buyer representative” are used interchangeably on this site. All refer to a real estate professional who represents you — the buyer.
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© Copyright 2015. Brian Cafferty. All Rights Reserved.