Are You a First Time Home Buyer? Tips for Choosing a Realtor
The time has come for you to buy your first home and you know that one of the things that you have to do is find a realtor to help you through the process. In fact, it is one of the most important things that you can do – having a realtor working with you in the early stages of your real estate transaction can save you a lot of heartache down the road. So what should you be looking for?
The first thing you need to do is distinguish between a real estate agent and a realtor. A real estate agent is required to qualify by taking certain exams as is a realtor, but realtors are held to a higher code of ethics because they have to be members of the National Association of Realtors. This association requires them to do so much more than just help people buy and sell property. They must, for example, pledge to hold the interests of their clients before their own. This means that if they come across a deal that may make them money but that would cost their client it is their duty not to pursue that deal and to be honest to their client about it. Realtors cannot also exaggerate, misrepresent or conceal material facts, something which real estate agents can do. Before you engage someone to help you with the purchase of your first property it is important to confirm that they are a realtor.
What previous clients have to say also matters a big deal. The best realtors are those who work locally – they find a city or town and focus on helping with property deals in that particular area. They are familiar with the properties within this zone that are for sale and those who are looking to buy. You will find that they also have a client pool in this area. It is your job to find a few of their former clients so as to know what kin d of reputation the realtor has. Talk to three or four about what it was like to deal with the realtor and whether they would recommend them to someone else. You should also look online to see whether they have any negative testimonials.
You may find some realtors or real estate agents who describe themselves as part-time. Don’t hire one of these. It means that they help people buy and sell property during their free time, which means that they are not completely up to date with the property market around them. The best realtors are those who are on the job full time and who know everything about the properties in their community as well as the property market.
Make sure that you get an airtight contract with your realtor. Look into how much they are charging you as well as what they are prepared to do for you – ideally they should take you through the process from beginning to end. It is also their duty to warn you of any pitfalls that you may encounter.