The road to homeownership can be a bumpy one—especially for first-time buyers. With all the unexpected detours that can arise, it’s good to work with a real estate agent who’s got your back. Here are four qualities we’ve found in great real estate agents.
1. They educate and guide you through the process. A great real estate agent is going to educate you, the buyer, on the home buying process. They should be able to explain what’s happening as well as what’s going to happen as the process continues. And, of course, they should be ready and willing to answer all of your questions, even if they have to do some research and get back to you. A great real estate agent will have access to updated housing industry information and can give you stats on the local area’s housing market.
Think of your real estate agent as a guide—almost like a counselor. This person should be able to walk alongside you throughout the home buying process, guiding the way. Before you see some houses together, they will probably ask about your wants, needs, budget, and more. This information gives them an idea of what you’re looking for, what kind of lifestyle needs your home should meet, and other important insight that will help them find the right price, neighborhood, and, ultimately, home for you.
2. They network for you. The housing industry is a network in itself. In this professional web, you’re bound to find some people who know each other. Your real estate agent is no exception. They’ll probably have visibility to properties that just hit the market and haven’t been publicly listed yet. In addition, an experienced agent might have connections with and can refer you to other vendors you’ll need during the home buying process, like mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title companies, and more.
3. They advocate and negotiate on your behalf. One of the best things about having a buyer’s agent working for you is that they have a responsibility to look out for your best financial interests. This is harder to find in an agent who represents both the buyer and the seller because they’re not fully invested in or contractually bound to your sole interests. A real estate agent whose full obligation is to represent you will be more likely to go the extra distance to advocate on your behalf during the transaction.
Not everyone is good at negotiations (or even likes them) especially when it comes to a first-time buyer negotiating home-related costs. The good news is your agent will take care of all of that. This includes preparing the offer and counteroffer documentation, making calls to the seller’s agent, and sticking up for your terms and conditions. Your agent can even help negotiate repairs after your home inspection. If negotiations feel intimidating, your real estate agent will be able to calm your nerves and help you feel confident in their ability to handle the task.
4. They keep track of all the details. Any number of mishaps can arise between the blissful beginning of your home search and the nitty gritty details of settlement. A skilled real estate agent can keep their eyes on all the moving parts and catch anything that others in the transaction have missed. And, if you’ve already applied for a mortgage, you know this process involves quite a bit of paperwork. Your real estate agent does this for a living—they’ll be able to help you manage and keep track of all the documents in the process. Weathered agents know all the steps, even ones that aren’t directly related to their role, and have the ability to help you understand concepts and documents related to home buying.
Looking for a stellar real estate agent? We’ve got connections. Get in touch today and we may be able to connect you with one of our preferred real estate agents.