The Buyer’s Agent: Questions for the First-Time Homebuyer

The Buyer’s Agent: Questions for the First-Time Homebuyer

Navigating the real estate world can be overwhelming, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. With the help of a buyer's agent, prospective homeowners can more easily locate the best properties at the lowest possible prices. Best of all, these mortgage professionals will ensure your interests are protected throughout the entire home buying process – from search to settlement.

But before you commit to an agent, remember to ask these following questions to ensure you receive the best representation:

1. How will you help me select a property?

A good buyer's agent will introduce you to a multitude of properties. Your agent will then help you sort the good from the bad and will assist you in choosing the best property based on your lifestyle and needs.

2. Do you work full time in real estate?

Finding a full time buyer's agent can be of great help to you and your real estate search, as these professionals will be available around the clock to assist you with any questions or concerns. In contrast, however, part time agents may be more difficult to reach and be more challenging to schedule for showings – often making your home buying experience more stressful than helpful.

3. Where do you primarily work?

When selecting a buyer's agent, it is important that you determine if this real estate professional is familiar with your choice neighborhoods. Remember, the more familiar your buyer's agent is with a location, the more knowledge they will have on better deals and exclusive offerings within the given area.

4. Do you have a list of people that can help us reach settlement?

A good buyer's agent will have lists of local lenders, appraisers, inspectors, and title companies for prospective homeowners to peruse. Keep in mind, the goal of the buyer's agent is to make finding a home as simple and easy as possible. Therefore, be certain your buyer's agent has a wealth of knowledge and contacts to assist you throughout the home buying process.

5. Do I have to work with only one buyer's agent?

If you do not have an exclusive agency agreement with your buyer's agent, you are not legally obligated to work with only him. However, some agents offer incentives for those that enter into exclusivity agreements. Therefore, listen to each prospective agent's terms to determine which option will best suit you.

6. How quickly do you respond?

With the help of today's technology, there is no excuse for an agent to be missing in action. Make sure your buyer's agent practices prompt communication, as a missed phone call could mean a missed opportunity.

7. What happens if you are not available?

But, what should you do if your agent is on vacation when you find a new home that you instantly fall in love with? If you visit the property on your own, will it mean that your agent can no longer represent you in the sale? These are questions that must be reviewed with your prospective agent. It is imperative that you understand how your professional will handle circumstances if he is temporarily unavailable.

In Summary

A qualified buyer's agent can be of great help to prospective homeowners. These professionals can save you time, effort, money, and a lot of frustration. But before you choose to work with an agent exclusively, make sure to ask yourself the following:

  • Did you feel that the agent was experienced, trustworthy, and committed?
  • Did you and your agent communicate well together?
  • Did the agent seem realistic when discussing your anticipated home purchase?

These questions will ultimately help you determine if a particular buyer's agent will be a great fit for you and your house hunting needs.