What to Expect Buying a Home with a Real Estate Agent
In order to get the most of out of your relationship with your real estate agent, there are a few basic principles you should understand. Follow these simple tips to ensure a smooth process and avoid any headaches.
Your Agent Gets Paid When the Deal Closes
Your agent only gets paid when real estate transactions close. You would be hard pressed to find an agent who works on salary. This means your agent is highly motivated in a successful outcome.
Be respectful of your agent’s time and keep in mind that they have other projects. Avoid last minute cancellations and home showings.
Decide whether you would like to work independently or with an agent. If you choose to work with an agent, do your due diligence and conduct interviews to find the best fit. Interviewing two agents who work for the same firm may not be the best option!
Don’t Get Confused
Your buying agent works for you, but the listing agent works for the seller. Keep in mind that conflicts of interest and ethical questions occur when you ask the listing agent to represent you or to discount the price. It’s best to keep the jobs of the listing agent and your buying agent separate.
Make sure you sign a broker’s agreement clearly outlining your expectations for your real estate agent before you start working with them. Enlisting the agent to work beforehand could create a procuring clause. Make sure you’re clear on the difference between an Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Buyer’s Broker Agreement. If a home seller refuses to include a clause to release you from the contract after a home inspection, that could be a red flag.
You should also sign an agency disclosure, which is required by law. The most widely used type is the “exclusive agency” which outlines that your real estate owes you a fiduciary obligation.
Communication is Key
Let your agent know how you prefer to be contacted, and how often you’d like to be updated. If you’re unhappy, be sure to make that known to your agent can manage expectations. Don’t forget to keep a practical mindset in terms of how long it will take to find the home of your dreams. Typical turnaround from showings to closing is 60 days.
Read Before You Sign
No question is a silly one when it comes to real estate. If you don’t understand a form, be sure to ask for clarification before signing. Keep in mind that you should only seek legal advice from a lawyer and not your real estate agent.
Only Enlist an Agent When You’re Good and Ready
Don’t waste your time (or your agent’s time) by enlisting an agent when you’re just browsing. You can do that independently online. Be prepared to make an offer and have your checkbook ready. By following these simple tips, your home buying process should go smoothly from beginning to end!