Buying a Home. Should You Commit to a Specific Real Estate Agent?

So, you want to buy a home. Where do you start? Firstly, if you have not purchased a home before or are you moving up and looking for some more space you should start by talking to your financial institution. Once you have determined the amount you can afford to spend the next step is to decide whether you are going to go it alone or commit to a working with a specific real estate agent. Choosing an agent that is right for you is an important decision. Although, it may seem like all agents are the same, in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Do not be afraid to interview a few people. Find someone whose personality works with yours. Look for a realtor who really listens to your needs and wants. Make sure to find someone who is familiar with the location you are interested in. An agent who knows the area can be a real asset and can provide information on schools, municipal services another important issues. Ask them how long they have been in the business? Is real estate their full-time job?
What type of properties do they specialize in? If you are looking for a country property, this could be very important. When buying a home in the country you must be sure your realtor is experienced with matters pertaining to wells and sewage systems. Once you have found a realtor that you are comfortable with, you need to decide what type of contractual relationship you will have. Some agents will require you to sign a “Buyer’s Agency Agreement” before you start to view potential homes. Be careful when signing these agreements. Make sure you are aware of how long the agreement is in effect. In the beginning it is probably wise to sign for no longer than 30 days. You do not want to be tied to someone for too long if things are not working out. You can always extend the agreement later. If you are not comfortable signing one of these agreements, then take some time to think about it. There are realtors who will show you homes without signing. Do what feels right for you. If you are feeling pressured, then this is probably not the right person for the job.
Shopping for a home should be an exciting and enjoyable process. Take the time to really think about the things you want in the home and make sure to convey these thoughts to your realtor. If your needs change, make sure to let them know right away so that you do not miss out on the right property. If this is the first time buying a home, ask your agent to give you a copy of a blank Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  These documents are very long and detailed. It is a good idea to get familiar with them before you are in the middle of making an Offer. Another proactive idea is to decide on what other professionals you would want to involve in the transaction prior to making an Offer.  Who will you use to do a Home Inspection? Will you need to have a well-tested or the septic system reviewed? What lawyer will you use to close the transaction? Your local Real Estate Agent can assist you with all these important decisions.  Having them worked out ahead of time will make the whole process far less stressful. Most of all, make sure to find someone that you enjoy working with.
Have fun and be informed!