The Right Agent – The Right Home

Buying a home, especially for the first time, can be one of the most exciting times in one’s life!  However before you run down to your corner real estate office, know that working with the right agent is crucial to your finding the home that is right for you.

An agent who has experience in the area in which you are looking is key.  Although Uncle Bob may have his license, he might not be able to answer all of the questions you have about the surrounding neighborhood.  Information about local schools, taxes, crime rates, or proximity to services are just a few.  A good local agent will be aware of any current discussions and plans concerning development and projects in the surrounding area.  His/her possession of this knowledge can be very time saving.

Look for an agent with whom you are comfortable discussing your wants and needs.  He/she should be easy to get a hold of and respond to emails, phone calls, etc. in a timely manner.  Time is actually a very important factor when choosing an agent.  You want to make sure that they have enough time for you.  “If that person has ten or more active escrows, they might not be the right one for you.” – Matthew (over 25 years experience as a real estate broker/appraiser)  Make sure to ask the agent how many current buyers they are representing.  You’ll need someone who has time to serve your needs, and not just be concerned with how fast and how many deals they can close or how much commission they can make.

Another helpful characteristic is an agent who is tech-friendly.  Using a mobile phone and/or tablet, he/she can research a home’s facts online very easily.  This information will be in real-time and provide you access to the fastest service possible.  Researching in addition to using your agent, is made simple by searching several sites that offer online listings for free.  Some of these are Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia.  A few of these work with agents who are willing to give back their fee if you work directly with them, however in this type of situation, you may just get what you pay for!  An agent who works for his/her full fee may just work harder and pay closer attention to their client.

All in all, by doing a small amount of research before choosing your agent, you will save yourself both time and hassle and better yet truly find the house of your dreams.