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A home purchase is typically the largest financial transaction that any of us will encounter in our lifetime. Buying a home can be an overwhelming, complicated process with many steps and decisions to be made. Hopefully this article will help you by breaking everything down to just two simple steps to buying a home.
1. Find your agent first, not your home! Everyone loves searching for homes in their pajamas at night. But, you should actually first start researching for the best agent to represent you. There is no denying that buying a home is an emotional decision. But, typically in life, any major financial decisions based on emotion will increase your odds of making the wrong decision and possibly costing you a lot of money. When it is all “said and done”, researching for the right agent is not as fun as searching for homes but in the long run your wallet will probably thank you. “Angie’s List” is an excellent resource to help you find an agent that will be your advocate and trusted advisor in the home buying process. “Angie’s List” provides potential homebuyers with an unbiased, comprehensive database of qualified real estate agents and not just pretty pictures of houses. The most important first step to protecting yourself is not to do the process alone and have an experienced, real estate buyer broker looking out for your best interest.
2. Not all agents are the same! As a home buyer you want to find an agent that will be your advocate throughout the home buying process. You should try to contact or interview at least 2-3 real estate agents. But, not all buyer’s agents are the same. Some buyer’s agents will try to work with Sellers at the same time and be a dual agent. So, it can be very confusing trying to sort through all the different types of real estate professionals. You should make sure at least one of the agents you contact is a “true” or Exclusive Buyer’s Agent (EBA). In December 2009, The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) advised home buyers that it is their responsibility to search for a real estate agent that will represent their best interests. HUD revised the ‘Shopping for Your Home Loan – HUD’s Settlement Cost Booklet”, HUD states: “If you want someone to represent only your interests, consider hiring an ‘exclusive buyer’s agent,’ who will be working for you.” An EBA does not take listings or sell homes. EBA’s just works with Buyers, not Sellers. Buying a home is the most expensive financial decision that most of us will make in our lifetime. Don’t cut corners! Make sure you interview multiple agents and be aware that not all agents are the same. If you do this then you should end up with an experienced agent that you trust.
The home buying process can be incredible stressful and complicated. But, if you follow these two simple steps above then you will be going in the right direction to getting your new home for the best price and terms.
Good luck out there!
HomeBuyer Advocate Mike
Contact me if you have any comments or questions:
Finally a good article that fully explains everything the consumer needs to know about buyer agents. Broderick Perkins with deadlinenews.com has put out one of the best articles that I could find explaining the differences among “so called” buyer agents. Fake Buyer Agents have always been a problem for the average home buyer. Hopefully, similar articles will follow in the future. Watch out and good luck out there!