By Carrie Colby
There is a critical distinction that needs to be made about true buyer’s agents and agents that are just looking to make a sale. The best buyer’s agents care about only one thing – their client’s best interests!
There are many reasons to have a buyer’s agent when purchasing a house:
An excellent real estate agent will have a network of agents, lenders and other professionals in the real estate industry that they can connect you with. Your agent should be able to connect you with a lender that can get you pre-approved for a mortgage – a necessity when you are shopping in a competitive market. Buyers need to understand there is a difference between being pre-approved vs. pre-qualified.
Without a doubt, you want to be pre-approved. With a pre-approval, the lender will verify a buyer’s employment, income and research their credit history.
2. Help you find the right home for your needs.
What do Buyer’s Agents do for their clients looking for a home is exhausting even when everything goes smoothly. An excellent REALTOR can help you narrow down your search to save you time and energy by asking you targeted questions to help you define precisely what you want. They can help you focus on the right location, neighborhood, school district, property type and more.
3. Negotiate an offer.
When you find a home that you want, one that really excites you, it is time to make an offer. But what offer should you be putting forward? Making an offer too low isn’t smart because it will probably be ignored and potentially annoy the seller.
One the other hand, you don’t want to offer too much, though, because no one wants to spend more than they have to. You’ll need to hit the sweet spot – a number that an outstanding REALTOR is well-qualified to help you choose.
4. Help you choose a home inspector.
Some home inspectors are better than others. Your agent will know the best home inspectors in your area and can connect you with them. You need to have the home inspected before you buy it to avoid purchasing a money pit. Your agent knows this fact and will encourage you to get the home inspected using a reputable inspector you can depend on. Your agent can also help you decide if you need other inspections, like radon and mold.
5. Attend a home inspection.
Home inspectors can miss problems, which is why you want to have a second set of eyes there. The best REALTORS who are truly interested in representing their client to the fullest will attend the home inspection to make sure everything goes as it should. They will be there to help you understand the results of the inspection.
Sometimes buyers can struggle to know what problems are worth stressing over and which aren’t. Your real estate agent will help you decide what issues are ones you need to be concerned with.
6. Negotiate any home inspection repair requests.
Issues that you find through the home inspection may be ones that you need to discuss with the seller. Your agent can tell you which problems need to be brought up for negotiations and can handle the negotiation process for you. They can negotiate for a price reduction, repairs or some other concession that is justified due to the problems with the home. Mediating issues from a house inspection are commonplace, and you want someone skilled at doing it.
A skilled real estate agent knows how easy it is for a buyer to lose a loan approval – it’s based on your financial situation at the time of your application, and any significant changes you make after that can cause the funding to fall through. No one wants this to happen, especially your agent, so they are going to keep track of your mortgage for you and advise you on how to protect your approval. Additionally, your mortgage commitment date is a critical milestone in your contract. You want to make sure a commitment is given by this date.
8. Finalize all loose ends for the closing.
There are a surprising number of details that need to be addressed to finalize a closing. You have enough on your plate as it is, which is why your real estate agent will be the one to ensure that all of these details are taken care of. Your agent will finalize all those loose ends so that you close without any issues.
Part of the final steps for getting to the closing will be doing a final walkthrough to ensure the condition of the home is the same as when you wrote the offer. If something does cause trouble, your agent will be there to advise you on how to move forward. Carrie Colby is a Broker with Allied Real Estate, 909 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. She can be reached at 207-232-5497.