Your Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) is a trained expert on buying homes.
But he or she is not the only person with helpful advice. Consider these home-buying tips from other consumers—people who recently completed their own real estate transaction—and the suggestions they’d offer to other buyers.
1. Start your search by interviewing several buyer’s agents and checking their references. Make sure you’re working with someone you trust.
2. Market knowledge and experience are important, but the best agent is one who will take the time to get to know you and understand your housing needs, as well as your personality and communication preferences.
3. Your first negotiation is with your agent. Read all agreements and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
4. Take time to do homework on your needs and wants. Get a solid grip on what’s ‘essential’ (whether it’s price, location, certain home features, etc.) versus what’s ‘nice-to-have.’ Your agent will be more successful in helping you find the right home if you’re able to clearly communicate your preferences.
5. Don’t waste your agent’s time viewing properties that might not fit your needs. For instance, if you’re uncertain about the neighborhood, drive by the home on your own and ask yourself if you’d be happy in this area.
6. The real estate search process can be stressful, but don’t buy a home that doesn’t feel right. After all, this will be your ‘home,’ the place where you’ll be living, eating and sleeping for years to come.
7. Communicate fairly and honestly with your agent. If anything starts going amiss, discuss it immediately. If, for example, your agent seems more attuned to their own home preferences than yours, talk about it right away and revisit your priorities.
8. Respect your agent’s market knowledge and consider their perspectives. Their experience does give them important insights into future resale values, up-and- coming neighborhoods, easy home modifications and other factors that buyers may not be attuned to.
"This content first appeared in the Today's Buyer Rep [April 2014], a publication of the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, which awards the ABR® Designation."