Welcome back to Home Buying 101 – Throughout this series I will be detailing the various parts of the transaction process for purchasing a single family home. My goal is to answer the many questions looming around purchasing, especially for first-time home buyers. If you are just beginning, I recommend starting with Part One: Understanding Equity.
Previously I detailed what a REALTOR® is. Keeping all of that information in mind, I like to meet with customers when they are within the 6 month range of moving into their new house for several reasons. The first of which is to put faces to name – I like knowing who I’m working with and from experience, buyers do, too. When we schedule our sit-down, I will ask several questions that pertain to what the buyer is looking for – area, house size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, garage size, lot size, price range, etc. This leads me to point number two, us meeting gives me a chance to present the first wave of homes that I think fit their search criteria. From there they can pick and choose details they like or don’t like, that I can then use to further manipulate their auto search. Lastly, it allows me to get know what exactly they are looking for and what the timeline is. Some buyers are looking for their perfect home, others want an investment property, and some are searching for their “right now” house with resale value in mind. All of which are the right scenarios if it fits you, the buyer.
Another conversation we will have is to discuss lenders. I have a handful of loan officers that are my go-to; they each do a great job and their personalities vary just like with my clients. Just as it is important for me to have a good report with buyers, so is it for my clients to have with their lender. You’ll be discussing very private and personal information! By getting to know my buyers, I can better figure out which lenders to recommend they work with.
Lastly, I will ask you to initial a document, Information About Brokerage Services. This page is non-binding for you or me – it’s purpose is to detail the different roles an agent has.
An agent can be a Broker or a salesperson; a broker can work as a salesperson, and also sponsors the licenses the salespeople within their firm. His/her role is to be sure I, the agent, fulfill my fiduciary duty to my clients, as well as hold me accountable to keep my knowledge and license requirements up to date.
In the state of Texas, a salesperson (aka agent, REALTOR®) has four roles –for the seller, for the buyer/tenant, as an intermediary, and as a subagent. As a seller’s agent, the salesperson is working on behalf of the seller’s interests only…pretty easy. As a buyer/tenant agent, the salesperson is working on behalf of the buyer/tenant (depending on if the client is purchasing or renting). This one is a little more difficult… In Texas, without a Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement (discussed in the next post), the agent is by default working on behalf of the seller. WHAT?! I know it sounds crazy but the intention is fair, and I’ll explain more later; but this is where the subagent comes into play. The last one is role of an agent as an intermediary. In this instance, the agent is working without bias for both sides of the transaction, so representing both the seller and buyer sides. The salesperson is able to do this without bias because he/she is not consulting with either side of the transaction; he/she is only there to complete contract documents and provide the needed statistics for the side to make a decision. Personally, I will only work as an intermediary if both sides of the transaction have experience in confidently purchasing and selling property.
Working with the right REALTOR® is arguably as important as picking the right property for you. You want an agent you can trust - that works hard on your behalf, with your intentions and your interests in mind. One of the reasons I love working at TM5 Properties is because our agents constantly fight to maintain a high level of professional integrity – every client, every transaction, every time.
You also want an agent that you feel a connection with. The person you choose will be your resource for everything real estate related. It’s important for him/her to be readily available for you. Another point I tell potential clients is they need to feel comfortable asking the big questions, but more importantly the little ones! With this being your first big purchase, and likely the biggest investment of your lifetime, you want someone that will confidently execute solutions to satisfy your needs.
Take a look at what previous clients have said about my services!
See what else there is to learn in Part Five: Lending Q&A. Also, please leave any comments or questions below!
Katie Langthorn | Real Estate Agent, REALTOR®
C: 281.850.7743 | O: 979.703.1979 | F: 979.703.1980
3091 University Dr. E. #230 | Bryan, Texas 77802
Your Source for Bryan/College Station Real Estate