A realtor can offer a wide range of assistance to prospective home buyers. Choosing the right one can save you a great deal of money and secure you the home of your dreams.
Is Every Real Estate Agent a Realtor?
The quick answer is no. Therefore, you need to be sure you are working with a professional realtor. It is important to be clear about definitions.
Real estate agent: Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent. They need to attend classes and pass their exams.
Real estate broker: This is a real estate agent who has taken further classes and passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or hire other agents to work for them.
REALTOR®: A realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, and must therefore uphold the standards of the association and abide by its code of ethics. https://www.nar.realtor/
Find a realtor first. Then determine if this is a person you will feel comfortable dealing with. A good realtor can soon start to seem like a member of the family.
Showing You Homes
Showing you possible homes will be a key part of their job, but they need to get to know you and your family as people so they can help find a home that will suit your tastes and needs. They also need to have a good idea of your price range and overall budget.
Get You Pre-Approved
A good realtor should have a reliable network of trusted lenders and professionals commonly involved in the many details related to you buying a home, and they will help the sale go through smoothly all the way to closing. The first step is to get a mortgage pre-approved so you can start shopping.
Note that pre-approval means that the lender has gone through all of your financial paperwork, such as proof of employment and income, and assessed your credit report. Be sure to get a pre-approval letter if you have been shopping around on your own before working with your realtor.
Give Advice about the Local Housing Market and Neighborhood
Some neighborhoods have a certain character, and are more desirable than others. Not all four-bedrooms are created equal, therefore. Be sure to inform your realtor of any special requirements from the outset, such as being close to an elementary school or high school, near public transportation and shops because you don’t drive, and so on.
They will also know what similar houses have sold for recently and might be able to connect you with a bargain house that needs to be sold quickly, or which has just reduced its asking price significantly.
Negotiating Your Offer
Leave this to the pros and they should be able to get the best price for you. It will be contingent on what the house inspection reveals.
Connecting You with a Reliable House Inspector
Your realtor will want you to be happy and not stuck with a “lemon”. They will recommend reliable inspectors they trust. Based on what they find, the house valuation may be lower, in which case you can adjust your offer accordingly.
They will also advise you on whether the price is in line with the neighborhood. The last thing you want is an “underwater mortgage” in which you will owe more than the house will ever be worth.
Attending the Home Inspection
A good realtor will be willing to attend the inspection and take part actively. Two pairs of eyes will always be better than one. They can then report back their honest opinion as to your next steps and negotiate as needed.
As you can see, the right realtor can make a real difference to the house-buying process and will help you find your dream house.