So you’ve decided to maybe buy a home. You’ve figured out your budget. And you’ve shopped around to narrow down what you’re looking for. Now it’s time to bring in a professional. It’s time to get a real estate agent.
You might question why you need a real estate agent at all, now that so much of the information you need is available online, but mine was actual invaluable in the process. Here’s why:
- A real estate agent knows the market. Odds are, this person has been helping people buy and sell homes for way longer than you’ve been looking, so they know neighborhoods, they know buildings, they know what prices are and aren’t reasonable
- A real estate agent has connections. Real estate agents know other real estate agents (shocking, I know). This also means they know what homes are coming on the market, what properties have offers on them, who might be anxious to sell, etc. This can help you get a property before it even comes on the market, or can help you make a move on a place at the opportune time.
- A real estate agent will look out for you. I mean this literally and metaphorically. Once your agent knows what you’re looking for, it’s their job to make a note of new listings that come up that match what you’re looking for. And if you have a good real estate agent, they’re going to encourage you through the real estate process, and make sure you get what you’re looking for. My agent was an absolute trooper; my home search took months, I was pretty scattered about what I wanted, and at times I got incredibly frustrated, but she stuck with me, and ultimately got me in a home I love.
So, how do you get yourself a real estate agent? The easiest way (and how I found mine) is to ask around. If you have friends who have bought places, ask around and see if they liked their agent. If not friends, ask around to family members or coworkers. If you’ve been going to open houses, make a note if there were any agents you connected with there. If not, just do a search online or check Yelp reviews. And don’t be afraid to meet with multiple agents before picking who to work with. Your real estate agent is going to be an integral part of your home search, so it’s important to make sure you have someone you trust and get along with.
Now that you’ve got yourself a real estate agent, next week we’ll talk getting serious and making offers!
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