Big News! I just bought a house. Did you know that buying a house has been noted as one of the most stressful experiences in life? Now that I have done it, I totally agree.
I am so very, very grateful to my fabulous Realtor, Rachel Baroth, without whom, this sale would not have happened. Until this purchase, I had no idea how important it was to choose a really great Realtor. I thought I could do it myself. After all, I have found and rented several houses and procured several loans with no difficulty.
So, how hard could it be to buy a house? Oh my dear! Buying a house has gotten so complicated, the rules of the game so changeable, and the amount of paperwork so overwhelming; I can’t imagine going not having a trusted and knowledgeable expert by my side. Finding the house you want to buy is, in fact, the easy part.
Therefore, I wanted to share the top five things to look for when choosing a Real Estate Agent:
- Choose someone who you really trust and whose knowledge of the industry you respect. You will be turning to that person to explain tons of paperwork and options. It is vital that you feel that the information you get from your real estate agent is accurate and trustworthy. If you don’t already know someone, then survey your friends and coworkers. Then go and interview each Realtor. Ask how long have they been in the business? How many sales have they made? What is their experience with the type of sale you are looking to do? If they are good at what they do, then they will be willing to share this information.
- Experience in the field of real estate is a big plus. There are times that I will go with someone new to their field, but not in real estate. There are so many changes to the rules of the game that you want someone that has already done lots of deals and understands the possible problems that will come up. Also someone with experience will have lots of contacts for the various workers you will need – inspectors, contractors, repairmen, movers, etc.
- Look for a Realtor who has lots of vendors that they are happy with. You are going to need a mortgage broker, a title company, an insurance company, an inspection company, an escrow company, and more. Although you do not need to use the mortgage broker or other vendors that your Realtor uses, it does make things easier if you do. Several times during negotiations on my sale, we ran into obstacles. Because my Realtor worked well with the mortgage broker, it made it much easier to come up with workable and fast solutions.
- Find a Realtor with a strong intention to close your sale. You want someone who is going to have lots of “umph” to get over the rough spots. It is important that when you start to get burned out or when you can’t see how to overcome some barrier, your real estate agent is there to move forward and handle the complexities.
- Most importantly, make sure that you can communicate easily with your Realtor. You will be talking a lot and spending much time with this person. It is important that you feel that they understand what your priorities are and can really get what it is that you are looking for (even if you aren’t quite clear on this point yourself.) I think is vital to have someone that you don’t feel intimated by. Will you be able to express your true feelings to this person? You don’t want someone that pushes you into something that you don’t want. Buying a house can be scary. You don’t need your Realtor to be scary on top of that.
For most people, buying a house is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. It is essential that you have a seasoned guide at your side.
Have you bought a house? How did you find a good real estate agent?