Buying your first home is a mixed bag of emotions. It’s exciting, terrifying, full of second-guessing, and sometimes confusing. First time homebuyers are often overwhelmed by unsolicited advice from well-meaning friends and family. At the same time, you wish you had a crystal ball to see which school district, neighborhood, township, and county will be best for your future as you grow into the home. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s difficult to know where to start.
Many first time homebuyers make one mistake that makes all of the above so much worse:
They Don’t Work with a Real Estate Agent
At 1SlickHome.com and The Geoff Slick Team, we talk to people all the time who don’t realize how much more work they cause for themselves by going it alone or opting to work with the listing agent. So much stress is alleviated for the buyer by simply choosing to work with their own licensed real estate agent.
Why Do I Need My Own Realtor? Can’t I Work with the Seller’s Agent?
Real estate agents have a vested interest in doing what’s best for their clients. In the case of a single agent representing both buyer and seller, the agent can’t truly act in both parties’ best interest at all times. At some point, the buyer or seller will have a greater benefit from the relationship, and it’s typically the seller.
That’s not without good reason. In a real estate transaction, the seller ultimately pays both the buying and selling agents. Realtors are paid a commission, or percentage, of the sale. This means that the party in the transaction who gets paid is the one paying the agents who assisted. Of course, this doesn’t mean that listing agents go about trying to get the buyer to pay more than the house is worth. As agents, we have plenty of regulations and policies that guide how we help our clients. But at the end of the day, the listing agent wants to make sure the seller gets the best possible price for the home.
Home buyers need their own agent because they need someone in their corner who will help them read the disclosures, negotiate for repairs or seller assist if needed, and ask the questions they don’t know to ask. First time buyers especially need this kind of guidance. If you’ve never bought a home before, you can’t be expected to know exactly what you’re looking for in the walk-throughs and inspections. But your dedicated agent helps people buy homes all the time and knows exactly how to help you.
Do I Need to Engage a Real Estate Agent Before I Start Home Shopping?
Many first time home buyers visit open houses or schedule showings directly through the listing agent with the intention of hiring their own agent once they have a house they’d like to buy. Unfortunately, this is way too late in the process to start working with your own agent. In a busy market, sellers receive offers on their homes very quickly because the other buyers are already pre-approved. By waiting to engage a realtor, you could miss out on the house you really want.
Hire your own real estate agent as soon as you believe you’re ready to start looking at houses. The agent will start preparing you to make a real offer when you find the right house. You’re not paying your agent by the hour, remember. They get paid when you purchase a house, so they work hard to make sure you can put a qualified offer on a house within your budget. Your agent will set you up for success by:
- Reviewing your short-term and long-term life goals.
- Assessing your budget and helping you cut costs to save more.
- Connecting you with a reputable lender who will begin the pre-approval process.
- Reaching out to contacts to learn about up and coming properties that aren’t public yet.
- Managing your expectations and your stress level.
By choosing to work with a real estate agent early in your home buying journey, you’ll set yourself up for a successful transaction. If you’re starting to think about buying your first home, contact us to get you started on the right path. 1SlickHome.com and The Geoff Slick Team are experienced full-time realtors who are invested in making the home buying process one you enjoy. We help home buyers all over Montgomery and Bucks Counties including Doylestown, Chalfont, Lansdale, North Wales, Hatfield, Harleysville, Collegeville, Souderton, Quakertown, Perkasie, Green Lane, and more.