I have recently been spending a lot of time with some first time buyers. We are working the FOR SALE circuit pretty hard and over the course of the last few weeks, I have come to truly appreciate the difficult choices that first time home buyers must face.
First time home buyers are in an un-evnviable situation. Coupled with the uncertainty that every home buyer faces; price, quality, mortgages, hidden defects, right time to buy, will the market turn, when to make an offer, etc; A new home buyer has that added strain of never being in this position before. The unknown is scary, but not knowing how to prepare (or not having someone help prepare) for the unkown is even scarier.
A real estate broker can be a new home buyers best friend. They are knowledgeable, connected, prepared, dedicated and available to make the search more enjoyable, limit the uncertainty, and guide buyers towards making decisions that they can be comfortable with.
When thinking about buying a home and the many stagesand questions that are invovled, the best advise you can receive is from a professional. A mortgage professional for financing, an inspector for quality of the home, and a real estate agent for evaluation and negotiating a property.
Here are some things to look for when starting to search for a real estate agent.
Time, knowledge and decidcation
Whether full time or part time, real estate agents need to find way to focus on their clients. A full time broker may talk a good game and have a good reputation, but will they have the time to focus and commit to you? While a part time broker may be dedicated, but do they have the knowledge or support staff to keep up with the demands of the real estate profession, and more importantly with what they are promising you? Make sure you talk to the agent about how they are going to communicate with you, when will you be updated, do they keep up with their trainings and cirtifications. It`s not always about track record or how many times you see a face on a billboard.
The right tech tools
Make sure your agent real estate broker is tech saavy. Not just on MLS, but that they stay current with Social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even Craigslist and Kiijiji. Don`t forget their own internal marketing efforts via their own website, email campaigns and inter office communications.
It is important that your agent does not miss out on any networking opportunities or on any opportunities to promote his or her clients needs.
Of course, real estate can be reduced to three simple notables; pricing, timing and location. If you are looking to purchase a home in a particular neighbourhood, it is sometimes helpful to find a real estate agent who specializes in that area. Agents who have a presence in a particular community will generally have the right market insight and knowledge that you need.
Make sure that you choose a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with. Someone you can ask questions to and will provide an honest and carefully detailed answer Also, a home buyer should want to work out an action and communication plan that suits your goals. It is very likely that you will be working together for a few months, and sometimes longer, so make sure that your agent makes themselves available to you, and that they welcome your contact and communication. You don`t want to be stuck working with an agent that doesn`t value you or your goals.