Finding a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents can offer considerable amount of advantages to your home search. They have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which lists all of the homes for sale in your area. They may also have some homes available in their agency which have not yet been added to the MLS.
With time and money a factor, a real estate agent’s experience should be valuable to both. Real estate agents knowing the local market values of other homes that have been recently sold in the area, and the advantages and disadvantages of the home you’re selecting will improve your position when negotiating.
And at no cost to you the real estate agents commission is built in to the price of the home and paid for from the eventual sale. In the event that you search for a home without an agent, in most cases, you will not save the cost of the agents commission as normally since it’s built in to the selling price of the home.
Mistakes can be costly and having your own real estate agent can prevent them!
There are three types of real estate agents:
1. Seller’s Agents – who represent the seller
2. Buyer’s Agents – who represent the buyer
3. Dual Agents – represent both buyer and seller
Usually real estate commissions range between 5% and 7% and perhaps higher for raw land and commercial properties.
Take some time in selecting your real estate agent. Visiting open houses or, asking your friends and relatives if they know of someone they would refer you to are all ways to seek a suitable agent. If you have already selected the area you prefer, you may find that one realtor has a stronger presence in this area compared to another realtor.
Once you have targeted a specific agent, ask the real estate agent what area of town they specialize in? How much experience do they have? How many homes they have sold in the last year in your price range? Are they a Realtor? Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors and have agreed to conform to their code of ethics. Try to find someone you can be open with, as you will need to tell them all of your likes and dislikes when viewing prospective homes.