Musings from a life of chances and changes
You've decided that you want to buy a home. You do all of your research to find the properties that seem like a good fit. You go online and search every possible website, drive through your preferred neighborhood in case you missed any houses that are for sale by owner, and devote your weekends to visiting open houses. All this work has saved you the cost of a real estate agent. But is that true? No, it is not true. If you use a real estate broker to buy your home, in most situations you are not charged a commission, and it is the agent's duty to fully represent you.
Will a buyer's agent find you your dream home? No guarantees, but why would you run yourself ragged when the listings will be found for you and sent to you with your preferred criteria. Tours of the homes will be customized to save you the time and headache of seeing nightmarish places. When you sign a buyer's representation agreement, it binds the broker to you and your best interests. The agent should be able to listen to your needs and be a liaison between you and the seller's listing agent. Explaining the entire process of home buying to you will be first. But when you have narrowed your choices down to the house, the agent will make a well-reasoned offer. The offer will be formulated with the most critical component...the "comps" or the sales of comparable houses sold in the area. Without the ability to put together these numbers, you may make an offer that is not in line with what the house is worth. It's not only a matter of paying too much for the house, it may also mean that your offer is too low to reflect the market value of the house. In today's real estate market of low inventory and significant demand, the deal will not close if the purchase offer is out of line. Once the offer is determined, an agent will negotiate the price and resolve other issues so that the offer is accepted. The agent's goal is to protect you so that you do not end up with buyer's remorse. No broker's fee is too high when you buy the house of your dreams, right? Oh, never mind...it's free!
Judi Berger is an attorney and real estate broker who is blogging as she begins a new chapter in her life.