Why should you get a real estate agent?
For one it’s less of a headache when you can work with someone who knows all the answers. As a buyer you will have a ton of questions, from what conditions are important include, to what you can use as leverage in a negotiation. Real estate agents will also have access to listings (their current client’s) before they hit the general market. This means you could have the upper hand on a new property which can make the difference between swooping in or getting caught in a bidding war. Depending on what you are buying (house, apartment, condo) there may be more to it then you foresaw. An agent will help you navigate dealing with a condo board, by-laws and can direct you toward an excellent lawyer if you don’t have one already.
How do you find a real estate agent?
The good news is that there are a ton to choose from in most cities and towns, the bad news is that the choices can be overwhelming. One of the best approaches is to consult friends or family who recently purchased or have purchased real estate multiple times, and discuss who they used. By getting references directly from people you know, you are more likely to get an honest review of the agent and not a sales pitch. Word of mouth is one of the most effective advertising methods in real estate, so weigh it heavily.
How do you secure a real estate agent?
Call them. Or email, whichever you prefer. A great real estate agent will hit the ground running and collect your information right away. The same day you contact them they will be able to show you a series of listings for the area you want to live that meet your general criteria, such as price and size. Although you may not find everything you are looking for in your price range, your agent can help you see the potentially of what is available to you.