The tiny apartment you’ve been living in has lost its appeal, and frankly, you’re bursting at the seams. Renting a house or condo just seems like you’ll be pouring even more money down the drain. Whether you’re planning on staying in your current area or moving to a new one, perhaps it’s time you considered talking to a real estate agent.
They will be your navigator.
For starters, a real estate agent will refer you to a good lender to help you determine how much house you can afford. This is an essential baseline to begin your house search. With your financials in hand, you will be a few steps ahead of other buyers.
Your real estate agent will know the best neighborhoods, the best schools and the best housing markets in your area. Whether you’re new to the area or just new to home ownership, they can help you find the house and neighborhood that fits you and your needs. For instance, do you want your three-year-old daughter to attend the school that’s known for it’s excellent music program? Do you prefer a cute little bungalow in the country or a preppy townhouse close to the downtown square? How far are you willing to commute to your workplace? An agent can even help you evaluate the potential market for your house if you expect to move within several years of buying it.
A buying agent is free (sort of).
If the seller has listed their house with an agent, the commission has already been built into the house’s selling price. If you use a buying agent, the commission will be split between the listing agent and the buying agent. Sometimes, if the buyer doesn’t use a buying agent, the selling agent may take the entire commission. You might as well cash in on the opportunity to enlist the help of a professional.
They can arrange house viewings.
This is one item that you can cross off your lengthy “To Do” List. While you focus on preparing for the move and this big transition in your life, the agent will be combing the city (or countryside) for your new home and setting appointments for you to view potential properties. You will need to work exclusively with your buying agent, but you can always let him know if you spot a house you’re interested in.
They might know about a house that’s not on the market yet.
One woman had looked at a number of houses over the course of several months and just hadn’t found the right fit. Knowing her preferences and requirements, her real estate agent was able to tell her about a house that was coming up for sale. She was one of the first people to see it, and it ended up being the perfect house for her. An agent can give you the inside scoop on what’s coming up. Who knows–your dream house may be the one around the corner that doesn’t have a “For Sale” sign in the yard yet.
As a first-time home buyer, letting a real estate agent help you is a decision you won’t regret. From making your checklist to getting the keys to your new home, your agent will be with you every step of the way.