Heather, Home Buyer in 11217

I am a first time home buyer. I have been looking at places without an agent and have found one I am

Asked by Heather, 11217 Sun Jun 22, 2008

interested in making an offer on. It is an alcove studio and is a sponsor sale. Should I find an agent to represent me for the offer, closing, etc. Or should I work with the sellers agent. Will the sellers agent work hard for me, answer my questions, etc. Is it a crazy idea to bring an agent onboard after I have already found a place?

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Having your own agent means you have the best representation possible, someone who will look out for your interests, not the seller. As a first time buyer with no experience of the possible pitfalls, this is particularly important. You need to bring your own agent in BEFORE you present your offer, otherwise you will be responsible for paying your agent on top of the asking price. If the property you are interested in is on the MLS system (multi-listing system), then it may already include an offer of a commission for a Buyer's agent should you decide to hire one, or it may not include anything at all. Your agent can find out which it is and will discuss this aspect with you before presenting your offer. The offer can be presented with a contingency that requires the seller's agent to take care of your agent's fees.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
The seller's agent has a duty to treat you fairly but will not help you with your offer or advise you. They will not disclose anything that would hurt the seller and will disclose any information you give. I would get my own BUYER'S agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
It is always a good idea to have a realtor represent you and your interests. The sellers agent will be working for the seller only and all of their interests. By working with the seller agent you will not be a client you will be a customer buying a home that you found.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008

If you were on trial would you feel comfortable with the trial attorney defending you? Obviously, there could be a conflict of interest that may impact your well being.

This may be a drastic comparison but it does make a point. Although, dual agency is acceptable in some locations, it doesn't remove the possibility difficulties that may or may not arise.

People are always best advised to have their own personal representation.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 19, 2012
Dear Heather,

Here is my tried-and-true, step-by-step advice for First-time Buyers like you.

First steps:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home. It's not crazy to bring an agent on board even though you've already found a house, as you asked. If you can't get an offer accepted on this house, then you simply move on to the next house. You'll need a good agent in this market: many sellers today do not seem to realize it is a Buyer's Market.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 19, 2012
I actually have more of a question: Isn't the situation Heather described basically the normal one?

I am doing plenty of my own research, the agent I have signed up with doesn't spend enough time looking for what I want. If I find good candidates, I call its listing agent, or if it is someone from my agent's company, I call her to set up a viewing.

All the agents I find, and the one I have signed up with are working for the seller and not me. AM I missing something here?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 16, 2009
As mentioned, the sellers agent will be looking out for the best interests of the seller ONLY. For this reason, getting a buyers agent would make the most sense for you- you need accurate information in a market that is undergoing change, and the seller's agent is NOT permitted to disclose anything pertinent that will disadvantage the seller (outside of required property disclosure conditions). A buyers agent is required to operate with your best interests in mind- and as mentioned below, requesting in the offer that the seller pay the fee for the buyers agent is not unreasonable (particularly if the seller is paying a fee to an agent that brings a buyer in some other agency capacity). In that case, the fee is in the price that you're paying.
Discuss all of this with a buyers agent BEFORE you make a commitment to purchase. Sellers always have the right to refuse payment to a buyers agent if it is not offered in the listing; a good buyers agent will be able to navigate this for you, before having you commit to a fee.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2008

I would definatly contact a real estate agent and ask them to represent you! When you are buying a home you want someone looking out for you throughout the whole process..To often home buyers make this mistake. It is not a crazy idea at all to bring an agent onboard to represent you after you have already identified a property...As a matter of fact the same scenerio you are describing just happen to me last month. Buying a home is a major decision...you want someone looking out for your best interests.Ask a friend or family member for a referral of an agent or you can contact me and I can put you in contact with someone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Bring on a Realtor to represent your interests. If you need a referral, let me know at Gail@GailGladstone.com and I will recommend someone. There's reasons there exist buyer reps.
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
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