The best way to look at properties without the pressure of committing to an agent is open houses. which are on Sundays and sometimes Saturdays. Many of the real estate websites show the open house times. If the house/condo is not held open. It is best to make appointments to go and see listings once you have an agent. What happens if this the perfect place for you? I would also spend some time with finding a lender to see the amount you are approved for.
I agree with the others. I would interview a few buyers agents as they will be looking out for your best interests. If not, the listing agent could possibly expect payment from you as they would be seen as the "procuring cause" of the sale of the property. Best of luck.
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.
2. Agents are Buffers
Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
3. Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.
4. Price Guidance
Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.
5. Market Conditions Information
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.
6. Professional Networking
Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.
7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork
One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!
9. Answer Questions After Closing
Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for you
You need representation in the purchse of a home, and yes it can imply agency when you work with the listing agent directly. It's in your best interest to have your own agent. If you take your time and interview a few buyer agents, you won't be "stuck" you will have an advantage!
Rima North- Keller Williams NJ Metro Group- Montclair, New Jersey
If you do wish to see a home that is listed you can call the listing agent to view it, but remember, that agent works for the seller and has a contract to get the seller the most money possible. Let the listing agent know that you are in the process of finalizing a relationship with a Buyer's Agent. They will respect that and you are only committed if you make a commitment.
Your choice of an agent can be as important as your choice of a home!
Susan Penn, PA ,SFR
2000 Main Street
Weston, Fl 33326
Here's what I would do. As you go around into open houses you are going to meet many agents with many different personalities and standards of professionalism. You are bound to feel comfortable with one of them. Choose them as your agent. This way they can not only take you to the listings you want to see, but will probably have more to show you that are similar.
A Realtor, functioning as your Exclusive Buyer's Agent, is going to guide you through the process, putting your best interests first. As a buyer, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, from using a Realtor. The seller pays the Buyer's Agent, and you do not. Realtors work with real estate situations all day, every day, while you are doing your job in which you know everything. Pick someone you like and trust, and commit to them, and let them commit to you.
I would recommend you interviewing a few agents to decide who you want to work with. You need to know that the listing agent is representing the seller not you. I understand that you just want to look at the home. my concern is that you may tell the listing agent too much information about how much you can pay for a home and all your inside information etc.. In the event that you fall in love with the home and want to write an offer that agent will know your personal information or you may feel pushed by the listing agent.
Ask for some referrals from your friends and family and interview them. Do not sign an agreement with an agent until you are sure you want to work with that agent. All agents can show you any home on the market and send you the exact home you are looking for in you price range and area. Having your own personal agent is FREE and they will work hard for you to help you accomplish your goals.
Good luck and I am sure you will make the right choice!!
Many buyers presume, incorrectly, that buying a home is no big deal, and they avoid engaging the services of a Realtor. Ask yourself this question; would you schedule surgery before talking to the doctor? Would you go to court without seeking the advice of a lawyer first? Buying a home is the most important investment you will make in your lifetime and you need to make an informed decision. Start early, find an agent that knows your community and with whom you are comfortable working. Ask friends, family, and co-workers for a referral. Someone you know already knows a great agent in your community. Get at least three referrals and talk to each agent. Ask them about their experience and their knowledge of your market area. Don't be shy about asking for references. A good agent will have wonderful references that they will be pleased to share.
Speaking as an experienced Realtor with over 25 years in the real estate industry, your agent will make your life easier and the transaction less stressful.
I would interview a few buyers agents before calling the listing agent to see a property. By doing so the listing agent may claim "procuring cause" and want to be paid. Open houses are pretty much fair game.
You are wise to think about this. It is very exciting to be moving in the direction of buying your first place. If you don't know how to go about selecting a Realtor, I have resources all over the US and can make a couple recommendations, the other would be to ask friends, family and co-workers.
All the best to you.