Other than this, the basics. Dont over extend yourself. See past the glam. Make sure you notice the things that may hurt in resale as well. Remember real estate is an investment!
All these things and more are good tips any Realtor should tell a first time buyer.
Do double check their testimonials and references and find out their recent activity -- a good agent will even put you in touch with a recent client or two so you can get honest, verified answers.
Lastly find out what portion of their commission they may be willing to share. 99% of agents will not share any, and only a fraction of the remaining 1% will do so AND provide high quality full service. (We strive to be in that small fraction of 1% that do!)
Successfully purchasing a great home in this market requires teamwork between the agent and the buyer -- if you're purchasing in our areas of expertise we hope we'll be considered to be on that team!
Managing Broker - Chicago Real Estate Artists
Really? You don't shop around for lawyers? If you don't have dental care you wouldn't shop for a dentist? Should you assume that the attorney that charges $500/hour is better than the one that charges $300/hour? Hardly. There's nothing unprofessional about competing on price. Sure a lot of discount brokers don't provide full service but a few do. I can assure you that our professionalism is head and shoulders above most realtors who don't share their commissions. Just ask our buyers who tend to skew towards the more critical, more analytical, and higher income demographic. Check out our bios. How many realtors can match that? 50% of realtors don't even have a college education.
If you have any questions please contact me.