Question Details

Terry, Home Buyer in Rockland County, NY

We would like to start looking for a house in January, but will not be moving until end of June or early

Asked by Terry, Rockland County, NY Tue Dec 9, 2008

July. We want to retain a buyers agent. How long do we need to sign up with an agent, and are there any fees?

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There is no fee for a Buyer's Agent, and you can sign up with someone when you find an agent you feel good about.

Good for you for planning ahead!

Best of luck with your 2009 house hunting
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 10, 2008
Picking the right buyers agent is an important step in your house search. The best place to start looking is to ask for a referral form your family or friends. There should be no charge for this service as most agents get paid when you close on your home. They will be able to set you up with some good lenders and be able to email you properties as they come on the market. This way you can take your time and find the right house for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2008
You really won't be able to buy anything in January that you won't settle on until June. You should do your househunting online, by driving through neighborhoods and by visiting open houses, until about 3 months before you'd like to move....then it makes sense to start seriously looking. Until then, you are a "tire kicker" and not a buyer, and a strong buyers agent is busy with people who are buying. We often work with people online and over the phone - coaching them through the process, sending listings (usually automatically), introducing them to lenders, sharing market information for months prior to getting into the car with them. For that reason, it is good to start working with an agent (or two) ahead of time. I would not sign an exclusive agreement for this "early education" period - this will give you an opportunity to learn about their skills, follow up skills, communication styles, etc. so you can chose an agent you enjoy and trust. This is a big deal and you need to have an agent that really does care about you. There should be no fees for this service. Plus, doing it this way will ensure that you are well educated when you actually do start looking, and you'll be able to move at the speed of the market.

Agents generally get paid when the home closes - unless you are looking for a needle in a haystack, and then there may be up front fees.

Good question and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2008
Probably best to secure a buyers agent however with move not till 6 -7 months most agent wont work with you till approx. 75- 60 days prior to anticipated close. You will need lender approval in order to submit an offer on any property. However in the meantime prior to working with agent go visit open houses, HGTV, magazines know exactly what you want. Your agent is a GREAT as info. you provide them. NOTE: never purchase from a builder, seller, listing agent direct UNLESS you have your own agent who represents you.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2008
There are no fees, and you can sign up with them for up to a year and then keep renewing. Let me know if I can refer you to a great agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2008
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