Agent now or later?

Asked by Garry, Pound, VA Fri Aug 14, 2009

We are planning on coming back to the area to check out a few cites (Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin) in November. Currently we are planning on making a purchase in the Jan-Feb time frame unless the right house/opportunity popped up. With that being said we wouldn't mind seeing some properties while in the area as well.

Im not sure how most agents would take this scenario though. Would most agents consider this a waste of their time? I've noticed many houses sitting on the market for months. So, I was thinking that we could view some houses and they might possibly still be there when we are ready to buy. We just want to take advantage of the time we have in the area and see and figure out as much as we can.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Garry, you are taking a very logical approach to finding the right city, community and neighboredhood. Quite often, I find that home buyers value quality of life issues to be more important than the features of a home. Because this is so incredibly important, I provide a '25 cent' tour of all the communities in the north Pinealls County area. You will meet city leaders, shop owners, educators, artists and tour the attractions and best kept secrets. From Brady's and the Safety Harbor Spa in Safety Harbor to Joli Mon's and Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin to Leepa Rattner or Hella's on the docks in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor University High School and Ozona Blue in Palm Harbor, and of course the incredible 46 mile long, 12 foot wide, paved Pinellas Trail! How each of these can become part of your everyday life very often leads to a real life changing experience.

Real estate agents understand this. Also we understand a home buyer needs the opportunity to not only get a tangible feel of a home but the spirit of the neighborhood as well. You need and we want you to fully embrace the excitement of a new lifestyle in our part of paradise. Start your home search from your home by signing up for a private account on and start searching like a pro.

When you are ready give me a call to set up you '25 cent' tour and schedule some homes for you to tour.
Annette Lawrence
ReMax ACR Elite Group, Inc
727. 420. 4041
Web Reference:
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Mon Aug 17, 2009

The process of selecting your agent (Interviewing ect,) should and will take time as determining whose services
you decide to hire is an important one.

Being pre-approved to view homes is not a rule or law but a preference for some agents. A Consumer can consider the agents preferences in their selection /hiring process.

You are a consumer who wishes to make an informed decision and are taking steps to do so. One of those steps is viewing some properties to become familiar with the market so you can make important decisions about a large financial commitment YOU will be responsible for.

There are many agents who will help you view properties without the (You must be pre-approved first). This may be something for YOU to consider as a factor in your selection process.

In the Current housing market, it is also a Buyers Market for those choosing an agent so choose one who will show properties as there are many excellent agents who will do so.

You are the one doing the Hiring and the Agents are the ones selling services. Shop for the Agent you need to fit your situation. They are there and when you find them,it will be well worth it for both of you..

Good luck and make arrangements to view some properties.
0 votes
Lana Robbins…, Agent, Beach, ND
Mon Aug 17, 2009
Hi Garry.

I highly suggest that since you want to buy a home... to start as soon as possible. I also highly suggest that you consult with a realtor ®, interview a few, then choose one whom you can trust.

I would also suggest that you ask your realtor ® to create a free Listingbook account for you so that you can search like an agent. You will be able to see homes for sale in the Multiple Listing Service and search for exactly what you want in a home.

That way you can narrow down your list then your realtor ® can set up private showings for you.

Listingbook is a very efficient system, it's free, and you can opt out at any time.

I have created accounts for many buyers who were happy using Listingbook. They could log in any time they wanted to and they could search for a home whenever they wanted to. It is a very powerful tool for buyers like you so I highly suggest it.

~ Lana
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sun Aug 16, 2009
Have you consider research for open houses? Many agents will not work with buyers unless they are qualified or ready purchase.

You might try a real estate consultant agree amount, I have had some clients similiar to this realize my time was valuable not ready purchase till monttthhhhsss down the road.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter:
Web Reference:
0 votes
Pamela Cohn, Agent, Clearwater, FL
Sun Aug 16, 2009
Hi Garry,

A lot of good information. The one theme running through all of them is start now. Start learning the area and the market to try and get a feel for it. When you said you were planning to come back to the area, did you mean you had lived here before or visited? If you lived here, then you may have friends that could refer an agent. If not, then choosing an agent you feel comfortable and confident in is an important decision. If I may offer a basic rule suggestion, make sure the realtor is a full time professional. A home is probably the largest investment you will make and deserves nothing less. Second make sure the agent knows the area you are interested in. Ask a lot of questions. Choosing a realtor is a job interview. You want what's best for you.

Get to know the market online first. We use a service called Listingbook, which we provide to all our clients free. It's like a backdoor into the MLS where you put in your search requirements and it shows homes as they come on the market, as prices changes or they sell. It's a good way to start learning and tracking the market in areas that you are interested. If you would like us to set it up for you just let us know. If you haven't chosen an agent yet, please interview us for the opportunity. We live in Palm Harbor and have been buying and selling property in the surrounding area since the mid 80's.


Pam & Rick Cohn
Broker Associate-Multi Million Dollar Sales
Prudential Tropical Realty
0 votes
Loretta Buck…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Hello Garry:
What an assortment of interesting repsonses to your question! Basically, what you are really asking is either: "How can I most efficiently learn as much as I can about my future home?" or: "How can I go about establishing a relationship with a real estate professional who can help me?". The answer to either question is research--the best way, by far, to find a professional you feel comfortable with is by introduction, when someone you know and trust has already given their approval.

If, however, you don't already know someone in the area that can intorduce you, much of the decision will need to be based on who best responds to your needs, as well as who has the area knowledge you seek.
Try making a list of specific questions you have about each area you are considering, asking yourself: "What is most important about ____________ to me?"

This is the sort of technique I like to use when I'm first getting to know a new client, because the professional you choose to help you with such a large decision needs to be one that you can trust and confide in. No such professional should ever have a problem with a longer time frame to choose a home--if they do, or try to push anything--run!

Good Luck in your home search, Garry, and please do let me know if I can help in any way--I've been a resident of Palm Harbor for over 30 years and there's not much I can't tell you about this area!
0 votes
Abe Mills, Agent, Greenville, SC
Sat Aug 15, 2009

I would also say start now. You never know what the markets are going to do next, and if you wait, you might miss that once in a lifetime dream home. Plus it gives you a chance to really get to know the areas, and no I don't think an agent will treat you less fairly just because your not buying for months.

Good Luck!
0 votes
Mark Bjorkman, , Lutz, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009
I would think it's better for you to get a Realtor now to just check out homes and the areas so that you can get a good idea of what you can get for your money. I think the worst thing to do is wait until January and get surprised or get into a rush. You'll be able to get a feel for what you want.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Bill Szydlow…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009

The best way to start would be to sit down and figure out what your minimum requirements would be in a home and what is most important to you when buying a home. You then need to contact a competent mortgage broker to get an idea of not only what you can afford, but also the monthly payment you will be comfortable with. Most buyers do not do this and end up getting excited by a home that is out of their comfort zone or cannot afford and get upset and frustrated, which makes for an unhappy buying experience.
You then need to find a realtor that will listen to your needs so that they can put the parameters you have come up with into an MLS search that can be sent to you automatically so that you know what is currently on the market and where. This will give you an idea as to availability of homes with your parameters, including price. Knowing your options before you physically start looking is very important since it does not waste your time or the realtors. Most competent realtors work with active buyers for up to a couple of years, knowing up front the timeline you have set for yourself. When you come into town, you can pick out a few of the homes to visit to get an onsite feeling of what the homes are actually like. Taking the time you have allotted on your visit to look at homes should be divided up into driving first thru the neighborhoods that have come up in the search to check them out before you physically look at the homes in them. You now have the info you need to tweak your search parameters so that the homes you will be receiving via internet are the ones you truly would be interested in potentially purchasing. This way you do not feel that you are taking up too much time with your realtor and your realtor will feel that you are serious about your future buy. The above process minimizes the frustration that buyers feel coming into a new community to buy a home.

Hope this helps.

Bill Szydlowski
The Szydlowski Team
Future Home Realty, Inc.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009

Agent have been known to work with buyers for years before making a sale. Our recommendation is to be up front and explain your timeline so there is no misunderstanding about this.

In our opinion, the biggest mistake you could make at this time, is to not be exploring your options and getting a feel for what is available for you in the current market. A smart buyer takes time to collect information and prepares themselves over a periiod of time and when the right opportunity presents itself......they are ready to make the right decision and move on it quickly.

NOW.....absolutely now......

We are not saying buy NOW......but to begin the process and be ready.

Good luck
The Eckler Team
0 votes
Aileen Kane, Agent, New Port Richey, FL
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Hi Garry, since purchasing a home is such a huge investment, financially and emotionally, it is a very good idea to start to meet and interview agents prior to that investment. I have worked with clients for a year prior to their purchasing a home. It is important that you have the right fit. One thing to consider would be looking to work with an Exclusive Buyers Agent. An EBA does not work with seller,s nor work for an office that works with sellers so they can provide complete loyalty to you! Also spending time getting to know the neighborhoods is an excellent idea prior to purchase, so starting early, a good idea! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor area. I have worked those areas for over 5 years and know the neighborhoods well.
Aileen Kane
Exclusively Buyers Realty
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Popular Tarpon Springs Neighborhoods

Email me when…

Learn more