Finding a buyer's agent

Asked by juleem13, Chicago, IL Mon Jun 10, 2013

What is the best way to find a buyer's agent (besides referral, which isn't panning out for me)? I'm confused about the whole dual agency thing. Does that mean I want to find an agent that works for a company that will most likely NOT have homes that are at the top of my list? I'm a first time home buyer and picking the right agent is the part that is most intimidating for me.

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Kevin Hudoba, Agent, Carmel, IN
Wed Jun 19, 2013
Finding the right real estate agent for you is definitely a very important decision to make the home buying process as enjoyable as possible. The best thing you can start out by doing is simply start interviewing agents. You want an agent that you feel comfortable with and that you trust. There are plenty of dishonest agents out there so interviewing them and asking about previous transactions is a great way to start to understand what that agent is all about. Your agent should be honest with you, not just tell you what you want to hear.

Check out my blog, "Tips to Finding a Listing Agent" at…
Obviously this is specific towards finding a listing agent, but most of the information should still be helpful.


Kevin Hudoba
Exit Realty Redefined
0 votes
Jackie Beard…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Fri Jun 14, 2013
I specialize in first time buyers and want you to contact me if you need help. It will not be intimidating at all nor should it ever be. I have been in DuPage County since 1968'.
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Evelyn Santi…, Agent, Oswego, IL
Mon Jun 10, 2013
Sorry - your question regarding dual agency. Basically it means that I have a listing that is on the market and you have decided to buy that listing. When in a dual agency situation (which does not come up that often) the realtor involved has specific responsibilities in the transaction. She is a transaction broker at this point - she/he can do all the paperwork, recommend home inspectors, etc., do a market analysis but can not tell you what to offer or tell the seller what to accept.

They will also need you to sign a Dual Agency Confirmation and Disclosure document which spells out the exact duties. Confidentialty is one of the duties - she/he can't discuss your personal situation with the seller nor can she/he discuss the seller's personal information with you unless expressed permission is given by the parties involved. I can send you a copy if you want to review it.

I have done several transactions in my real estate career being a dual agent but its not the norm by any means. In FL they use transaction brokers which basically means that the agent does the paperwork for the transaction, recommends ancillary services (home inspection, mortgage, etc) but does not have the fiduciary duties that we have in IL.
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James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Jun 10, 2013
You can go and visit a few open houses and interview the agents there to see if you would like working with them or do a search online for active agents in the area you wish to purchase a home.

Dual agency will only come into effect if the house you want to offer on is listed by the same brokerage as the buyer's agent you are using. The buyer's agent you choose should explain all of this to you and have you sign an agency disclosure for which also explains the agency relationship.

Some important points to consider when selecting a buyer's agent to work with are;

1) Do you like them as a person (personality)? You will be dealing with them for the entire process.
2) Are they knowledgeable in the area, type of home you want, etc.
3) The agent's availability. Will they be available when you need them to be?
4) Overall experience and ability to explain and share important aspects of the home's features and flaws, along with the surrounding area's amenities.
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Geoff Ommen, Agent, Barrington, IL
Mon Jun 10, 2013
Finding the right agent is important. If referral isnt working, look through some of the profiles of agents on Trulia. Look to see who covers the areas you are looking at. If their bio looks like a good fit, send out a note to investigate further. You have specific needs as a first time buyer. Some agents are better than others to help you.

Illinois is an agency state, meaning once you sign with an agent, they work on your behalf. For fist time buyers, this is most helpful since the agent is going to help you through the process. You don't have to worry about information being "leaked" to the other side.

If the agent has a listing you are interested in, they can always refer you to another agent in their office to assist you with the actual transaction. You want to find an agent that you can trust to help you with your search and the total process.

Geoff Ommen
Broker Baird & Warner
0 votes
Evelyn Santi…, Agent, Oswego, IL
Mon Jun 10, 2013
If referrals are not working out start by reading blogs in real estate sites like "active rain", trulia. There are quite a lot of Chicago agents on this site. Finding an agent can be a little like dating. You want to find an agent that you can easily communicate with, ask and listens to your needs and requirements. Has the patience to show you the homes you want to see and understands your financial situation.

If you have not gotten pre-approved please do that before anything else. That way you will know exactly what price range you qualify for a mortgage and you won't waste your time looking at homes that you will not qualify for.

Some agents in Chicago specialize in condos, specific neighborhoods, etc. If you are looking to move into the suburbs feel free to contact me. I have assisted homebuyers from Carpentersville to Steger, IL. I have worked in a variety of companies in the suburbs and the Loop so have a good understanding of the majority of the suburbs or can recommend another agent.

Good luck!
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juleem13, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Mon Jun 10, 2013
But is it the specific agent or the agency? For example say I hire you and I find a house that is being sold by another Century 21 agent. Is that considered dual agency, or is it just if you are the specific listing agent on the house I want to buy?
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Dual agency is the same AGENT (realtor) handling both sides. Think about it....That agent is privy to very sensitive info. Example: he/she knows the sellers bottom line. How would they handle that if they also represented the buyer? VERY CAREFULLY!!! Many offices do not even allow dual.
Flag Mon Jun 10, 2013
James Pinson, Agent, Oak Lawn, IL
Mon Jun 10, 2013
Dual agency means they are handling both side of the transaction, that all. They have the listing and they are also representing you the buyer of that home. I don't personally care for dual agency. Where is your allegiance? Any agent will have access to the same properties - the multiple listing service.

Send me an email with desired price, location, beds, baths, brick/frame, basement required and I can send you listings that match that criteria.

Jim Pinson 847-791-8742
Century 21 Affiliated Pro-Team

I usually only work with buyers (more first time buyer).
0 votes
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