Chald, Home Buyer in Bellevue, WA

Hi, I'm a first-time buyer looking for a small starter condo. Do I still need a buyer's agent?

Asked by Chald, Bellevue, WA Sat Apr 30, 2011

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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Chald,
Finding an agent is a whole other question. As a first time buyer you need someone who has the heart of a teacher and patience of a saint. There is so much to learn you need to feel comfortable asking the same question as often as you need to until you understand.
Some agents focus on first time buyers, others don't. As has been said, a good first time buyer can lead to many referrals to the agent and a relationship that results in many future transactions.
You can start your search asking friends and family for referrals, but you can take it a step further and check out the agent’s online presence. Search their name in your favorite search engine and read all you can about them. Do they have a website, a blog, a presence on Trulia, Zillow and ActiveRain? By reading their answers and blog posts you can get to know them before you meet and decide if you think they would be a good fit for you.
You don't need the agent to the stars, or #1 in 3 counties, but start with an agent who has more experience than you so can benefit from what they have learned. As agents, most of us are nice, but you need someone who will also go to bat for you in negotiations. Negotiations are not just over price but many other issues as well.
Buying your first place will be very memorable; I hope you do your research so it turns out to be a good memory. Best of luck.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon May 2, 2011
Hi Chald, in addition to referrals from family and friends, Trulia is a good place to look for an agent. I am out of your area, but I can tell you this - I work with many first time buyers, enjoy it and appreciate the loyalty and gratitude they show for my efforts. Fact is this, as a first time buyer you can benefit greatly from the expertise of a good agent. And you should not settle for anything but the best. My portfolio of buyers - and sellers - covers a wide range of pricing and I like it that way. Interview several agents - if an agent seems indifferent or inattentive because of your budget then that is NOT the agent for you - move on.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon May 2, 2011
Hi Chald, in addition to referrals from family and friends, Trulia is a good place to look for an agent. I am out of your area, but I can tell you this - I work with many first time buyers, enjoy it and appreciate the loyalty and gratitude they show for my efforts. Fact is this, as a first time buyer you can benefit greatly from the expertise of a good agent. And you should not settle for anything but the best. My portfolio of buyers - and sellers - covers a wide range of pricing and I like it that way. Interview several agents - if an agent seems indifferent or inattentive because of your budget then that is NOT the agent for you - move on.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Evan Kane, Agent, Highland Park, IL
Mon May 2, 2011
A good question Chald.

It is true that some agents will not work with first time home buyers for the reason that you mention. However, good agents understand that this is really a people business and working hard for you has the possibility to lead to an exponential amount of referral business from you and your referrals in the future.

Referrals and recommendations are a great start for you finding an agent, but you should still take the time to interview a few potential agents and go with the one the is the best fit for you.

Here is my list of references http://www.box.net/shared/5m76o490z7 , I would love to interview for the job. :)

-Evan
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JoAnn Casali, Agent, Glenview, IL
Sun May 1, 2011
Chald,
Yes, you most definitely should have an agent working on your behalf. It is for your own protection and there is no fee. Besides helping you find the ideal home, a buyer's agent will negotiate on your behalf, assist with inspectors, lenders, movers etc. and provide you with a market analysis for recent sold comparable properties to make sure your offer is on target.
Web Reference:  http://JoAnnCasaliHomes.com
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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi, You don't need an agent but it's wise to have one representing and guiding you through your purchase. There is alot to learn when it comes to a first purchase.

Chris
Web Reference:  http://raveis.com/chrispagli
0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Sat Apr 30, 2011
I agree with Vera. A good agent doesn't care about the size of the commission. To find a good one, I think it is definitely a good idea to get a recommendation from someone you know. Alternatively, you can research agent's profiles,bio's, blogs & Q&A contributions on a site like this one. (you'll probably get offers from Agents just by asking a question). Another resource is to attend open houses in your area to meet the agent holding the open house. And finally, I'd be happy to refer you to an agent in one of our sister offices in your area.
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Vera Gonzalez, Agent, Sterling Heights, MI
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Chald,
A good buyers agent is not going to care about the money you spend That small deal could lead to 10 our job is to sell you your dream home. They will educate during the process and help you find the home you need at price you can afford.

Interview 3 and pick one,

good luck,
Vera
0 votes
Chald, Home Buyer, Bellevue, WA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Thank you. I posted the original question. Sounds like most of you experts agree that I should get a buyer's agent. Wouldn't an agent be more interested in someone who is buying a bigger, more expensive house vs. someone who is buying a small, less expensive condo since you would be putting in the same amount of work but the reward (commision) is much bigger in the former case? Perhaps because the current market is relatively slow, I might still be able to find someone who is willing to work with me, which leads me to my next question... How do I find a good buyer's agent (aside from asking for recommendations from friends and family)?
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Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi Chald

Thanks for your question, yes absolutely.

A Real Estate agent does this for a job, and helps you get the best deal
While Getting you the best suitable home with the right inspections and disclosures.

As you are a novice at it, better to get skillet and experience on your side.

Good luck.
Perry
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Chald,
YES, more than most. You need someone you can trust, and will put your needs ahead of the sellers or their own. Someone with experience and patience to explain everything clearly until you fully understand.
Seller's agents are nice, but they have an obligation to the seller in most cases, not to you. Get your own agent!
0 votes
Jamesmiller, , Chicago, IL
Sat Apr 30, 2011
no if you feel comfortable with the listing agent and seem honest no you dont need a buyer agent but if you are planning on looking at other properties , it makes a wiser decision to use 1 agent that you are comfortable with because its alot easier for this agent to set up appointment s and research listings that meets your requirement and watch for new listings as they come on the market. This agent will be able to help with the whole process from start to finish , so all you have to focus on what you like and dont like.
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Dayle Lively, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hello Chald,

Since the seller pays the commission, you wouldn't be saving an agent's fee by representing yourself. Also, without your own agent, you might find yourself in a situation where the listing agent of a condo wants to handle the transaction as a dual agent, meaning that the agent represents both the buyer and the seller. Of course, both buyer and seller must agree in writing to dual agency and it is legal and practiced to some extent in Illinois (many other states do not allow it). However, as you can imagine, it is very difficult for an agent to be represent both parties equally; I feel it becomes a conflict of interests for the dual agent. This could put you in a difficult situation--especially for your first venture into real estate.

I've worked with quite a few first-time buyers who have found the guidance and education I could provide as their agent to be extremely valuable. The process of buying real estate can be confusing and intimidating--having an experienced professional working with you every step of the way is very reassuring--particularly for a first-time buyer. Please let me know if I can help you with your condo search.

Regards,

Dayle Lively
847-507-8832
0 votes
Linda Dressl…, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Chald~

It is your choice of course to work with a buyer's agent or to find something on your own. typically the commission that is paid to the buyer's agent it paid by the seller, so it is of little or no consequence to you. As a matter of fact, it would be to your advantage to have an agent helping you as a first time buyer, to educate and guide you through the process. There are many details that can be missed if you aren't quite sure of the process. Please feel free to give me a call if you'd like to discuss this further. I would be more than happy to help.

Linda Dressler, SRES, SFR, ADPR
(847) 809-1257
0 votes
Bradley Egge…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Palatine, IL
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Chald,

Definitely use a buyer's agent. There is no reason not to. Call Mike Stodola with Koenig & Strey in Libertyville. He's a spectacular agent. His phone is (847) 557-1622, or email him at mstodola@koenigstrey.com.

And call me to get pre-approved.

Bradley Eggers
Senior Loan Originator
Midwest Equity
847-744-0168 (cell)
bradley.eggers@Ardain.com
0 votes
Evan Kane, Agent, Highland Park, IL
Sat Apr 30, 2011
You never need to have a buyer's agent, but why wouldn't you want the representation and expertise on your side?
Web Reference:  http://www.realtyfreak.com
0 votes
Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Yes! You should ALWAYS use a Buyers Agent. They look out for your best interests & will educate you in the process.
Good luck!
The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
508-790-2000
info@mariesouzateam.com
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