How do I start the search for buying my first home? Is it better to work with an agent or not? Can anyone help me with this??

Asked by Sharon, Mineola, NY Thu Aug 16, 2012

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Janet Nation, CBR’s answer
Janet Nation,…, Agent, Baldwin, NY
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Unless you are purchasing from a FSBO (few and far between and usually grossly overpriced), you will be working with the listing agent at least which is not the ideal situation for you because that agent will be representting the best interest of the seller. Read my testimonials at and decide if you want my assistance. Good luck.
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Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Well the very first thing you need to is meet with a local licensed Loan Officer and get per-approved (if you haven't already). Once you're pre-approved, then select an agent, someone you already know or someone you were referred to, but it should be someone you feel comfortable with.

It's best to work with one agent and avoid dealing with multiple agents who will show you the same properties and potentially never get a true understanding of what you and your family need in a house.

If you need a Loan Officer, or a someone to recommend a Realtor in the area you're looking for, feel free to contact me at any time.

Javier Meneses
Senior Loan Officer
Sterling National Bank
(516) 606-9648
1 vote
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Good afternoon Sharon,

First steps:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
1010 Northern Blvd. Suite 234
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services

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0 votes
Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Tue Apr 2, 2013
I believe that these days it's about preference and also how educated you are as a buyer on today's market place. If you're someone who know's exactly what they want and where you want to live, familiar with pricing in the area, and has basic knowledge on the Real Estate, etc, then I would say you can search for homes on your own (if that's what you'd prefer).

But if you're someone who has questions, unsure of the defferent types of homes in the area and the price ranges, and really need guidance and professional help when it comes to real estate, than yes you should seek the help of a Realtor.

My personal opinion is that even if you do believe you have enough to search on your own, you can never go wrong by working with a Realtor who can advice and help you along the way. Working or building a relationship with a Realtor doesn't have to mean that you're going to get tons of calls from them, or that you have to commit time to them. I believe these days Realtors and buyers are intellectual enough to work together many different ways. Maybe you're the type who likes to call the Realtor when you have found a property you'd like to see, or maybe you need more interaction?

Good luck!

If my response was helpful, consider clicking BEST ANSWER!

Javier Meneses
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #23130
310 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 606-9648
0 votes
Zack King, Agent, Calabasas, CA
Sat Mar 30, 2013
I would always suggest working with an agent you trust and get along with. The whole process can be time consuming and stressful. It is nice to have someone in your corner that has done it before and is available to make sense of all the paperwork for you.

Zack King
Keller Williams Estates Calabasas
(818) 825-7388
0 votes
Florence Ken…, Agent, Westbury, NY
Sat Mar 30, 2013
It is best to work with an Agent. I can help you locate a home in your price range, you tell me your criteria, how many bedrooms and baths, if you want a basement....etc. I do the searching. I can send you emails of what you are looking for. When you see something you like, I take you to look at it. It saves you from doing the hard work. Contact me on my cell 516 434-9446 Florence Puma Kennedy
Century 21 American Homes.
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Sharon you will want to work with a Buyer's Agent who will be representing your interest. First the agent will consult with you to find out what your needs are in order to setup your home search.

If you have not already met with a a mortgage professional the agents will able to offer you recommendations. It is important to find out how much the bank will lend you before you start the home search. You will need a letter from the mortgage person to make an offer.

Yes the buyer's agent will help you through the process.
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Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Sharon, get a buyers agent to do all the work.
Interview them, ask question, get good answers.
It will make better and easier to find your home.

Thank you.
Please just give me a call as soon as you can.
Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes
Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
You should definitely hire a buyers' broker. Realtors represent the seller if they are not hired as a buyers' broker by you. No seller is going to let you into their home without a realtor. You should hire a realtor that is familiar with your target area.
Before you hire a buyers' broker you need to know how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Consult with a mortgage officer to work out a budget and to find out your comfort zone on payments. I would then go on the net to preview homes that my realtor suggests and let them know which one you would like to see live.
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Robbie Vaughn, Agent, Mineola, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
See the link below for a good overview of the home buying process.
It is usually better to work with an agent, but not always. Call if you wish to discuss this. Good luck!
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De Vonte Wil…, Agent, East Point, GA
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Great Question Sharon! It is always wise to have Representation, especially since the Seller of a home is more than likely to have it as well. Many people insist on buying without an Agent because they fear of having to pay a "commission". However, usually, A Buyer never compensates the Agent out of pocket. The Seller does. Please feel free to contact me to learn more.

I commend you for taking the plunge in a time where the media has instilled fear in consumers. I must reassure you that the market is very active and transactions are taking place everyday. The first step is getting pre-approved so you know how much you can spend. Feel free to contact me, and I will get you in contact with our in-house mortgage representative.

I hope this answered your question.

Wishing you the best of luck,

De Vonte Williamson
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Serving Long Island & Queens
Coldwell Banker Residential
Mobile: (631)384-3695
"I Stand Behind Getting You Results!"
0 votes
Mark Rienzie, Agent, Hicksville, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Definately work with an agent.
I am a License Real Estate Salesperson
with26 years experience.
My name is Mark Rienzie.
Work# 516-333-0025
Cell# 516-313-3112
0 votes
Thomas Brady, Agent, Plainview, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Hi Sharon, step one should be getting pre-approved. Everyone has different ideas of what they can and cannot afford, only after conferring with a mortgage professional and getting a free pre-approval should you start looking. Many people look in a price range they can't afford, and then are dissapointed at what is in their actual price range. Also you cannot submit an offer without a pre-approval, you don't want to find your dream home and miss out because you're not pre-approved. After you get pre-approved get a buyer's agent to work with you. There are two things I would recommend, first is don't sign an exclusive agreement with any agent. Some agents won't work with you if you don't sign, but there are many that will. If you sign the exclusive agreement you are bound to that agent for whatever time period is stipulated, so if you find that you don't like the agent you'll have little to no recourse. Second, don't sign an agreement guaranteeing the buyer's agent a certain percentage. Make sure they will take whatever the seller is offering as their whole commission, or else you'll have to make up the difference. If you follow my advice you should have a good experience. A buyer's agent will be working for you and protecting your interests, without costing you a dime; the best of both worlds. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questiond or concerns. Good luck!
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Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
The very first thing you want to do is to meet with a mortgage broker, mortgage banker or bank loan officer and receive a FULL PRE-APPROVAL. This is not a pre-qualification.

You will be required to submit several months of bank statements, salary check stubs, tax returns, etc., and everything will be verified.

You will then know EXACTLY what you can afford and you will be armed to pull the trigger when you get the home of your dreams in your sight.

I will be happy to recommend several of the above mortgage folks to speak with and you will decide if you wish to work with any of them.

This will not cost you anything. I ask my agents to work only with buyers with have full pre-approvals; anything less is a waste of your time and theirs.
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Boris Bast, Agent, Smithtown, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
I would say it depends on the Agent you are working with and their knowledge of the area & business. The best idea is to interview a few Agents and than make a decision. Someone knowledgeable can help direct you in the right direction.


Boris Bast
917-539-6005 Mobile
0 votes
Boris Bast, Agent, Smithtown, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
I would say it depends on the Agent you are working with and their knowledge of the area & business. The best idea is to interview a few Agents and than make a decision. Someone knowledgeable can help direct you in the right direction.


Boris Bast
917-539-6005 Mobile
0 votes
Gina Lollo, Agent, Setauket, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
It would be my advice that you work with your own Buyers Agent. They will be able to work with you form start to finish. They should be able to guide you through the process and explain things every step of the way. Work with someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Good Luck, these are exciting times...

Gina Lollo, MA
Certified Buyers Agent
Short Sale Specialist
Gladstone Group
(631) 335-7078
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously, therefore do visit with any licensed loan officer. Also consider working with an agent of your own, he/she will be your best guide. If you need assistance feel free to contact me directly.
0 votes
Nancy Jarvis, Agent, Carle Place, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Hi Sharon,

Finding the perfect home can have a lot to do with finding a compatible real estate agent, especially in today's market. The agent you choose will guide you through your home buying process. He/she will be able to help and give our advice and information you might not be able to get by yourself. It's important to be in contact with an agent before starting your home search. Reason for this is because you might be looking at a house in X price range when all you can afford is a house in Y price range. Also as a First-time homebuyer its important to make it clear to your agent what features you looking for and how much you are willing to/can spend. Is a garage or basement important, how many bedrooms and what areas you are looking in?

Hope this helped you. Any further questions please contact me.
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