How soon should I start looking to buy a house? How much does a realtor cost?

Asked by Cebb, Farmington Hills, MI Wed Feb 9, 2011

Our lease is up in September on our apartment and we are looking at getting our first home. When should we start looking and how much does it cost to hire a realtor? It would be nice to have the help, but I've read somewehre the buyer could pay up to 6%.. thats 12k on a 200k house, thats alot of money to add on. Any help would be appreciatd! Thank you

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15
Maureen Fran…, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Hi Cebb,

You have some questions that are very common with first time buyers. As you've heard, its not typical for the buyer to pay the commission. USUALLY it is paid by the seller.

Honestly, I bet you have many more questions. We typically sit down with first time buyers (and all other buyers as well) in our office for at least an hour to go over the purchasing process and what they can expect before we ever show them any houses. We've found it really helps purchasers to feel more comfortable as they proceed down the path to home ownership.

I too would advise that you speak with a couple of Realtors to find a good fit for you, and then make your choice about who you will work with on your purchase.

Best of luck to you! It's a great time to be a buyer.
Web Reference:  http://miOaklandCounty.com
0 votes
Derek Bauer, Agent, South Lyon, MI
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Cebb,

Agents are able to charge what their broker will allow. In the case of our team, the Sellers do pay commission and buyers pay a nominal $199 fee at closing. I strongly encourage you to look at the value a good agent will bring to you...

I advise that you interview 2-3 agents in the area and decide who is the best fit for you to start the process. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you.

Please view the short clip at the link below and if you feel we possibly have what it takes to promote and protect your interests, contact me to schedule an appointment at our office.

Thank you and we hope to hear from you.
0 votes
Brek Schutten, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Thu Feb 10, 2011
First of all, the sellers in a real estate transaction typically pay all commissions to the Realtors involved in the transaction. Therefore, it costs you nothing to get your very own Realtor working for you. I'm sure by just posting this question, you will get plenty of agents eager to find you a home at no cost to you. Most of us only ask that you be respectful, and that if you decide to work with us, you are making a commitment to buy a house through us. You will never have to pay any Realtor fees until closing where most brokerages will charge a $100-$300 transaction fee. As far as when you should start looking, the sooner the better. It never hurts to look around and try to get a grasp of what is really out there and how far your money will go. Start looking at your local Multiple Listing Service site and figure out what you are looking for. Then research some good buyers agents online that you would be comfortable working with. Finally, give him/her a call and let them know your situation and what you are interested in. You can take as much or as little control over this process as you want, just let your Realtor know. I hope this helps, and good luck in finding a new home!
0 votes
Jay M. Jones, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Good Morning! As you see here a buyer does not traditionally pay a buyer's agent, the commission structure has been laid out with the seller before the homes hit the market. The system is set up so everyone can have their interests represented in a fair and equitable manor. The beauty for buyer's is that your representation is covered by the seller at no out of pocket expense to you in the vast majority of cases. Your ideal first step would be to meet with a lender to discuss your financial options and determine a comfortable range. Once you know your range and what programs best suite your needs you can start researching your market areas and getting to know local Realtors who will be happy to help you find a great place. When you find an agent you click with and who demonstrates a strong work ethic and desire to assist you lock-in with them and start really digging in. How long will it take to find "The Perfect Place?" That depends on your needs and the always changing local inventory. If your goal is to be closed and prepped for a move-in date before your lease is up with as little overlap as possible, you will want to be ready to write an offer by early to mid-July for a private or bank sale (30-60 day closing period). If you are looking at getting into a short-sale you'll want to have an offer in fairly soon, as they can easily take six (or more) months to get approved and closed. The better you understand the market will allow you to recognize a deal from a steal and how to maximize your dollar. Starting sooner, rather than later, will help you to have a solid understanding of your market . Working with first-time buyers is one of the most rewarding parts of my job and there are plenty of great Metro-Detroit deals waiting for you to discover!

Jay M. Jones, Realtor
RealtorJay@sbcglobal.net
Web Reference:  http://www.MyRealtorJay.com
0 votes
Roger Smith, Agent, FARMINGTON HILLS, MI
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Good morning, As a buyer there is no cost to you. The realtor will be paid from the sale of the house by the seller at closing. Your search should start 90 to 180 days before you want to move. Even a simple deal will take 30 days to close. Most take 45 to 60 days. If you consider buying a short sale property it could take 6 months or more.
Please take a look at my website: rogersmithkw.com, with the active map you can look at the area your interested in.
look in the price range of homes that will equal about 30% of your gross income. Payments will be about $6 a thousand. $100,000 home will be approximately $600 a month plus tax's and insurance. please call or email with any questions.
Web Reference:  http://www.rogersmithkw.com
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Good Morning Cebb;
As your Real Estate agent to start e-mailing you homes now just so you can take a look at them on-line.
Narrow down the field and start looking in person about 3-4 months out.
In most cases, your agent will be paid by the owner once you close on a property.
Web Reference:  http://www.321property.com
0 votes
Pam Austin, Agent, Franklin, TN
Wed Feb 9, 2011
You may want to start looking online at least 3-4 months before your move date to help determine an area in which you want to live and your preferred features for your new home. To help determine a price range you may also want to connect with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Most real estate agents working with buyers do not charge a fee as their commission is paid by the seller at closing.
Web Reference:  http://www.PamTysonHomes.com
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Dear Cebb,
Under normal circumstances your buyer agent will be paid by the seller of the property an amount that was pre arranged between the seller and the listing agent.
There are some circumsances where you would have to pay your agent, that would be in the event that the property you buy is a For-Sale-By-Owner and the owner has refused to cover comissions. This is something that will be outlined in your buyer/broker contract with your agent. Please do discuss this with your Buyer agent in advance.
0 votes
Rose Tibbles, Agent, Northville, MI
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Hello Cebb,

We don't coast you a dime, but look out for your best interest. Our team of 3 will walk you thru the buying process step by step. It's exciting to buy your first home, you will have many questions during the process. The Tibbles Team will be happy to get you set up with the MLS. Give us a call, and we'll get you started, and on your way to viewing homes.

I would suggest you start to get a feel of the market, view some homes in different areas, and see what is available in your price range. Do you know what your approved for?

Rose Tibbles, Tibbles Team http://www.rosetibbles.com
0 votes
scott farmer, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Just to clear things up. The buyers agent is usually paid by the seller and the commission amount has already been determined prior to you ever seeing the property. When working with a buyers representative it is possible to be expected to pay your agent all or some commission if they work for a specific percentage and that amount is not going to be satisfied by the commission offered by the seller and you signed a buyer broker agreement with your agent then you would be required to make up the difference. This could be true in a short sale scenario or FSBO with a "Buyer Broker" agreement. Just make sure if you do sign one that the terms are agreeable to all parties involved.

Good luck,

Sandy Farmer
Realtor, GRI, CSSN
John Hall & Associates
homesales411.com
Web Reference:  http://homesales411.com
0 votes
Stuart Danie…, Agent, Farmington Hills, MI
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Hello Cebb,
You can save your money for the down payment. Real Estate agents are paid by the seller.
Take a FHA mortgage at just 3 1/2% down payment. Ask the seller to pay your costs too!
I have alot to help you with and live in Farmington Hills, MI
Feel free to call for more useful info.
Stu Daniels
Century 21 Today
248-647-8888 x240
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Feb 9, 2011
a) Realtors are paid by property owner at closing
NOTE: Same when you purchase a property then in time want to sell it ALL Realtors fees will be paid for by you

2) You would require lender approval letter those statements are valid for approx. 60 days

3) Point of execution of a sales agreement takes aprpox. 45 - 60 days close on a home where you take possession
0 votes
Jerry Thomas, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Wed Feb 9, 2011
As others have stated; the 6% commission that agent split comes out of the sale price of the home, you should never have to pay an agent anything.

Your first step should be to check you credit and speak to a mortgage lender. Any good agent should be able to give you at least three good people to call. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com, this is the truly free site that the three major credit bureau set up so you can run one free credit report a year. You have to pay for your credit scores but I think that would only run you about $15. If you find any errors on your reports you can challenge them on line.

Jerry Thomas
1st Select Realty
248-479-5035 Home Office
586-917-5534 Cell
0 votes
Jonas, , Houston, TX
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Hi Cebb!

Congrats on getting ready to buy a home! The buyer does not pay the commission, the seller does. The only way you are going to escape commissions is to find a for sale by owner and go in it alone. The problem with this is that unless you know what you are doing, in regards to disclosures, laws, regulations, you are likely to loose much more that the commission.

Don't look at it as the buyer paying 6% but rather the seller giving up 6%.

Good luck!!

Jonas Mancuso
Remax Int'l
http://www.talktohouston.com
Houston family forum
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Cebb,
In the strictest terms, the buyer does not pay the Realtor, the seller does. The seller hires an agent to market and sell their home. They agree to pay their agent a commission and to pay the buyer's agent a commission. The amount is up to the seller and the listing agent.
My strongest recommendation is always to focus on finding the best agent available to represent your interests. They will help you find a home, write your offer, negotiate the terms, manage the transaction successfully to closing and help you with issues like lenders, inspectors, Title and escrow and any number of other items in the process. While commission is important, a good agent is worth more than whatever commission they receive. A bad agent will cost you well more than whatever commission they receive.
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