1st time home buyer looking anywhere in Fairfax County within the next 3-6 months. Should I work w/ a realtor or look at houses on my own?

Asked by Carma, Alexandria, VA Thu Oct 25, 2012

I know people often engage a realtor to help them find a home, but since my search area is rather large, and time frame fairly relaxed, I am not sure that any realtor would like to go all over northern virginia on my schedule.Do I need a realtor to help me buy or can I just schedule a viewing with the selling agent and work with them when I find one I want?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

14
Robert Lepel…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Tue May 7, 2013
Dear Karma:

If you do not know where you end up, then please continue looking own your own. It would not be fair to the agent or broker.

Once you have either your neighborhood or condo project narrowed down, then is the time to retain not only a REALTOR, but a REALTOR who has the ABR, i.e. Accredited Buyers Representative designation from the National Association of Realtors. An ABR will be able to guide you through the process and insure that you are competitively represented, including finding a mortgage officer and title ATTORNEY with great rates. While some companies offer "one stop" convenience for financing and title, just like with a 7-11 store, the purchaser usually ends up paying for the convenience.

Hope this sums it up for you. Also let me know if I may be of assistance once you have narrowed down your search.

Yours sincerely - Robert Lepelletier - REALTOR, GRI, ABR & SFR
Broker - Associate - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria/Kingstowne Office (703) 310-7880 or bob@bobtherealtor.pro
0 votes
Carma, Renter, Alexandria, VA
Tue May 7, 2013
Thanks for asking Chris and Shris- I haven't purchased a home yet- I am working with a realtor- I put an offer in on a home but there were 11 other offers and mine wasn't accepted... try, try again. What a market.
0 votes
Yes, it is a sellers' market right now - which is great for those of us listing properties, but horrible for us working with buyers.
I'm working with a number of buyers in both Maryland and Virginia right now - and yes, every house we put an offer to, ends up being out-bid. We've started looking for the 'deals', or ones on the market for a while (fore-closures).
I wish you the best of luck! Keep trotting! You'll find one!

Best,

Chris
Chris & Shris Dudley
Long & Foster, Realtors
Licensed in DC, MD & VA
Office #: (703) 556-8600
Office Address: 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
---
Chris Cell: (202) 297-3047
Email: chrisdudley@longandfoster.com
Shris Cell: (301) 655-1521
Email: shristhi.dudley@longandfoster.com
--
http://www.dudleyrealtor.com
Flag Tue May 7, 2013
The Dudley R…, Agent, Tysons, VA
Tue May 7, 2013
It's been 7 months - just thought we would follow up.
Did you buy a house, or are you still looking?

Let us know how we can help you.

Chris & Shris Dudley
Long & Foster, Realtors
Licensed in DC, MD & VA
Office #: (703) 556-8600
Office Address: 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
---
Chris Cell: (202) 297-3047
Email: chrisdudley@longandfoster.com
Shris Cell: (301) 655-1521
Email: shristhi.dudley@longandfoster.com
--
http://www.dudleyrealtor.com
0 votes
Will Nesbitt, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Mon Nov 5, 2012
You'll definitely want to work with a Realtor. Check the link below to learn more about what Buyer's Representation is.
0 votes
Robert Lepel…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Tue Oct 30, 2012
Dear Carma:

My recommendation is to find the neighborhood that you want, and when you find a specific property, then retain a REALTOR who is an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR).

The role of the listing agent is to represent the Seller and the Seller's interest. Under the new agency laws that were enacted as of July 1st, 2012, being a dual agent is not beneficial to either party. So the listing agent could treat you as a customer (versus a client) and have you sign an unrepresented disclosure form. But why do so when the majority of the Seller's have agreed in advance to pay for your represention? In this manner you will also obtain your agent's opinion of value and protect your interests in financing, property condition, etc.

When you do find your idea neighborhood and house, then please consider using my services. In addition to having earned the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) designation, I also have the GRI & SFR designations plus I am an associate broker.

Looking forward to meeting you - Sincerely yours - Bob Lepelletier - REALTOR, ABR, GRI, SFR - Associate Broker & Partner - Team Maison - Keller Williams Realty - Alexandria/Kingstowne Office (703) 310-7880 - Cell (703) 474-5913 - email at bob@bobtherealtor.pro
0 votes
Carolyn Lidd…, Agent, Fredericksburg, VA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Carma, as you have heard from everyone enlisting the support of a realtor is your best way to go. It is important to keep in mind that the selling / listing agent works for the Seller not you. Therefore, you need representation, who will work for your best interest not the sellers.

The buyer's agent will assist you with researching properties that meet your criteria. That realtor can set you up in an automatic search so that you receive listings automatically via email as soon as they come on the market. This will save you time from looking on line - seeing something you like - only to find it's already gone. Your realtor will also save you time by setting up several appointments for viewing at one time, so you are not contacting each agent who lists a house, trying to coordinate getting in to view it.

Your realtor is your consultant, to help you understand the pro’s and con’s of the various types of sales: standard sales, foreclosures, or short-sales.

Your realtor can help obtain information about subdivisions, HOAs, nearby transportation, or contact information. Your realtor will have a list of names and phone numbers of affiliates who can provide services such as home inspection, lending, contractors, or settlement companies. And once you have a contract, can help coordinate getting required services done, and paperwork to the correct places.

Once you find a property in which you want to write a contract on, your realtor will assist you with market comps for that property, and will write the contract that is in your best interest based on your desires. Even if a selling agent agrees to a dual representation, then who (???) has your best interest in mind. And if you went to an attorney to write the contract, you would have to pay for their services. Your realtor not only writes the contract to help you get into a property, but what if something turns up in the home inspection or the HOA documents, and you want out of the contract. It is their role to advise you on how to do that and if you may lose your earnest money deposit, and then write any required notices or addendums. Your realtor is there to advise, handle, negotiate the bumps in the road in order to get you to a successful closing.

Good Luck with your house hunting.

Carolyn Liddell
Sun Realty of Fredericksburg
http://www.suncompanies.biz
0 votes
Karen Hall, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
I was going to chime in with a more brief version of what Brenda said. The seller pays for you to have representation, so by all means get the best representation possible!!! The last person you want representing you is the listing agent, as they are working to get the seller the highest price possible for the sale. So, interview several realtors and go with your gut on who fits your needs (to include knowing the area & availability when you can see homes), is experienced, resourceful, professional, responsive, and someone you can enjoy working with. Research and interview 20 realtors if you need to so you can find a good fit FIRST. They should be able to help you narrow down your search by reviewing online listings, discussing your goals/needs, and paying attention to your feedback BEFORE you need to even start looking at homes (that are not having Open Houses). Best of luck to you!!!

Karen Hall
Principal Broker
@home | real estate lounge & design center
khall@homedcmetro.com
cell: 703.508.0561
0 votes
Cine Wright, Agent, Stafford, VA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Carma,

No doubt it would be to your best interest to work with a Realtor who will provide you with proper Buyer representation. You've shared allot which is good and I feel you've been honest, in that same vain, some of which may not be totally realistic should your goal be to accomplish your purchase within a certain time frame. I'd be more than happy to sit down to further explore your goals and identify your wants, needs and desires, there are so many more factors and information you'll definitely want to be aware of also. I'd be delighted to work together with you to accomplish, feel free to contact me at 703-861-8017 or cinewright@gmail.com should you be interested in taking your next step. By the way, excellent question.
0 votes
Shirley Ginw…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
Carma,
It would be best to work with a realtor. Based upon your requirements, we can devepe a profile and send you listings that meet these requirements. Our system provides the latest updates and status. Upon your review, you can determine which homes you wish to see. A realtor can get you access to homes that you probably will not be able to see because you can't get into them. As a first time buyer, a realtor would be able to assist you understand the process. Working with one realtor helps you build a relationship, which I feel is very important. I have worked with several first time buyers and having the realtor/client relationship was a big plus. That being said, I would be pleased to work with you. If you are not pre-approved, I can assist you with that as well. Please give me a all, 703-470-2137.
Shirley
0 votes
The Dudley R…, Agent, Tysons, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
What they all said PLUS, you'll want to find a realtor that you can trust & feel comfortable around. This is your first time buying (I assume), so when you interview different agents, make sure you find one that is patient (some first time buyers time their time).

Working directly with a sellers agent doesn't give you the 100% loyalty you need.

My wife & I work together as a team and would love to answer any other questions you might have about real estate (sorry, we don't give out wedding advice!)

Please take a look at our website for information to at least get you started as a first time buyer:
http://www.dudleyrealtor.com

Or feel free to give one of us a call.

Either way, we wish you the best!

Chris & Shris
Chris Cell: (202) 297-3047
chrisdudley@longandfoster.com
Shris Cell: (301) 655-1521.
Shristhi.Dudley@longandfoster.com
http://www.dudleyrealtor.com
Licensed in DC, MD & VA
0 votes
Brenda Stone, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
As I am sure you'll be besiged with Realtors vying for your business very shortly, I wanted to answer you with facts and not a sales pitch.

Having a buyer's agent does not cost you anything and actually strengthens your negotiation ability when purchasing a home. You are also guaranteeing that your rights are being protected. Also, we can ensure that you are receiving current and accurate listings, rather than finding outdated ones on the Internet and wasting your time searching on your own.

Having a buyer's agent gives you an advocate. They are looking out for your best interest from start to finish. This person will fight for your rights and position throughout the home buying process. If you were to buy a For Sale By Owner, new home or through the listing agent of an open house, no one is looking out for you.

Any good buyer's agent is going to accommodate your schedule. Lockboxes only work during certain times and owners or tenants may put restrictions on when a home can be shown. Either way, a great agent is going to problem solve to get you into the homes that you want to see.

Realtors also have a strong network of allied resources that are invaluable. A lot of times, I call on my professional network for quick and thorough answers that a buyer or other agent without these relationships can't do.

Finally, in Virginia, we have 'procuring cause' which says that the agent who is responsible for you purchasing the home is the one who is owed a commission. You could get yourself in a bind where you sign a buyer agreement to hire an agent after you've seen the house with the listing agent. You could potentially owe both of them a commission. The listing agent because they were procuring cause and the buyer's agent because you signed an agreement.

Furthermore, the listing agent works for the seller. Their job, even while showing you a home, is to get the highest price and best terms for their client, the owner. A buyer's agent can walk you through the same house and point out issues that you need to consider: resale value, issues with the home, pricing, etc.

If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them at 703-615-4862, BrendaRStone@aol.com or http://www.stonerealtyservices.com.

Good luck, Brenda
0 votes
Maridol Garc…, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
Carma,

Once you talk to a loan officer / preferred mortarge company and have a specific budget you should work with a Realtor that serves as your buyer agent, we are here to represent your best interest and our commission is paid by the seller.

Feel free to contact me.

Regards,
Maridol Garcia-Joy, Realtor, ABR, CAS, ASP
Long & Foster Realtors
Alexandria /Kingstowne Center
5911 Kingstowne Village Pkwy Ste 100
Alexandria VA 22315
Cell 703-655-0777
Office703-822-8327
Fax 703-2363510
maridol@LNF.com
0 votes
Erin K. Jones, Agent, Alexandria, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
You should hire a Realtor, and I'm not just saying that because I am one! There are many more things to consider, than just which home to purchase. Your Realtor can assist you with getting pre-approved, as well as educating you about all your options, learning the market, things to look out for, etc. You need someone on "your side" during the transaction. The listing agent is already working with the seller and has their best interest in mind. You need someone with your best interest in mind throughout the whole process. As Realtors, we work with people in all stages on home buying and selling. Now is the perfect time to find the right professional to work with. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I would love to help!


Erin K. Jones
Realtor®
Avery-Hess, Realtors®
6369 Rolling Mill Plaza Suite 103
Springfield, VA 22152
ejones@averyhess.com
571-228-8853 C
703-451-9797 O
703-584-0385 F
http://erinjones.averyhess.com
0 votes
Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
You should first choose a Realtor! WIthout question it is important to choose the agent first. Make sure they carry the ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative). This is an educational AND production based designation.

A good experienced Realtor will also have a very good lender they work closely with as well as a team of inspectors, Title company, tradesman etc. who can help you along the way.

Should you wish to discuss in depth and see what value I as a 25 year veteran of the industry bring to the table to help you..please contact me.

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE, CRS,GRI
Re/Max Distinctive Real Estate
Erik@AskMeAboutHomes.com
703.216.1222
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more