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Home buying: Things to remember when working with a real estate agent

Home buying

Based on the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 88% of home buyers hired a real estate agent or broker to buy their homes. It’s a growing trend that’s 10 years in the making: since 2001, this figure has risen by 69%.

These numbers show that more and more home buyers are realizing that hiring a real estate agent is a wise choice. After all, your agent ensures that you’ll indeed find your dream home in no time. They do this by guiding you through the entire home buying process.

If it’s your first time being a home buyer in Williamsburg, VA, here’s a guide on how to work with a real estate agent.

Choosing your real estate agent

  • Get trusted family and friends to point you to the right direction. Ask about agents they’ve had experience working with. Use this referrals list as a starting point to find the right buyer’s agent for you.
  • Pick your top three choices and invite them for an interview. Any experienced agent knows that this is part of the process and will be happy to entertain any questions you have in mind. Taking the current circumstances in mind, arrange for a virtual meeting via your preferred video-conferencing platform.
  • As etiquette, refrain from interviewing more than one agent from the same brokerage or firm. While plenty of agents in the same company get along well, there might be office politics you aren’t aware of. This can trigger a more difficult buying process.
  • Give yourself an edge by working with a Realtor®. They’re part of NAR and strictly adheres to the NAR Code of Ethics.

Set your expectations and be honest

  • Agents aren’t mind readers. You need to tell them your goals and expectations. If you aren’t satisfied with their service, don’t be afraid to let them know. Real estate agents are professionals. They know how to deal with constructive criticism. If you’re still unhappy with their work, find another agent.
  • Let your agent know your preferred communication method and how often you’d like to hear from them. Do you prefer calls, texts, or emails? Would you like to receive updates in the morning or in the evening?

Respect each other’s time

  • Since most business transactions are strictly by appointment only at this time due to health reasons, don’t forget to keep track of the meeting schedules you have with your agent.
  • Remember that your agent may be working with multiple clients. Be mindful of your appointments with them and always be on time, whether it’s logging into that Zoom call or arriving early to an in-person meeting.

Understanding your agent’s commission

  • Some home buyers don’t hire an agent because they think it’s an additional expense. In reality, you won’t be shouldering the agent’s commission. Their compensation comes from the final purchase price of the property.
  • If your agent doesn’t close the transaction, they will not get their commission. As a result, they’re highly motivated to assist you through the home buying process.
  • Beware of rare agents that work purely on salary. It wouldn’t be a wise choice to hire them because they’ll earn the same amount of money whether they help you or not.

Read the fine print

  • If you don’t understand the form or contract you’re signing, ask your real estate agent to explain it to you. They’ll help break down anything about the home buying process that you have trouble grasping.

Visiting open houses during the pandemic

  • These days, it’s highly recommended to do virtual tours instead of visiting properties. But when the time comes for an in-person walkthrough, your agent can go on your behalf. They can put you on video call throughout the tour so you can zoom in on details and ask for more information.
  • If you really want an in-person visit, let your agent know. Your agent will get in touch with the listing agent to set up an appointment that observes health and safety protocols.

Don’t contact the listing agency

  • It’s a huge no-no to call the listing agent directly if you’re already working with a buying agent. Avoid contacting the seller directly as well even if they’re selling their property on their own. Let your agent reach out to them on your behalf instead. It’s part of their job.

Explore Williamsburg, VA real estate with an experienced agent

Coldwell Banker Traditions has been helping home buyers like you buy their dream homes in Williamsburg, VA for over a century. Count on us to represent you well and give you home buying tips. Call 757.229.9595 or info(at)cbtraditions(dotted)com today.