In my last blog post, I wrote an article on The Home Buying Process, STEP 1: Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. Now onto STEP 2: Choosing Your REALTOR®. Buying or selling a home takes times, so does choosing your REALTOR®. In my state of Connecticut, there are more than 17,000 real estate agents and 19 local Boards/Associations. That is quite a large number. So how do you know who is right for YOU? There’s a lot of information that you should take into consideration when choosing your REALTOR®. In this article I will concentrate on a Buyer’s Agent/REALTOR®, someone who will help find you the right home. Here are some tips to help you in this process:
Ask for Referrals
Asking your friends and family who they really liked working with could be a good start. One of the best compliments you can give me is to refer me to your friends and family.
What Towns Do They Cover?
Some REALTORS® cover just one or two towns and some cover several towns in their area. It is important, in the home buying process, that your REALTOR® knows the area that they cover. They will have a better understanding of the value of the homes for sale, nearby amenities, pros, and cons, etc. of the area.
Research the REALTOR®
Getting information about the REALTOR® is an important step. Looking up the REALTOR® on Realtor.com, Facebook or other platforms can give you insight about your prospective REALTOR®. A quick way is to Google them by typing their name and the word “Realtor”. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. Look for a real estate agent who is a REALTOR® and a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). They have agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics and receive training in this regard. In some instances, you may want to look to see if they have any designations or certifications. Ask how long they have been in the real estate industry. Your REALTOR® should have a pool of resources, such as lenders, attorneys, and home inspectors if you don’t have one. Work with a full-time REALTOR®, not someone who is part-time in the field.
Go with Your Gut or Instinct
When making decisions in my life, I remember my mom always telling me to go with my gut. After talking with and meeting your REALTOR®, you should be able to tell if you are going to work well together. Not only should the REALTOR® have a knowledge of the real estate market, be pointing out issues they may see on a property and always have your best interests in mind, but you should also feel comfortable trusting them with such a big financial decision. If you find you do not get along with them for any reason or do not “click”, I suggest finding another REALTOR®. You should never have to settle. You should be with someone you enjoy, because you are going to be spending a lot of time together. They should be helping you each and every step of the way.
Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Authorization
Connecticut law requires that the real estate broker furnish you with a written agreement, should you wish to be represented. Some of the reasons why this is an important document is that it holds the REALTOR® contractually responsible to keep the buyer’s private information confidential, i.e. the buyer’s assets, liabilities, income and expenses, buyer’s motivations to buy, and even any previous offers made. It also requires the REALTOR® to negotiate on the buyer’s behalf for terms and conditions agreeable to the buyer and to assist in the purchase of the property. This Authorization also states the length of the agreement and the towns of interest.
I hope this article helps guide you in choosing your REALTOR® (I hope me of course). As part of the Seniors Real Estate Specialist community, I can refer you to another SRES® around the country if you decide to leave Connecticut. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I am always here to help.
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