Buying a Home

Buying a home

Buyers: What a REALTOR® Can Do for You

The REALTOR® you work with can be one of your most valuable resources in the home buying process. Unlike many real estate agents who are simply licensed by their state to do business, REALTORS® have taken additional steps to become members of the local board of REALTORS® and have agreed to act under and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. Here is what a REALTOR® can do for you:

  • A REALTOR® can help you determine the price you can afford.
  • A REALTOR® can often suggest ways to accrue a down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
  • A REALTOR®, in addition to knowing the local money market, also can tell you what personal and financial data to bring when you apply for a loan.
  • A REALTOR® is already familiar with current real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of local zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
  • A REALTOR® can usually research your housing needs in advance through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - even if you are relocating from another city.
  • A REALTOR® can show you only those homes best suited to your needs: size, style, features, location, and accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping and other personal preferences.
  • A REALTOR® often can suggest simple, imaginative changes that make a home more suitable for you and that will improve its utility and value.
  • A REALTOR® is sensitive to the importance you place on this major purchase and commitment that you are about to make.
  • A REALTOR® can facilitate negotiation of a win-win agreement that will satisfy both you and the seller.

Buying real estate is a complex matter and can be especially confusing for the first-time homebuyer. Do yourself a favor and learn as much about the process as you can before you begin. There are plenty of resources on the Internet, and most real estate offices will have pamphlets to explain things in plain language. You may also be able to research the real estate process by attending community-sponsored classes, or you can take a look at books like Home Buying For Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown, (IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.).

 

As a buyer, it usually costs nothing to hire a real estate professional to help you find and purchase a home--your Realtor will likely get a portion of the commission the seller pays to his Realtor. When choosing an agent, get referrals from friends, relatives, and co-workers, and then interview as many agents as possible. Pick an agent that works in the neighborhoods you're interested in. Listen to your agent, but make your own decision.