How to Choose a Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home

The decision to buy or sell a home is one of the most important financial decisions most people make, yet many give little thought to finding the real estate agent best suited to their needs.  Some also try to complete this process without the aid of an agent.  With all the tools and advice available today ranging from books and magazines to online advice like this - it would be possible for you to buy your home almost completely without the aid of real estate professionals; however, that's not necessarily recommended. The housing market, like politics, is basically local, and each state, city, and even neighborhood has a thicket of local laws or customs that you need to understand. For that, it helps to have a team of professionals to guide you.


Choosing the right agent can save you time, effort and aggravation in finding the perfect home at a price you can afford.  Agents are often chosen solely on the recommendation of a friend or an ad in the newspaper.  This is a good way to find an agent but you should always do your research.  Hiring an agent is not a personality contest; it is a business partnership between yourself and your agent.  It is very difficult weeding through the hype and choosing the best agent.  Think of it as a job interview.  You have a job that needs to be filled and the REALTORS are the applicants. INTERVIEW the REALTORS with a set group of questions. Give the REALTOR some basic background information...how much you think you can afford; what type of home you’re looking for; what your hopes and dreams are; etc. Now ask...

 

1.      With my budget where should I be looking (testing the inventory knowledge)?

2.      How do I do it without getting into financial trouble (testing experience and troubleshooting knowledge)? 

3.      What should I do to prepare for this purchase (testing experience and troubleshooting knowledge)? 

4.      What can I expect when we go buy (testing experience and knowledge of market conditions)? 

5.      What is reasonable to ask for from the seller when I make an offer (testing experience and knowledge of market conditions)? 

6.      Can you explain the contract to me and what are the loop holes in the contract (This is very important and can save you lots of money) (testing contract knowledge…this is huge. If the REALTOR can’t explain how the contract works, you shouldn’t work with them)? 

7.      Ask for references. 

8.      Ask about their support system and back-up.  You want to work with an agent that has at least 1 assistant.  When representing a buyer there are so many contingency dates to keep up with.  You want to make sure the agent you chose has plenty of back-up help.

 

Many other questions will come up as you are discussing these.  The main things you are looking for are knowledge of the inventory and the market, experience to be able to avoid pitfalls and navigate through the hard times, and the professionalism to see it through from contract to close.

TEAM JOHNSON would welcome the opportunity to help you achieve your dream of home ownership.  With our 6 person team we have plenty of experience, knowledge, and back-up.  Rather than  having one agent negotiating on your behalf you will have the advantage of having 5 agents and 1 assistant all working together to find you the home of your dreams.  Our team members have a diverse range of skills from contract negotiation, technological and organizational skills, knowledge of our individual markets, and much more.  Give us a call at 904-495-0146 or email us at teamjohnson@watsonrealtycorp.com


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