According to The J.D. Power 2014 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study, first-time homebuyers need clear communication and want to be walked through the purchase process every step of the way. The more seamless the experience, the less overwhelmed they’re likely to be.
It’s up to the agent to help build your confidence by educating you and working in your best interest. If you’re about to buy a home, you want to be satisfied with your agent, his or her services, and most of all — the home you choose to buy
Interview several agents before choosing. Get recommendations from friends and relatives who have recently purchased a home. Interview agents who are expert in the neighborhood where you want to live. Make sure they have some skin in the game — a child in school, a long history of working with buyers, and expertise in the neighborhood.
Be clear about the services you need. Don’t hire an agent because you like him or her, hire the agent because he or she is the best qualified to meet your needs. If you are buying a condo, get a condominium specialist to show you homes. If you are relocating to a new city, hire a relocation expert who offers additional support and services.
Hire an expert in the type of home you want to buy. If you want to buy a condo, make sure your agent knows about the shared community lifestyle and will help you obtain HOA documents and disclosures. If you plan to rent your home one day after you occupy it, make sure your agent understands your plans and can help you choose a home that will be suitable for rental in a few years.
Build a team. A full-service real estate agent can help you coordinate other services including introducing you to lenders who specialize in the type of loan you want as well as your price range, title and escrow companies, storage and moving companies, inspectors, insurers, home warranty companies, appraisers, contractors and more.
Be patient. Buying a home can take months, and there are many things beyond the agent’s control. Your agent should show you the market conditions so you’ll know how stiff your competition is to buy a home. He or she can give you periodic updates so you’ll know which homes have sold and how the changing market impacts your ability to buy a home.
Know the true costs of buying a home. Particularly for first-time buyers, it’s important to know all the costs associated with your transaction. Ask your agent to explain all the costs you need to understand, from mortgage interest rates, to HOA annual fees, to how much it will cost you in property taxes, utilities and maintenance. It’s not enough to know how much your monthly payments will be; you need to know how much it will cost you to operate the home every month.
Buy within your means. Don’t let your agent show you homes outside of your means or try to talk you into stretching to get into a more expensive home. You can’t go wrong buying a home you can afford. You can always trade up later to a larger home if you need one.
(Source: Realty Times)