WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A REAL ESTATE AGENT WHEN BUYING A HOME

What to Expect from a Real Estate Agent when Buying a Home

02 Nov, 2021

Real estate agents make buying a house a lot easier. They handle a lot of the work for you and may even help you save money. They are the experts in the industry – the professionals who know the state of the market and what tactics will help you buy a home the fastest and for the best price.

Here’s what you can expect from a real estate agent when buying a home.

Real Estate Agents and Buying a Home

Buyers get the benefit of using a real estate agent without paying a fee. Sellers cover the agent’s commission, so there’s no reason for buyers to not use one.

Here’s what you should expect from an agent when you’re buying a home.

Help Getting Pre-Approved

Real estate agents need to know how much home you can afford. You may think you know the amount, but until you have an official number from a lender, most sellers won’t take you seriously. Valley Mortgage provides pre-approval documents, not the standard pre-qualification letters offered by most banks and mortgage brokers. 

Real estate agents should have a network of professionals they work with, including lenders. If you don’t have a pre-approval yet or a preferred lender, your agent should help you secure one.

Help Finding a Home

A real estate agent’s bread and butter is to help you buy a home. It starts with a consultation to learn more about you including:

  • What type of home you need (single-family, townhome, or condo)?
  • What size of home you need (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage)?
  • The features you desire
  • The non-negotiable things you need in a home
  • The ‘wants’ you have for a home, but you could live without

Real estate agents use this information to help you find the perfect home. They’ll watch the newest listings and inform you when a new home becomes available for you to check out.

Negotiating the Offer

The hardest part about buying a home is negotiating the offer, but real estate agents do the hard work for you. They’ll help you come up with an offer and present it to the sellers for you. They do all communication including the back and forth that may occur if the seller counters your offer.

Your agent should have a solid understanding of the market and know the comparable sales in the area so you make an offer that sellers will like. This also ensures you’re making an offer that’s reasonable rather than paying more for a home than you should. If you’re getting mortgage financing, you won’t get approved for a loan that’s higher than the fair market value.

Handling the Details

Making an offer on a home includes taking care of many details besides the sales price. You’ll need to negotiate a closing date, what you want to be included in the home (window treatments, furniture, etc.), and the terms of the sale including contingencies.

Real estate agents help you understand your options and should provide an opinion regarding whether you should include them or not. Experienced agents should know what most people in the area offer so they know how to direct you to handle your negotiations too.

Getting the Home Inspection

Once you have a contract on a home, you should order a home inspection right away. Your real estate agent may have recommended professionals they work with and trust. 

Your agent should go over the inspection report with you and help you understand what’s in it. If you included a home inspection contingency on your contract and the inspection comes back with many issues on it, your agent can help you decide if you should back out of the sale or renegotiate the contract.

If you renegotiate the contract, your agent can do the talking for you.

Securing the Appraisal

It’s the seller’s job to schedule the appraisal and have it completed, but if there are issues, your real estate agent can help. He/she is your ‘voice’ throughout the process. If the seller isn’t’ scheduling the appraisal or there are other issues with it, your agent can get involved to resolve the issues and avoid a delay in financing.

Attend to all Details Throughout the Process

Once you’ve completed the home inspection, your loan goes through the loan process. Throughout this time, your lender may need more information about the home or may have questions for you.

Your real estate agent still helps during this time. If there are questions about the appraisal or the underwriter needs more information from the seller, the real estate agent handles the communication and helps you get the required information to get your loan to the closing.

Your real estate agent acts like another resource through the entire process which can take between 30 – 60 days, on average.

Tie up Loose Ends

As you near the closing date, there may be small details you need to attend to, and your real estate agent will help. They are your number one resource as you go through the process, figuring out what you need to do to get your ‘clear to close.’

Bottom Line

Real estate agents are a great resource when you buy a home. Because the seller covers the commission, it costs you nothing out of pocket and can help protect your investment in a home.

Real estate agents can help find the perfect property, don’t bid more for the property than it’s worth, and that you understand everything that goes on during the process so you can make the most of buying a home.

Do your research and choose a real estate agent with experience, a good reputation, and a large network to help you cover all the details of buying a home.