Step 4: Finding a real estate agent

When buying a home, it’s helpful to have a real estate agent who will keep the process running smoothly. Finding an agent who has expertise in the area you are looking is crucial. Your agent will know the market and work to get the best deal possible. Buying a home also means wading through a great deal of paperwork and dealing with some procedures that may be foreign to you, such as hiring a home inspector. A good agent will help you organize and coordinate all the important elements of buying a home.

One way to find a real estate agent is to ask friends and family for recommendations. However, if you’re looking in a different area than where that agent normally works, you could miss seeing some homes because the agent isn’t familiar with the area. Make sure you interview every agent you consider, and ask them how they will let you know when homes come on the market, which areas of town they specialize in, and if they have experience in your price range. Online companies such as RealEstate.com make the process easier by connecting you with real estate agents who are experts in your area and price range. Once you submit your information, you will be contacted by up to four agents, and after interviewing them, you can choose which one will be best for you.

When you find a real estate agent with whom you are interested in working, he or she should be clear about his or her role in the home buying process. It’s generally not a good idea to use the same agent who is selling the home you are considering buying; the agent has an obligation to represent the seller’s interests, not necessarily yours. Also know that some real estate agents work only with buyers, while others work only with sellers.

Next step: Finding your home.


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