In most states, those buying a home, may opt to work with either a Selling Agent, or a Buyers Agent. When working with the former, the relationship, is one of being a customer, because the representative is legally working for the homeowner. Although ethically he must provide you with honest, ethical, truthful service, his final allegiance, is with the seller. If one opts to hire a Buyers Agent, however, he or she, will be working for you! You are his client, not merely a customer! He must provide additional, more in-depth service, etc! However, when and if you opt to go in this direction, seek a real estate professional, who is ready, willing and able, to recognize, appreciate, and respond to your PERCEPTIONS. Some of these may be based on facts, and others on feelings, but the quality professional, will hold your hand, and comfort you, throughout the entire process.
1. Price: While you may believe you are an expert in determining what price houses should sell at, or are worth, a real estate professional must guide you, and explain the factors involved, etc. Just as homeowners are often guided by a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), a Buyers Agent should provide you with this, as well, so you can see what similar homes, have sold for, recently, and must take the time, to explain it, in detail.
2. Emphasis: When you hire an agent, you must be forthcoming, so you are both on the same page. Explain the factors and features, which are most important to you, and why! Together, develop a priorities, as well as a Wish List, so you can truly compare what you are looking at, to what you see.
3. Realistic: If you are serious about wanting to buy a home, you must be realistic, in terms of pricing (what you can afford, including downpayment, and monthly carrying charges), and understanding, you will never find the perfect home (in every way)!
4. Choices: There are generally several choices and/or approaches. Do you seek a house, which is move-in, ready, or one which might be considered, a fixer-upper? The latter will probably be less costly up-front, and permit you to modify to meet your needs (finances considered), but might mean more possible headaches or uncertainties. Let the agent know your choice or preference!
5. Priorities: Even the greatest Buyers Agent, cannot read minds! Discuss your priorities, from the beginning of the process!
6. Time-frame: How quickly do you want to move? Is the relocation dependent on selling another house?
7. Intents (short-term, starter home, or for life): Are you seeking a starter home, which you will live in for a short period, and then move up, as your life circumstances change? Are you planning to live in the area for a while? Or, are you seeking your proverbial, Dream Home, which you spend a large part of your life in?
8. Options: There are many options, in terms of styles and features, as well as financial/financing! The more you discuss with your representative, the better the process will proceed!
9. Needs: Clearly differentiate between your needs, wants, likes, and preferences!
10. Specifics: If you are rather flexible, let your agent know. On the other hand, be certain to inform your representative, of any specifics, etc.
When buyer and agent, work together as a cohesive team, the process goes far more smoothly, and with lots less stress! Discuss your PERCEPTIONS, in-detail, from the very beginning!