Purchasing a home can be a daunting experience, so it is important that you work with a professional who can guide you through the entire process. Most great real estate agents have the designation of REALTORA, which means they are members of a Professional Real Estate Association, and attended professional development classes. Since this article deals with choosing the right professional to help you buy a home, I will refer to REALTORSA and agents as “Buyer’s Agent”.
Here are some things the right Buyer’s Agent will do to help you purchase your ideal home:
- Educate you on the process. Skilled and talented Buyer’s Agents know that an educated client is a happy client. The right Buyer’s Agent will walk you through the entire home buying process in your first appointment before taking you out to look at property in Upper Longcross. This sets the expectations of your working relationship, and allows you to ask important questions about your agent to make sure you will work well together. Questions and concerns addressed in your first meeting will help minimize surprises and make you a well informed consumer. First appointments are a standard for professional Buyer’s Agents. Make sure you work with someone who will take the time to meet with you and define your goals and objectives, and not just meet you at a property with keys.
- Help you define your search criteria. Knowing the type of home you are looking for is half the battle. You also need to consider the following factors that will impact your quality of life such as the area you would like to live in, home features that are most important to you, and the loan program that best fits your financial situation. Although a Buyer’s Agent cannot make these decisions for you, a great professional will help guide in these areas by asking you the right questions to help come up with your own answers.
- Know the local market. All real estate markets are local. Here in Philadelphia, home prices have only dropped 7% since the peak of the market that is significantly less than areas like New York and California where the change has been 20% or more. It is important for a Buyer’s Agent to manage your expectations regarding price in your local market. At the time of this writing there has been a significant upswing with the Spring Market, and we have been seeing bidding wars on well priced homes within the last couple of weeks. Some homes have even sold for more than asking price, which is a solid indication of a stronger market. It is important the professional you work with knows which types of homes will sell fast, and get you in to see them and make fair offers as soon as possible.
- Put together a great team. Your job as a buyer is to know the type of home that will add to your quality of life. Sometimes that you will know this automatically, and other