HOW to START YOUR SEARCH
by Stacey Martin:
Selecting a Real Estate Agent and deciding on financing are two of the first steps to starting the home buying process. Here are a things you should consider when choosing an agent:
One of the first things you should do when deciding to purchase is to find a real estate agent or REALTOR®. After all, many of the homes you are seeing on Zillow or other home search sites may not actually be available or if it's a good deal like it seems, it could be gone before you even get a chance to start the process. This person can send you up to date listings from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) of homes that are currently active and fit your search criteria. How you choose an agent or REALTOR® depends on things that are important to you.
A Real Estate Agent and a REALTOR® are often used interchangeably but are not the same thing. Both are licensed through the State and capable of listing and selling homes, but a REALTOR® agent is also a member of NAR, the National Association of REALTORS® and are held to a strict code of ethics. You can find 7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR® here: http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/7-reasons-work-realtor
Stacey and Kristin of #TheParkwayGroup are licensed REALTORS® and members of NAR and the local board.
Choosing a REALTOR® can give you some peace of mind and confidence when making what might be the largest purchase of your life.
What we feel is just as important when choosing an agent though, is communication. Because you will be working closely with this person during an emotional and life changing event, it’s important to feel that your agent listens, understands and comprehends your needs. With the technology we have today, documents can often be signed electronically. If you consider yourself tech-savvy, you might find out if your agent is the same. If you prefer to text and E-sign but your agent likes to talk on the phone and meet with hard copies this could become frustrating. Or if you think you would prefer to have the personal touch of meeting to go over details and contracts, you’ll want to find out how your agent responds to that. Communication or lack of communication can become a serious concern throughout the process so it’s best to place thought in this up front.
Another thing to consider is whether the agent works in the field part-time or full-time or what their usual office hours are. This helps identify how much time and the hours they will be able to dedicate to your sale or purchase.
Also, it’s a great idea to ask family and friends if they have recommendations of agents they know and have worked with in the past. Most agents get the majority of their clients from referrals of friends and family.
If you feel comfortable with the first agent you meet with, that’s great! If you have any reservations though, please interview as many as it takes until you find the right one. If you are in Michigan, we would be more than happy to talk to you about your needs. If you are looking elsewhere, let us know and we will be happy to refer you to a great agent in another state.
Stacey Martin, REALTOR®
KW Showcase Realty #TheParkwayGroup
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