Does this month find you looking for a home to call your
own? In our town’s current bargain-rich real
estate market, you’ll find that you’re not alone! If it’s been a while since
you last house-hunted (or if it’s your first time out), it’s important to go
over some basics.
A real estate agent or broker who lists a property is usually working for the seller.
Since it takes a buyer to make anything happen, there are also buyer’s agents.
Although anyone is free to buy or sell on their own, there are good reasons why
most buyers decide to enlist a buyer’s agent to represent their interests
A Buyer’s Agent
Let’s say you stop by a weekend open
house, and there it is — your dream home! The listing agent is very nice and
wants to help you to write up an offer to purchase through her. This is called a “dual agency,” and is not
necessarily a great idea (some brokerages even forbid it). The problem is that
the seller’s agent rightly wants to get the highest price for the property
because she represents the owner. If I
were working with you as your buyer’s agent, my job would be to represent your
interests, so an offer I wrote could look quite a bit better from your
prospective. That’s why it is prudent to find a
Kenai agent to represent you before even starting your search.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Whenever you are house hunting, be careful of what you say to the seller’s agent. Resist the temptation to discuss financial matters or to mention that you are in a rush to buy: either could damage your chances of getting the home you want on terms you want. Always bear in mind that the agent is working for the seller, not for you.
Consider Signing a
As soon as you sign a contract with a Kenai buyer’s
agent or broker, you put a real estate professional to work for you. It is a
legally binding agreement in writing that obligates the agent to work to get
you the best deal possible. You may also sign an exclusive contract with
your buyer’s agent, which gives the agent an extra assurance that his or her
work is likely to accomplish what you both want — a deal that puts you in your
new home. Worth noting: except in extremely rare cases, you as a
buyer should never have to pay a commission. If an agent asks you for a fee
upfront, that’s your signal to run the other way! It’s part of the MLS listing agreement that
fees and commissions belong on the seller’s side.
Finding an experienced Kenai buyer’s agent for your
side – one you feel comfortable with, who listens to your needs and who offers
expert suggestions and advice – will be well worth the time it takes. But it
doesn’t even have to take much time: I’m right here!