Whether you’re starting the process of buying your first home or want to sell the home you’re in to upgrade or change neighborhoods, the process of buying a new home can seem daunting. From finding a great real estate agent, working with a lender, acquiring a real estate lawyer, and getting a home inspector—all on a short deadline—buying a home can often feel like writing the most overwhelming and emotional college research paper. But if you know what to look for from the beginning, the road to homeownership ends up being much easier. Here, discover who the experts recommend having on your real estate dream team (as well as how to find them).
While many of us might ask a few friends if they have a real estate agent to recommend—it seems that everyone knows someone who works in real estate—that doesn’t mean their recommendation is the best person for you. Yes, real estate seems to be built on referrals, but experts still encourage you to do your due diligence and check references when finding an agent.
If you’re starting at ground zero without referrals, you’ll probably be tempted to start your home search on Zillow or Trulia (owned by Zillow) to browse homes. While that’s not a bad starting point, one thing most people don’t know is that Zillow is a media company. “They are not real estate brokerages,” says Shirley Hackel, a broker at Compass New York City with over 30 years of experience. “They have a product called ‘Premier Agent’ which is paid advertising where agents buy space on a particular listing. It’s my experience that these agents, more often than not, lack real knowledge of the property and neighborhood; some may not have ever seen the property.”
Instead of one of these listing aggregators, begin your home search by perusing a number of sites (including MLS.com, Realtor.com, Redfin, Century21, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and Compass) and reaching out to a few agents from different companies.
“I recommend meeting several agents for coffee,” says Hackel. “Buying a home…is probably the largest acquisition you will make and represents a sizeable portion of [your] net worth. A buyer needs an agent who will serve as an advocate, an adviser, and a guide so you can navigate the search, identify the property, and get to the closing table.” She suggests looking for an agent who is a strong communicator, a patient listener, a skilled collaborator, and a confident negotiator. (Here’s why you shouldn’t empty your bank account at the closing table.)
Read the full article on ApartmentTherapy.com.
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