With all the tools and advice available today ranging from books and magazines to online advice like this lesson – it would be possible for you to buy your home almost completely without the aid of real estate professionals.
That’s not necessarily recommended. The housing market, like politics, is basically local, and each state, city, and even neighborhood has a thicket of local laws or customs that you need to understand. For that, it helps to have a team of professionals to guide you.
You might want to start by finding an agent who can represent your interests in the search. This is not as simple as it sounds. Sure, 85% of sellers list their homes through an agent – but those agents are working for the seller, not you. They’re paid based on a percentage, usually 5 to 7% of the purchase price, so their interest will be in getting you to pay more.
What you need is what’s known as an “exclusive buyer agent.” Sometimes buyer agents are paid directly by you, on an hourly or contracted fee. Other times they split the commission that the seller’s agent gets upon sale. A buyer’s representative has the same access to homes for sale that a seller’s agent does, but his or her allegiance is supposed to be only to you.
To complicate matters, there are hybrid agencies called either single-agency or dual-agency brokers. In both cases, an individual agent in the firm may represent either sellers or buyers, sometimes both, in the same transaction. Potential conflicts of interest abound in this situation, so if you are seeking a buyer agent but no exclusive buyer agent is available, make sure to ask the agent about conflicts of interest.
Next start looking for a mortgage lender. Take your time, since you could be paying this loan for 30, even 40, years. X-Class Realtor agents are here to help you.
Don’t limit your search to the Web, though. Once you have an idea of the best rates from national lenders, get on the phone to your community banks and any other institutions with which you may have a relationship. Ask if they can beat the national rates. Often, the local lender can offer a better deal simply because he or she knows the local market and wants to keep your business.
X-Class Realtors will streamline this process for you. Give us a call at 301-358-3399
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