What to expect when starting the buying process
A couple of things to consider when talking to an agent who will represent you.
- Buying a house takes time, from start to finish the average buyer spends a year looking and buying a house.
- You must be honest with them, hidden things always come out before closing. Everyone is better off knowing the secrets and handling them as they need to be handled.
- The commission is what makes the agent work for you, there are no free rides. In most cases, there will be a commission offered to the buyer's agent from the seller and seller's agent. It may be a token amount or it may be an acceptable amount for the work the buyer's agent will be doing...either way, the commission is something that needs to be discussed and negotiated before you start to look for houses. (If the agent cannot negotiate with you as a buyer, then they will not represent you to the seller to get you the best deal.)
- The agent's job is not to show you houses, their job is to sell you a house. Most agents today send buyers out to explore neighborhoods, look at the exterior of homes and do some homework before they get into the agent's car to look at homes.
- You will have to have a letter from a bank or mortgage company stating that you are qualified for a loan. This means you will have to see the mortgage or bank officer before you will get in the agent's car. That being said, your agent is not going to show you houses at more than your letter states you can borrow, so don't ask to go to a gated community to see something you found online. Champagne is easy to sell, but hard to pay for.
- Buying a house is a job. You cannot buy a car, major appliances, motorcycle or boat while you are in the house-buying process. You will lose sleep over this and wonder if you are making a mistake...just part of the process. When you are done, you will have a secure place to live and make memories.