First Choose Your Agent, Then Choose Your House

Seldom do home buyers, especially those buying for the first time, put as much work into choosing their real estate agent as they do choosing their house. Many times the excitement of purchasing a home can become so overwhelming that it blinds you to the fact that there is a game being played. If you aren't careful you could end up right in the middle of the game, without any knowledge of the rules.

It is well within your right as a home buyer to interview several real estate agents before making a decision. Not only that, you also have the right to decide against using an agent's services should you find that he or she is not meeting your needs. Because different real estate agents have different skills levels, training, and rules they must follow because of their brokerage companies, it is important that you have a clear idea of what is available to you through different agents.

Many people end up with their real estate agent because it was the agent who answered the telephone when they called to inquire about a house. Or perhaps it was the agent who did the showing at an open house. You think you are talking to the agent about purchasing the home that you are currently viewing, but before you know it you are signing an agreement making that agent your sole buying agent. It happens all the time. The root of the problem is that people don't realize the impact of shopping around for a real estate agent.

Don't think that just because a real estate agent is selling a home or is conducting an open house that the person has experience. You'd be surprised at the number of new agents and part-timers who are doing these things.

Aside from failing to see what else is available to you, there is another problem with using the Listing Agent who conducted an open house you attended. In many cases, a Listing Agent only specializes in listing houses. You need a real estate agent that specializes in buyers needs. Should you retain the Listing Agent as your buyer's agent it is likely that many of your housing needs will go unmet. When you talk to an agent find out his or her specialties. If they do not match what you are looking for at the time, save their contact information for future reference, and move on.

Don't let your real estate agent choose you as his client. Instead, you should be as proactive in finding a real estate agent as you are in finding a house. Never choose a real estate agent just because he or she was the person selling a house you in which you were interested. The seller's agent has the seller's best interests at heart, not the buyers. You can purchase the house even if you retain your own real estate agent. In fact, you might find that you get a better deal by doing it that way.

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