Choosing a Real Estate Agent Before You Choose Your House

By: Gary Ward

As a home buyer you should put as much thought into choosing your real estate agent as choosing your home. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home especially if you are not aware of how the game is played.

Resourceful consumers know that they should interview agents to see how they will perform for them and to switch agents if they are disappointed in an agents performance. How your needs will be met should be based on the variety of services the agent offers, the different skill levels and training he or she has, and the company policies of the firm they work for.

You may end up with someone who hasn't had much experience, if you met the agent at an Open House or called the Listing Agent about a particular house. It is not uncommon for new agents or part-timers to conduct Open Houses and do 'up-time' answering the phones at the real estate offices, not that an experienced agent does not do these things from time to time, but it is not enough to just take up with the first agent you meet without first seeing if they are knowledgeable of the area, the laws, and your interest. If they are the listing agent, unless specifically disclosed otherwise, they represent the seller in any transaction for the sale of a home. It is that Agent's fiduciary duty to protect the seller's position at all times. No matter what they tell you their loyalty will lie with their selling clients. Listing Agents are, not focusing on buyers' needs, you may end up with an agent who will do a better job selling your house when the time comes rather than serving your needs and wants now as a home buyer. A buyer's agent is a better choice.

If you have found a particular house but want a different agent you may have to deal with something called 'procuring cause' which offers guidelines regarding who should get credit for the sale and consequently, payment. That is why we say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Choose your real estate agent before you choose your house. It's not good to see a home with one broker and then bring another broker to the same house for the second showing a month later. Such practices could end up in a long bitter process between agents, slowing down your closing process and perhaps even chancing the lost of your dream home to another buyer.

Treat your agent with the same respect you expect from them, tell them up front if you have worked with another agent in the area, what homes they have shown you and why you choose to seek out a different agent. A good buyer's agent armed with your expectations will transcend into a great buying experience for you and your family and what a difference that will make in the enjoyment of your new mountain home!

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