Frequently Asked Questions

Many buyers do not fully understand the home buying process and what role a real estate agent plays. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that buyers ask.

What does it cost as a buyer to use an agent?

The compensation that a sales agent receives typically comes from the seller’s proceeds. In other words, there is no cost for a buyer to use an agent in a traditional agent/buyer relationship. In a buyer agency agreement, there may be some cost to the buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded so that the agent is compensated from the seller.

Can my agent give me information regarding properties from other companies?

Yes, if that other company is a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which most real estate companies are. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed in the MLS so an agent likely would not be able to provide information on FSBOs. However, with a buyer agency agreement, your agent may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.

What if I find a property on my own?

You should contact your agent and not the property owner or the agent listing the property. Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your agent in gathering information regarding the property.

What type of information will my agent need from me?

An agent will need any type of information to describe the features of a property that are important to you. Examples of common criteria include number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms. Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc) and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through. An agent may also ask you for other information such as hobbies or activities you enjoy, children’s names, birthdays, etc. This type of information fosters more of a “friend” relationship that a “business” relationship and makes the home buying process much less stressful.

Can I go to open houses without my agent?

Yes. However, you need to make sure that you indicate that you are already working with an agent. If you don’t, your agent might not be able to help you write an offer on that property in the future.

How can I find out about new properties?

Your agent should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it is via e-mail or phone. Clients with e-mail capability can receive automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as new listings are entered.

What if I am unhappy and want to switch agents?

Let the first agent know that you are unhappy and share the reasons. See if you can work out the issues. If you can’t, simply let your first agent know you no longer want to work with him or her and find another agent.

SUMMARY

When purchasing real estate, a sales agent can be an invaluable resource if you remember your responsibilities:

  • Work with just one agent
  • Make sure you tell your agent everything
  • Always tell other agents you are already working with an agent
  • Consider your agent a friend

If you have any questions regarding the purchase of a home or would like us to be your agents, please give us a call. We want your home buying experience to be as easy and enjoyable as possible and will do everything we can to en-sure you find the home that is right for you.