What most people are not aware of, is the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer. As a buyer, you get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself. The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure this is the case. When you are interviewing agents, make certain to ask about any type of fees as well. It is recommended you interview at least 3 agents that specialize in the area where you want to purchase.
There are real estate agents out there who may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller. If you are buying a home, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down. This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most - especially if you do not have a down payment.
If you are interviewing a real estate agent and he or she is not familiar with down payment assistance programs, this is a red flag. Agents who aren’t familiar with these types of programs generally are not familiar with financial programs on any level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.
You can also make a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender referrals are normally a great choice, as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other. Choosing a lender's referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.
When you interview a real estate agent, make sure that you have the agent explain his fees. This way, you will know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase. You should also find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate. You can also ask about sample contracts as well. If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers. If you happen to be selling your home, then you want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Ask specifically how they will market your property and what their past results were in terms of selling time, average percentage of price sold over the price listed. A good agent does keep records and their statistics.
Finding a real estate agent is an easy task - providing you know what to look for. If you take things one step at a time and carefully make a decision, chances are you will end up with an agent who has the experience you want. You should always be careful when you choose, and never rush the process. Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate. When you make that final decision, you should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind - and is not just after the money.
About Michele Sliwa: Music City’s Business Woman’s Realtor, Michele Sliwa combines success in the fashion & event planning with her experiences as a property manager to guide anyone through the perplexing maze of home building, selling, and buying. While working closely with builders and designers as her house was being built, it became apparent that Michele had an innate ability to understand complex processes and make smart decisions with ease; her builders and designers strongly suggested she become a realtor. Since then, Michele has perfected the art of real estate interpretation and communication and her clients value her ability to manage and clearly explain all of the moving pieces of the buying, selling, and remodeling process. Michele successfully completed the Masters Business Agent program and is a New Home Specialist. Michele has the uncanny ability to spot trends in the market before many others do; this unique talent gives her and her clients a distinct edge. She is a self-professed foodie and amateur chef. Michele is passionate about art and music and volunteers for the Nashville Symphony and Nolensville Elementary School.