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How To: Working with a Real Estate Agent

March 11, 2021

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How To: Working with a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are one of the most helpful resources you’ll have in the home-buying process. They’ve been there, they’ve done that, and they’ll help you do it. Between you and me, though, there are a few things they probably wish you knew beforehand. Let’s talk about it.

There’s a reason why everyone says, “Location, location, location!”

The best thing about a new home is personalizing every inch of it to your taste. From faucets to light fixtures, your home is your oyster except for one thing: the location. Try as you might, once you choose a house, there’s no picking it up and putting it down in a different neighborhood. For this reason, you must consider the location of the house as seriously as you might consider what color to paint the bedroom. 

Prioritize so you can better compromise

Of course, it would be ideal if every single item on your “want” list was able to be satisfied, but that’s not exactly realistic. The right house will likely fulfill many of those wants and make sure you don’t miss out on something you need. It’s important to prioritize your wants and needs so that when the right house comes a-knockin, you won’t turn it away due to your inability to compromise on some of the less important things. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

While this may come across as an obvious note, real estate agents want to help you. Their job, first and foremost, is to help you find the house of your dreams. You should ask questions early and often. Do they think you should get any additional inspections on the home before you buy it? Do they know anything about the neighborhood that you should know? Is the seller willing to include the Adirondack chairs in the backyard in the deal? The only way to get the answers to these questions is to ask them! 

Get pre-approved!

It bears repeating: get pre-approved! Doing this will look impressive to the selling agent, and it shows everyone involved that you're a serious buyer. You'll know what's in your budget, and you'll be prepared to pay for it pending purchase. Getting pre-approved speeds up the process and makes both your and the real estate agents' lives easier.

When it comes to house hunting, the third time’s the charm.

And even if it isn’t, don’t lose hope. Just remember, the first house you see is a lot like the first pancake in the batch: it could be golden and delicious, but it’s more likely a test-run to get the kinks out of the whole process. You and your real estate agent are still getting to know each other, and they’re doing their best to understand what you like, don’t like, and hate. The best solution to a less-than-stellar first house is a second house based on critiques on the first one. 

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