As a homebuyer, you typically don’t have to pay any upfront fees for the service of a realtor’s assistance in your home buying process and transaction. That’s awesome, right?! Yes, it is. But just because you don’t have to pay, doesn’t mean you should use just any realtor.
Your cousin who does real estate part time might be okay, but if she doesn’t understand the current market trends and the demands that are being put on buyers and sellers, she could end up costing you time . . . and money in the end. It always pays to do your research and find an agent who will be able to get you a winning offer in this highly competitive market, and see your deal all the way through to close.
If you’re in the market to buy a house right now, here are the things you need to find in a good agent, and why who you choose as your realtor really does matter more than ever.
Understands the Current Market
Today’s real estate market here in Kansas City is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a STRONG seller’s market, and unrepresented buyers, or buyers using semi-professional realtors are getting left in the dust. This market is moving quickly, and a good realtor will communicate with you the importance of being prepared, being able make a fast decision, and to be ready to pull the trigger. It’s also super important to go see new listings as soon as possible! The good houses (even the not so good houses) are selling in less than a day sometimes! That leaves you with a small window of opportunity to get out to see the house and put in a strong offer. That being said, strong offers are often times coming in above asking price. With multiple offers and lower inventory, prices are being driven way up.
Your agent should also know when you’re being priced out of an offer, and when it’s in your best interest to step away and wait for another option.
A Great Negotiator
When it comes time to submit an offer, you want to make sure you have one that is strong and stands out from the pack. We are often getting into multiple offer situations right now, meaning you have to be strategic. Yes, the dollar amount you offer plays a big part, but there are lots of other caveats that play into a seller’s decision on which offer to accept. Your realtor should be able to talk those through with you and give you several options for making the strongest offer.
Unfortunately our market is not situated in a place that allows buyers to be super picky and bulldog an offer. This market is all about who can make the most appealing offer with the sweetest terms. It’s a whole new way of negotiating.
Plays Nice With Others
Along with being a great negotiator, your agent should be someone who knows lots of other agents, and is well liked. Real estate is not a popularity contest by any means, but working with an agent or team that has a great reputation around town for being friendly and easy to work with goes a long way. When there are so many similar offers on the table, it really can come down to who you’re working with as a buyer’s agent.
Has Connections and Relationships with Quality Vendors
Another way your realtor can do you a great service is by recommending great vendors. Your agent handles the negotiating and paperwork, but inspections, repair bids, and pre-approvals, are handled by third party vendors.
A good agent will be able to give you the names and numbers of quality vendors who will get the job done well and quickly. Time is of the essence these days!
When it comes time to pick a buyer’s agent, don’t just use your bestfriend’s cousin who does it part-time. Take the time to do a little research and talk to a few agents. See who can give you good information, and who you feel comfortable trusting to work in your best interest. When it comes down to it, that’s what a Realtor’s job is. A real estate agent is supposed to educate and steady you, as well safeguard your best interest in every way possible until close . . . and even beyond! Pick wisely. It can make a world of difference in your home buying experience.