Your Real Estate Agent

When you buy a home, you don’t have to do it alone. These specialists will help guide you through every step of the process.

The process of buying a home can seem pretty overwhelming. Working with an experienced real estate agent, mortgage banker and others can help make your home buying process a smooth one. Here, we’ll describe how each of them will help guide you through every step of the process.

Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent can be a powerful ally. The agent will help you navigate the complexities of finding the right home and help you understand the nuances of your local real estate market. A local agent can help answer questions about the school district, the selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood, as well as the advantages of a particular location.

Your real estate agent will help you:

  • Find the right house. Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the local home prices, schools, public safety, and other details in the neighborhoods you’re considering. That way they can listen to your needs and guide you in the right direction. Your agent will preview available homes for you so you can spend your limited time visiting houses that are the best fit for what you’re looking for.
  • Negotiate a fair price. Your real estate agent will you help you compare properties to other recent sales to make sure you’re getting a good price. Then they’ll help you prepare your offer, submit it to the seller’s agent and negotiate a fair price for your new home.
  • Choose a lender. Your real estate agent can recommend a lender, help you through the steps of prequalifying for a mortgage before you buy, and apply for your loan once you find the right house.

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Like any career, there are good real estate agents and not-so-good ones. So, don’t just walk into a real estate agency and pick an agent. Ask for recommendations from family, friends, co-workers or other people whose opinions you respect. Interview several agents and do some research online before choosing your agent.

Also, make sure you understand who the agent is representing. A buyer’s agent represents you and sits on your side of the table during price negotiations. A seller’s agent represents the seller and negotiates on their behalf. So, it’s important to make sure the real estate agent has your best interests in mind.

Other people who will help you buy a house:

  • Mortgage Bankers. Once you’ve selected a lender, your Mortgage Banker will be your day-to-day contact. Your Mortgage Banker can help you create a home-shopping budget and complete your mortgage application. Your Mortgage Banker will also answer any of your mortgage-related questions and can help you decide whether you should consider paying discount points and which type of loan is the best fit for your needs.
  • Legal counsel. Depending on your location and personal circumstances, you may or may not need to hire a lawyer to help complete your purchase. A lawyer specializing in real estate can help ensure that your purchase agreement is legally binding and meets all local, state, and federal requirements. When you submit your contract, your lawyer will also help you craft any language that defines special agreements between you and the seller of the house. Your real estate agent can help you determine if you need a lawyer.
  • Mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is someone who can help you find the most attractive mortgage rate among different lenders. To use a mortgage broker, you’ll have to pay a fee that is agreed upon in advance. Unlike a Mortgage Banker who works for a single lender, a mortgage broker works with several different lenders to help you find a mortgage provider.
  • Tax advisor. To find out if home-buying and mortgage-related expenses are tax deductible or not, you may need a tax advisor. He or she can also help you consider how tax laws apply to your specific circumstances, and may even help you estimate the potential tax savings associated with a specific property and mortgage.