Do I have to call/use the listing agent? No. If the listing is MLS you may use virtually any agent from any company. In fact, you may want to consider choosing an agent other than the listing agent so you can maximize the amount of information you can obtain on the house, as well as get advice on what to offer for a purchase price. Some agents, like ourselves, have colleagues whom they work with to avoid any potential conflict of interest and give the clients the best representation possible.
Can I save money by buying privately? Typically no. Real Estate agents have an educational background in estimating value on homes as well as yearly educational requirements to maintain and enhance their skills. We have the education, historical data, and experience to place a monetary value on a house. Secondly, you are afforded many protective clauses in any purchase agreement we draw up. You may be left vulnerable without proper representation. And thirdly, if the house was truly a great deal, a real estate investor would have already bought it!
What else do I need to consider other than price? If you are a first time home buyer there may be many initial expenses. For instance if you do not own appliances, you may want to consider requesting the seller includes them in the purchase price. You will also need to purchase seasonal equipment such as lawnmowers, shovels, rakes, etc. If you are purchasing an older home you will want to consider the age of the roof, furnace, windows, plumbing and electrical...they may be in need of repair, upgrades or replacement.
What if I am not ready to buy right away? We will set you up on our prospecting system which will automatically send listings to you that meet your criteria. That way, you are able to watch the market closely and should anything interest you, we are simply a call away.
Who pays the Realtor®? Real estate fees are generally covered through the commissions paid by the seller of the home. Buyer Brokerage agreements deal with other transaction payment when purchasing homes that are For Sale By Owner and sometimes Exclusive listings.
Why do I need a home inspection? Buying a home is generally the largest investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you will want to learn as much as you can about your newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house which will allow you to make decisions with confidence. You will have the option of walking away or renegotiating your purchase price should something unexpected surface in the home inspection
What if I change my mind? It is quite normal to have second thoughts especially if you are a first time home buyer. Your agent can talk to you in detail about your concerns. Generally speaking, once you have an offer in place, you are bound by those terms. Should financing fall through, the PCDS reveal a problem, or the home inspection determines some issues, then you can terminate the deal within the "condition dates" outlined on the agreement. After a deal becomes "firm", backing out can pose serious legal issues.