John has some great, great points in his blog. However, I know that in my Dove Mountain Long Realty Office, floor duty is mandatory for all but 3 agents, and even those fill in on occassion. Walking into an office doesn't mean you won't find a quality agent -- but be sure to ask pertinent questions about expertise and experience! And I have to say, just because an agent has 20 signs out in a neighborhood, doesn't mean you'll be working for them, or that their work is sheer perfection. It likely means they have a team...and if you talk with a top producer, be sure to ask those questions as well!
Other than that...as a buyer or potential home seller, it is important to do your homework. John is correct when he says many online sites have old information. I can't tell you how many clients have asked me to look up different MLS numbers or addresses, repeatedly, not quite trusting that the listings I'm sending them direct are indeed the most current, up-to-date information.
Arizona does honor dual agency contracts, where the listing agent of a home may also represent the buyer, but that agency is limited. Please contact me for more details on what dual agency can mean when looking for a new home.
I'm almost always available to answer your questions. I have to admit I'm attached to my smart phone and ipad just a mite too much! I try hard to treat my clients as I wish to be treated...in other words...I answer your questions.
Have a Happy, Happy, 2014.
Buying a Home
So you have decided to buy a home, maybe your first or fifth, but you a ready to at least start looking...
First step. Most buyers today start on the internet and wind up on a internet site like Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia.com or Zillow.com. That's OK. But, one of the problems with those sites is the information is often wrong! I say wrong...I mean the information is not current. The home listed for sale may have sold several months ago. That is frustrating for buyers. I'm hoping they find a way to improve their service or their reputation will suffer for it.
Second step. Contacting someone about a listing. Usually, most buyers simply call the phone number for the agent with the sign in the yard or on the internet. BIG MISTAKE! Why? They work for the seller and their job as per the contract with the seller is to help them get the most money and the best terms...FOR THE SELLER!
Third step. You walk into a real estate office. This is like walking into a car dealership as every agent has what is called in the industry; floor duty. That means the newest to the oldest agent gets their share of floor time. Now, if you are a top agent you might take the opportunity to offer your floor time to someone looking for business! That means you (the buyer) miss some of the most experienced agents because they are busy with other clients and don't take 'floor time'.
So now you are going to make one of the largest purchases of your lifetime and you are putting your future in the hands of someone on 'guard duty'...er, floor duty!
Are you assuming agents are all the same? Bad assumption. You want an agent that not only can show you properties (most agents can do that) but you want someone that represents you! You want someone that knows how to get from finding you a dream home to handing you the keys to your new home at the closing table. Bottom line; some agents are better than others in crossing the finish line (closing the sale).
You want an Exclusive Buyer's Agent! Ask for one and don't be afraid to interview more than one.
Visit: www.JohnGJohnston.com for an expert in real estate.
Let me work for you because the agent with the sign in the yard works for the seller!
John G. Johnston
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC
Pray as if no work would help, and work as if no prayer would help.