Ten Steps to buying a house this year. STEP 4. Sign up with a buyer agent
Buying a home can be a wonderful experience if you understand the home buying process.
After you sit down with a lender and find out the amount of mortgage you can afford , and know what you are looking for in a home the most important step is to interview a few agents and choose one to be your buyer agent. You can search on the internet , ask your friends who purchased recently or stop in at some local real estate offices.
DO NOT GO TO NEW CONSTRUCTION till you have spoken to an agent and learned about agency relations. In Pa the builder's agent represents the builder. It is good to have your own agent to represent you. However if you go to the model home on your own the builder will not honor your agency relation later. The agent should accompany you the first time you go to the model homes.
Step # 4 Choose an agent to be your buyer agent.
Read the buyer agent contract carefully. Ask how the agent will be paid. In most cases the agent is paid by the seller . The seller pays the fee to listing agent and the listing agent pays the selling agent based on contact with the seller. But some buyer agents charge a transaction fee in addition .Ask for length of contract , which is negotiable and ask what happens if you find a home from FSBO. Read the contract carefully.
You should ask the agent when the agent can show you homes because if you can only see during the day and the agent has another job or if you want to see on weekends and the agent does not work on weekends it will cause problems. Also ask how the agent will inform you of new listings and if the agent has a web site where you can look up listings and be notified of new listings.
Once you choose the agent you should mention what you are looking for in a house and the price range. The agent will tell you where you can find homes in your price range with the amenities that you are looking for.
There are other sites like realtor.com where you can look up listings.
Step # 3 Make your wish list .