Deciding to become a homeowner is never easy. For most of us, it’s a major life change and a significant step up from renting an apartment or living with family. It can also be one of the most expensive purchases that you’ll ever make, so don’t feel like you need to rush into making an offer.
You could opt to find a home all by yourself. However, most people lack the understanding that most realtors have. Veteran real estate agents have successfully helped people buy and sell homes for many years. They should have a good idea of what to expect and how to overcome objections and worries that their customers may have.
Buying a home in Texas will take time. There are specific steps that must be taken, some of which will require the involvement of specialized professionals. There could even be unexpected delays or other problems. Patience, determination, and a proactive plan of action can help you succeed.
Here are a few things that you can look for when choosing a realtor to help you buy a house:
1. Good reviews.
Before selecting a realtor, take some time to read online reviews and evaluate realtor ratings. You can also ask for referrals from friends, neighbors or family members. Listen to what each person has to say. Before long, certain patterns will emerge. If you’re consistently hearing good things about particular agents, you can add them to your list of realtors that you plan to interview.
2. A proven track record.
Some real estate agents can make a case for themselves, but results are what really matter. Find out how many homes each realtor that you’re considering has sold in the last six to twelve months. You can also obtain information such as how long each house was on the market and what each property sold for.
3. Knowledge of the local market.
A good agent should know the market that they work in. They should also be on top of current conditions and economic trends. Feel free to ask questions about these and other pertinent topics in relation to real estate sales in your region.
Communication is a two-way street. The real estate agent that you select should be an active communicator. Your agent works for you, not the other way around. A realtor will usually call, text or email their clients to schedule showings, address their concerns and follow up with them. You can dictate how and when your agent can communicate with you. They should be focused on finding the home that meets your needs.
5. A relationship builder.
The ideal real estate agent is someone who constantly works at creating and growing relationships with home buyers and sellers, as well as title agents, appraisers, home inspectors, and other professionals who may be involved in a home sale. Your agent should listen to you to learn more about your wants and needs. They should be someone who is easy to talk to and who understands your concerns.
Technology is ever-changing. Companies can’t compete or continue to exist without embracing technology. This is especially true in real estate. Agents have many more tools at their disposal, such as 360 degree views of different properties, virtual showings, online bookings and paperwork and much more. Talk to various realtors and ask what technology they use. If they still rely on outdated tactics or software, it’s probably time to move on to the next person on your list.
7. Your own research.
One of the best ways to gain an understanding of what homes are up for sale is by conducting your own research. Take a drive around local neighborhoods. Find out where homes are up for sale and how close they are to local amenities, such as gas stations, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, schools, parks, and shopping centers. Write down who the realty companies and realtors are for each house that’s up for sale so that you can research them later.
8. Warning signs.
If an agent that you meet with or call raises red flags, there’s probably good cause for concern. Stay away from realtors who don’t listen to what you have to say or try to push certain homes that are either out of your price range or that you’re just not interested in. If an agent “ghosts” you or doesn’t respond to your inquiries, they’re probably not worth your time or business.
You may want to interview multiple agents. Schedule a meeting with each one to discuss your plan. Come prepared with a list of questions. Pay attention to their responses. You may even want to take notes. From there, you can compare and contrast each one before picking the agent that’s right for you.
9. Ask for references.
You can ask real estate agents for references if you’d like. They may provide contact information for former clients. Speak to as many of these references as you want to gain insight as to how each agent operates. Find out what they liked and didn’t like about their experiences with those realtors so that you know what to expect.
10. Find out about additional certifications.
You can also do a deeper dive to learn if certain agents have particular designations in their field. Some may have taken classes or certification courses so that they can also represent business clients, landowners, or other niche markets. Certifications may be listed in a realtor’s bio or on sales fliers for different homes that they’ve listed.
Spend some time evaluating everything that you’ve learned. Weigh the pros and cons very carefully before choosing an agent. You may be asked to sign paperwork that signifies your agreement to work with that agent. Read the documents thoroughly so that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities, and so that you know what could happen if you change your mind and want to work with another agent instead.
You may be ready to make an offer after visiting several homes in the area. If your offer is accepted by the home seller, it won’t be too long until your dream of homeownership becomes a reality. At closing, all final paperwork will be signed and processed. The seller will receive their payment for the net proceeds, and you’ll be given the keys to your new property. You can move in as soon as you’re ready. Congratulate yourself on a job well done! It could take a few days to get settled, but the hard work and effort will definitely be worth it once you’re able to spend many wonderful waking hours in a great place that’s all your own.