When folks first start house-hunting, they don’t seem to think about the cost of this service. That’s because the real estate industry doesn’t tell you! You might meet a realtor at an open house, or know someone who’s a part-time real estate agent, or your neighbor is an agent, etc., and they all want to help you, seemingly for “free.” You need to know that it’s not free. The seller pays for your agent. Although you don’t care about the cost now, you certainly will when you want to sell your house! Ha!
But why should you care NOW? Because a so-called “discount” agent like myself, can help you make a BETTER offer in a competitive seller’s market or in a multiple offer situation. PLUS, you may know that technology is driving some sellers to turn to FSBO (for sale by owner) websites, which is driving down commission rates. Changes with our local NWMLS are also causing fear among traditional, full-priced agents causing them to ask for more commission from sellers, which means YOU could be paying it in the form of a higher purchase price.
The Steps to Homeownership
1. Talk with a Real Estate Professional: Discuss the type of home you’re looking for, including style, price, and location. Or get started with this Buyer’s Questionnaire now.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan: You’ll need pay stubs, W2s, and bank statements. Knowing what you can afford is critical to a successful home shopping experience. Be sure to shop mortgage lenders for the best interest rate. It does not hurt your credit to do so.
3. Search for Homes: The fun part! As your real estate agent, I conduct targeted searches and schedule showings to help you find the perfect home. Contact me below for my buyer’s packet.
4. Make an Offer & Negotiate: As your real estate broker, I help you write an offer based on the price and terms you choose and is likely to win in a competitive situation. It may take a few tries to win a home because the Pacific Northwest is nearly always a seller’s market, but hang in there. Our market is competitive but doable. You’re on your way!
5. Under Contract: In most cases the contract provides you with a timeline to obtain financing, as well as time to inspect the physical condition of the home. I’ll inform you of all your rights and responsibilities related to the contract. Once under contract, the home is effectively held for you until closing. We now perform due diligence, conduct a home inspection, review terms with the lender, and order the appraisal.
6. Preparing for Closing: You’ll finalize your loan, review documents, and we’ll discuss the findings from the inspection. As your agent, I manage this entire process for you. Just a few days before closing, we’ll conduct the final walk through the home to ensure it’s been maintained in the same condition as when we previewed it and placed the offer. You’ll wire the balance to close funds to the escrow company and sign your official documents in person.
7. Closing Day: This is the day we transfer funds and ownership. Title and escrow facilitates the closing. We’ll need to receive county recording numbers first before you’re allowed to get your house keys.
Your Interests Are Professionally Represented
Enlisting the services of a professional buyer’s agent is similar to using an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health, or a mechanic to fix your car. If you had the time to devote to learning everything about accounting, medicine, and auto mechanics, you could do these services yourself. But who has the time? This is why you allow other professionals to help you in their specific areas of expertise. In the case of buying and selling real estate, this is transaction people do infrequently, and there are a lot of moving parts, including federal and state laws that you must obey or be faced with steep fines.
As a full-time 1% real estate agent with a statutory responsibility to look after your best interests, I let you concentrate on what you do best (your full-time job) while I work on what I do best (my full-time job). I guide you through the home-buying process and exclusively represent your interests as we search for a home, present your contract offer, guide you, negotiate, and close on your home or investment property.
Work with ONE Real Estate Agent at a Time for the Best Result
Just as your accountant, doctor, and mechanic understand your specific needs, your buyer’s agent gets to know your real estate needs and concerns. This type of relationship is built through open communication at all times. I save you a lot of money, time, and headache as I take care of the major lifting of the transaction.
What’s a Buyer’s Agency Agreement?
Although I don’t require buyers to enter into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement (video), I want to point out that working with you as a buyer means I’m taking time out of my work hours to help you, so if you ask me for help and I start helping you, please honor that. It’s very common in the real estate industry for buyers to work with a buyer’s broker but out of the blue make an offer on a house with a different agent. Ouch!
When you sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his/her ability. In reality, even if you don’t sign the Agreement, exclusive agency is implied by working together thus I, like all real estate brokers, MUST represent your best interests to the best of his/her ability unless you are specifically told otherwise. All of this personal service is available at NO OUT OF POCKET COSTS TO YOU! Both buyer’s and seller’s agent commission is taken from the seller at closing.
Get Daisy’s Buyer’s Packet Now
I created my Buyer’s Information Packet so it’s short and easy to follow. It features a 1-page Home Buyer’s To Do List, which covers first steps and expected costs. My dos and don’ts page is VITAL to not losing your lending after you’ve made an offer on a home. And my personal favorite, the buyer’s questionnaire that helps YOU and your spouse/partner discuss and decide on what’s most important in your house hunting endeavor. It’s super helpful. Ask for it now by filling out the form below.