Most people start their home buying search by looking at sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia. That’s completely fine and understandable, but step 1 to buying a home should be to hire a Realtor to represent you.
Searching online at Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, etc. on your own takes a LOT of time. A Realtor can set you up for automatic search via the MLS (Multiple Listing System). This means that each day (or how often you want to receive the search results) you’ll be emailed a list of all new properties matching your criteria or price reductions which now put a property in your budget. This is a HUGE time saver. And if you’re in a market, like Arlington, Vienna or McLean where great properties sell in a matter of days, it can be an enormous advantage to be able to get in and to see a property within a day or two of it going on the market.
So, how do you find and pick a Realtor? First, find out if they are a Realtor® with ABR® designation. Well, I am an ABR® and hopefully, you’ll contact me or my team at 703-599-6057 or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can meet in person and see if we would be a good fit together. Remember, not all Realtors are right for all people. You need to find someone who is not only great at his or her job, but someone you like, as you’re going to be spending a lot of time with that person. So get together and have coffee and chat. See if you click. If so, you need to determine if that person has the experience, customer service, and understanding of the market that you’re looking for. Start out by noticing how quickly the Realtor responds to your initial phone call or email. If the Realtor doesn’t get back to you within a maximum of 24 hours, that’s a bad sign. This business moves fast and deals can be lost if your Realtor doesn’t respond quickly on your behalf during negotiations.
Second, interview the Realtor by asking them very specific questions.
Third, expect to sign a buyer representation agreement. Legally before you disclose confidential information to your Realtor, you should have a signed buyer representation agreement. That helps to ensure that your Realtor will keep private information confidential.
If you have any questions, please let me know.