The other night I received a voice mail message from a first time home buyer.
The message went along the lines of this "Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling because I am thinking about buying a condo. It's priced at about $100,000 and I was wondering if you thought it was a good deal. I found your name on the internet and thought you could tell me if it was a good deal or not."
I had no way of knowing whether "it was a good deal or not." I had never seen the condo. I did not know where it was located or what the neighborhood was like. She had obviously seen it already, either with another agent or at an open house. And who knows what personal information she had already disclossed to the Seller's agent. I did not even know if she was preapproved or if she could afford it. She also apparently assumed that I was available, day or night, to answer questions for anyone who called.
The first thing to do if you are thinking about buying a house is to assemble a team of people who will be on your side and provide you with advice and guidance throughout your home purchase. Looking at a house first and then seeking advice is putting the cart before the horse.
Assemble your team by starting with a buyer's agent who will provide unbiased advice and guidance. An exclusive buyer agent will represent only your interests and never have a conflict of interest. Your next team member is a reputable mortgage professional who can provide you a solid mortgage preapproval so you know how much you can afford. Your buyer agent can provide a referral to a mortgage lender, along with other members of your team such as a home inspector, attorney and more.
Once you have your team lined up, then you can start looking for a home. Your buyer agent will be there to show you homes, evaluate the home for condition and make a recommendation on price based on current market values. Your buyer agent will also work with you to come up with a strategy once you find a home you like. We are there to walk you through the entire transaction so you're not asking questions after it is too late.
Remember that real estate agents do not earn a salary. We are only paid on commission once a sale closes. It's the only profession where people will do a lot of work and not get paid for it until months - or years - later. While we are happy to help, we are not in the business of offering advice to people who are not our clients.
We will work really hard for you and represent your best interests. But you need to hire us to work for you at the start of your search - not after you have already found a house.
Thinking of buying a home in Canton MA or a surrounding town? Contact your Canton MA Buyer Broker for 100% conflict-free representation.
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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field.
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