Real Estate Agents

The Internet Can't Do All That An Agent Can
Popular Mechanics

Given the hordes of information that can be found on the Internet, some people believe that homebuyers do not require the help of real estate agents. However, agents can be a good ally to have when looking for a house.

To make sure that the agent is on the side of the buyer and will look out for the buyer's interests, the buyer should get the agent's loyalty in writing.

Homebuyers and sellers should not simply select a representative at random, because there are so many different kinds of service and people. The best bet is to find out who the top-performing agents are in the area and set up interviews with those professionals. Buyers should inquire about each agent's general experience as well as his or her experience finding the kind of home that the buyer is seeking or selling the kind of home that the seller is selling. If, in the early stages of the relationship, the agent seems unresponsive or unwilling to help, the buyer or seller should contact the managing broker and request a new agent.

Homebuyers should keep in mind that Realtors are not miracle-workers, and negotiating will be limited in some circumstances. Builders that sell their own homes, for example, will not usually lower their prices because they have tighter profit margins, so bargaining is not always an option. Sellers of existing properties, on the other hand, are often under time constraints and, therefore, may be more flexible on pricing.

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