If you’ve never done it before, working with a realtor might seem pretty straightforward, and it is. However, there are a few rules of the road you’ll need to know before hiring one of these real estate professionals to help you find your dream home.
Be Clear in Expectations
If you don’t know what you want, your realtor can’t help you much. If you’re not able to tell your agent exactly what you want in a home, as well as the surrounding area, don’t expect them to deliver the perfect house. They’re not mind readers. Clarify what you expect, what you want, and what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get the most important features to you and your family.
Know What a Realtor Cannot Do
Realtors can do a lot for clients, but there are many things they cannot do because of legal constraints. For instance, they are legally forbidden to tell you about the ethnic makeup of a neighborhood, and they cannot tell you that properties are located near religious houses of worship. Anything that would violate the Fair Housing Act is prohibited.
Chances are good that the realtor will ask you to sign what’s called a buyer’s broker agreement. It’s pretty standard. However, make sure that there is an opt out clause in the agreement so you can break off the relationship if you’re not satisfied with the realtor’s performance.
Inform Them of Competition
While you’re not required to work exclusively with one particular agent, it’s considered good form to let them know if you have another realtor working with you at the same time.
By following these basic rules of the road, you’ll be able to find the right realtor for you and form a strong relationship that will go well beyond the initial house purchase.