Thursday, July 27, 2017

What you should know about your buyer’s agent.

In our informed society, more and more savvy real estate buyers are choosing to engage the services of a buyer’s agent and enter into a buyer’s agency contract to help them make the best possible decisions about their real estate purchase.  It just makes good sense…the seller’s agent is responsible for protecting the interest of the seller, and the buyer’s agent works to protect the interests of the buyer and ensure that the buyer is fully informed and completely protected before entering into a purchase contract.

We’ve compiled a list of questions to help prospective home buyers make the right decision about choosing a buyer’s agent. An ethical and honest professional should be able to answer any of these questions to your satisfaction and provide you with a wealth of information before you enter into a buyer’s agency agreement.  If they can’t…don’t walk, run, and find the right real estate professional to protect your interests and make sure you get the best deal possible on Lake Gaston!  Please watch our video on what a buyer’s agent can do for you.

[tabs slidertype="left tabs"] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Where do I start?[/tabtext] [tabtext]What about financing?[/tabtext][tabtext]What should I look for in a REALTOR?[/tabtext][tabtext]How many times have you represented ONLY the buyer?[/tabtext][tabtext]What kinds of incentives are being offered right now?[/tabtext][tabtext]Do you have a strong network of contacts to help me in my home purchase?[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer]

[tabcontent] [tab]Well, you’ve already started the process. Seeking out information and reading articles is a great way to become a smart consumer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, neighborhoods, or homes are to:

  • Get a realistic idea about your personal finances.  Review your budget, eliminate debt wherever possible, and know for sure how much cash you have available for down payments, earnest money, and monthly payments when the time comes to make an offer on a property.
  • Learn about the Lake Gaston real estate market.
  • Make a list of what you must have in a home, what you’d like to have, and your priorities in terms of home and community.

Your next step is to contact us. As your home buying specialists, we’ll protect your interest and manage the details of the real estate transaction on your behalf to your complete satisfaction. For more experienced buyers, a little brush up on the real estate process wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course, you’ll need a really sharp Lake Gaston real estate team to protect your interests too![/tab]

[tab]Once we meet and review your finances along with your home buying needs, you should select a lending consultant. We can recommend several trusted lending professionals or you can choose your own. Having upmost confidence in your lender is important. Be sure you feel completely at ease with them. They should speak to you in easy to understand terms. Ask lots of questions and never sign any document until you know what you are signing and feel completely at ease signing it. More and more lending professionals are recommending fixed interest rate loans and interest rates are still very attractive. Of course, the type of loan best for you depends on several factors. Here are just a few: How much money do you have for a down payment? How long do you plan to live in the home? Do you qualify for a FHA or VA loan? Because more homes are on the market here in Lake Gaston, your choices are plentiful and the time is right for you to buy!

Does your buyer’s agent have a mortgage calculator?  In our age of advanced techology, any reputable agent should have access to a number of mortgage tools that will help you be more informed about the amount of money you’ll need to put down on your new home to keep your monthly payments in a comfortable range.  Your buyer’s agent doesn’t need to be a mortgage expert, but working with a Realtor that’s not familiar with mortgage products and financing issues is like working with an interior designer that knows nothing about paint. [/tab]

[tab]While there are many qualities and characteristics you should look for in a REALTOR®, we’ve included some of the most important here.

Credentials

Credentials include the agent’s valid and unblemished license in the state.  Do a search through the state real estate commission and find out if the agent or his/her company has been the subject of disciplinary actions.  Ask your agent about their designations – individual certifications to handle specialized tasks within the real estate field, such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), and Resort and Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS) to name just a few.  Realtors® who participate in continuing education and specialize within their fields are better equipped to serve you in your search for the perfect Lake Gaston home.

Attention

What kind of attention do you get from the agent? As a buyer, you deserve a REALTOR® who is attentive to your needs and desires, and proactive in finding the properties that best fit your unique needs.  Your agent should keep your informed every step of the way from the moment that you begin your search to finding the right home and making an offer to getting you the best deal.  At Gaston Pointe Properties, we know that buying a home isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, and we tailor our services to the needs of our clients – and we don’t stop providing service and support at closing.  Our testimonials say it all…and you ca see what our clients have to say about us here.

Expertise

Obviously, the REALTOR® you choose must have knowledge about the specific area where you are planning to buy or sell. The last thing you want is a REALTOR® who tells you, “I’m not really sure what the crime rate is in this area,” or “I’m not sure what the property values are in this area.”  Of course, REALTORs® often focus on many areas and we should not expect them to know every single detail of a certain location, but they should at least offer to research the facts for you. If they don’t, look elsewhere. An unknowledgeable agent can ruin your real estate transaction in a hurry.  Of all the REALTORs® at Lake Gaston, Macon White at Gaston Pointe Properties offers you the best option in local knowledge and experience.  A life-long resident of Lake Gaston, Macon has had a family member living and working in the area since the 1700s, and Macon has been actively working in Lake Gaston real estate for more than two decades.  The real estate team at Gaston Pointe Properties has the knowledge ad experience you need to take your home buying experience from a dream to reality.

Personality

Chances are, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your REALTOR® during the home buying process.  Is your agent friendly?  Respectful?  Responsive?  If not, then more than likely this isn’t the agent for you! Be sure to look for an agent that makes you feel valued at comfortable, relaxed and at ease.  You’ll be sharing very intimate details about your life, your goals, and your finances with your agent, so be sure to choose an agent that you can really trust with your confidential information.  At Gaston Pointe Properties, we pride ourselves on building relationships that last far beyond the transaction.  You’re more than welcome to come by for a chat and get to know us better.[/tab]

[tab]Knowing the REALTOR’s® experience in working as a buyer’s agent is important.  Don’t be afraid to ask the question about experience and don’t be afraid to walk away if you aren’t comfortable with the answer!  REALTORs® who have represented numerous buyers have a greater level of experience in negotiating the best purchase price and digging up all the information about potential pitfalls in your home purchase.  Our buyer’s specialists at Gaston Pointe Properties are experts in sale price negotiations and have extensive experience in working exclusively with buyers to protect their interests and make the best deal possible.[/tab]

[tab]During down markets you will find a lot of home builders and sometimes even homeowners who offer incentives to entice you to purchase their home. Incentives can range from the seller paying closing costs and HOA fees to free appliances or other items that will convey with the home.  An experience buyer’s agent will be able to answer this question knowledgeably and will leverage that knowledge to enhance your home buying experience.[/tab]

[tab]Who your buyer agent knows really does matter. What happens if you need a new home inspector at the last minute? Can your agent deal with a building permit or a Dominion Power issue at a moment’s notice?  Having a solid network of contacts will help streamline your home buying process making it much less stressful for you.  With decades of experience in Lake Gaston real estate, Macon White has an extensive network of personal and professional contacts at her fingertips – contacts that work together to make your home buying experience seamless and flawless.  You can put our extensive network of contractors, appraisers, inspectors, and other real-estate related professionals to work for you by using the form on this page to get in touch.[/tab]

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