Buying the first home is the most exhilarating financial investment the average person will ever make. It represents a milestone in personal growth and signals one’s financial arrival. The sense of pride and accomplishment in establishing roots in the community represents a challenge “met” in pursuit of the American Dream.
For those who are ready to embark on the home buying adventure, one should be aware that there many wolves and ogres along the path to home ownership. The Realtor should be considered an invaluable Sheppard that leads the buyer though the hazards of selecting the right home, navigating the mortgage process and reconciling the closing of the purchase and mortgage. All of these processes are wrought with potential hazards for the inexperienced purchaser so it is critical that the home buyer find the competent Sheppard as an escort.
So how does the buyer select a truly experienced professional Realtor that will unfailingly deliver the correct information and guidance every step of the way? It is simple; interview them and ask the right “direct” questions:
Are you a full time agent? It is important that the agent is active during the work week discovering and profiling new property listings as they are presented to the market. Even in a slow real estate market the really good properties are frequently sold as soon as they are listed. Nothing is more discouraging than just missing the ideal home.
How long have you been representing home buyers as an agent in “this” community? Experience is the best teacher in detecting and avoiding problem properties or undesirable locations. Experienced professionals know the intricacies of the neighborhoods and specific locations; what to avoid and why.
Who are the mortgage loan officers you recommend. This is a very revealing question that is difficult for the realtor to skirt. It is probable that an agent that doesn’t have a responsive answer to this inquiry either isn’t selling many homes or is not actively involved in monitoring the progress of their clients mortgage processing. Top producing agents are aware that transactions can disintegrate in the hands of the lender so they work in concert with trusted loan representatives demanding effective communication from the loan officer in exchange for their referrals.
The answers to these basic questions should provide the specific information needed to determine the experience level and professional demeanor of each agent interviewed. There should not be any reluctance on the part of the home buyer to conduct an interview and ask these and other revealing questions. It signals the realtor that the potential client is a serious buyer and is proceeding with an unemotional business approach to buying a home. This is in contrast to the many “tire kickers” the agent is frequently confronted with.
The interview process should not evolve into a discussion of specific properties or an appointment to discuss specific personal or family parameters. The interviewer should maintain an unemotional position and select the Realtor that appears to exhibit the experience, knowledge and professionalism necessary to Sheppard the home buying process. Since all Realtors have access to the same properties through local multiple listing services, identifying properties that meet specific criteria can be a mechanical process. Everything else is not mechanical and should be the foundation of the decision of which agent to hire.
Notifying the agent of their selection as the buyers exclusive representative serves to implement the bonding process. This demonstration of loyalty is paramount in influencing the agent to work diligently to facilitate the home purchase and a leap forward in pursuit of the “American Dream”.
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